The chocolate makers in this month’s box have chosen cacao fromspecific regions with unique micro-climates. Here cacao beans growwith flavour profiles that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
First is a new bar from Luisa Abram. Luisa is dedicated to finding Brazil’s rarest cacaos, mostly grown by remote Amazon communitieswho can only be reached by boat. This new dark is no exception anduses cacao from the Rio Jari region collected during the 2017 harvest.
Next Chocolate Tree has used cacao from a single Venezuelan region. The bean grown here is Venezuelan Porcelana, a varietal unique tothe country which is hugely prized by chocolate makers worldwide.
Then, Rob Anderson from Fresco is one of two chocolate makers inthe world to have these beans, grown by a new association ofsmallholder farmers in the Polochic Valley. It is a delight to be able toshare this with you.
Finally we want to introduce a new craft maker Lapa-Lapa. Founder Pieter-Jan is a Belgian now living and making chocolate inNicaragua. He is currently just using one type of bean, Rugoso, whichgrows in the jungles of Matagalpa.
We hope you enjoy this selection.
LUISA ABRAM – RIO JARI 2017 HARVEST
The dark chocolate has a green, almost earthy aroma. However on first bite, sharp notes along with strong honey and hazelnuts are revealed. The richly indulgent cocoa finish is topped by a toasty malted touch.
The cacao used in this bar is a wild cocoa grown in the Rio Jari region, and formed part of the 2017 harvest. Luisa Abram, the founder and namesake was our first Brazilian chocolate maker. Luisa, her father Andre, and the rest of her family all pitch in. To make her bars, Luisa uses wild cacao sourced from small cooperatives in the upper basin of the Amazon. To the beans she adds nothing but a little organic sugar, giving the true flavour of Amazonian cacao.
CHOCOLATE TREE – AMBANJA MADAGASCAR
A sweetly milk chocolate, whose wonderful
flavours linger on the tongue. Typical berry flavours of Madagascan cacao are blended with sweeter touches of caramel and fudge. The milk gives a rich creamy texture.
Ali and Friederike of Chocolate Tree craft all their bars in their workshop just outside Edinburgh. They are dedicate to working as closely with their suppliers as possible. In 2015 they went to Madagascar to visit Bertil Akesson who owns the Ambanja farm near the Sambirano River in Madagascar. Working closely with the people growing their cacao ensures that they are paid a fair wage. This kind of rainforest agriculture also promotes biodiversity.
FRESCO – POLOCHIC VALLEY, GUATEMALA; A COCOA RUNNERS EXCLUSIVE
A dark chocolate bar with a perfect slow and smooth melt. The mellow bar opens with hints of rich, fudgy brownie. Gradually notes of dark plums and raisins rise through, creating an intensely fruity finish,
Fresco is one of just two chocolate makers to use these rare Guatemalan beans. The beans are grown by an association of 500 smallholder farmers in the Polochic Valley, one of the hottest micro-climates in Guatemala. As well as cacao they grow coffee and produce honey. The Valley is right next to La Reserva de Biosfera Sierra de las Minas, a forest reserve, which the farmer association is also responsible for protecting.
LAPA-LAPA – RUGOSO NICARAGUA
This powerful dark bar balances acidity, bitterness and sweetness. It has notes of sharp berries and stone fruits which blend in the finish with tropical wood, smoked tea and aromatic tobacco. An intense chocolate that lingers on the tongue.
Belgian Pieter-Jan’s lifelong passion for chocolate had taken him far from home. Seeking out the best cacao to make the best chocolate, he found himself in Nicaragua where he now makes his bars from local beans. The name Lapa-Lapa comes from his Nicaraguan legend about a mysterious being called the Lapa-Lapa. This individual roams the jungles and hills of Nicaragua every night searching for the best quality cacao.