What Is “Small Batch” Chocolate?

By Cocoa Runners  ·  14th April 2014  ·  Uncategorized

If you’re new to the world of chocolate, you may have heard the term “small batch”, and wondered exactly what it means. How small is small batch, and what difference does that make?

This week, we came across the perfect illustration from one of our partners, Forever Cacao. Chocolate maker Pablo was excited to be picking up their biggest ever delivery – two small pallets of fine cocoa beans from a co-operative Peru, pictured above.

But if you pull back from this photo a little, it starts to tell a different story.

Cocoa Beans

Behind the wall is a mountain of cocoa beans from West Africa, destined for the bulk chocolate and confectionery market.

The beans are loose, mixed up, and moved around by tractors. This isn’t uncommon – it’s the only way the multinational confectionery manufacturers can produce confectionery chocolate bars at the price they do. It’s not just a commodity, it’s a commodity on a massive scale.

The beans for all your average 50p newsagent chocolate bars are stored in warehouses like this around the world.

Cocoa Beans

Forever Cacao’s beans are treated completely differently from the word go. Grown in South America from cocoa varieties that are selected for flavour rather than yield, they are hand sorted and treated with respect at every stage of the process in order to obtain the best possible flavour..

The story is the same for all our partners at Cocoa Runners. Cocoa Beans are treated as a quality ingredient rather than a commodity.

That’s the “small batch” difference – and why we think it’s worth paying a little more for your chocolate.