The organic chocolate we source begins life in two origins: The mountains of Peru, and the jungles of Eastern Congo. Our supplier works tirelessly to ensure that the cacao farmers are given the fair trade and resources to enable them to focus on producing healthy, high quality cacao and that they are able to not only look after their own families, but also protect the environment and communities around them.
In order to produce the beans needed to make chocolate, these farmers nurture the trees, hand pick the cacao pods, and separate the beans for fermenting. After a carefully controlled fermentation process, the cacao beans are sun dried to retain their natural qualities. The beans are then hand-peeled, before further processing into nibs, paste, butter and powder. We use a combination of couverture and also cocoa nibs which we then grind in our factory - we buy both of these products from the 'bean-to-bar' producer Original Beans. We produce a small amount of chocolate directly from the bean ourselves, and will be doing much more of that in the coming year.
The chocolate from Eastern Congo, with a cacao percentage of 70%, is made from beans which are grown in Virunga National park - Africa's oldest nature reserve, and the home of the last Mountain Gorillas. There, the farmers are actively working to protect the gorillas and this precious habitat, and the beans that are produced reflect this wonderously diverse region, creating a chocolate with the rich and tart flavours of dark fruits, earthy forest floor and smoky tobacco.
The chocolate from Peru has a higher cocoa percentage, at 75%, or 88%, and is made from a rare and precious cacao known as Porcelana. This unique and special cacao has been nurtured back from the brink of extinction and the chocolate it creates bursts with intense flavours of citrus fruits, kumquat, raspberries and sweet toasted nuts.