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  • Jul 08

    How to Dry a Cocoa Bean

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  How is Chocolate Made?

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that there can’t be much to say about the drying of cocoa beans. But you’d be wrong! It’s a crucial balancing act: dry too slowly and your beans go mouldy; dry too fast and the beans taste bitter. The choices made during the drying stage have a big impact on […]

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  • Jun 06

    These are Not ultra-processed!

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Science

    Last week’s post on a drink made out of cocoa pulp led to some GREAT reader questions (and, sorry, more demand for the wonderful Pacha de Cacao than we’d predicted, so we are out of stock! But we hope to have it back in stock early next week, and will be selling it in packs […]

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  • May 23

    Which of these shapes is ‘vanilla’ like?

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Science

    Here is a quick quiz to start this week’s post: Which spice has the following attributes? The Aztecs (and Spanish) added it to their drinking chocolate, It’s use was widely extended into cakes, alcohol, perfume and more by Thomas Morgan (an apothecary for Queen Elizabeth I) and then ice-cream by Thomas Jefferson, The key technological […]

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  • May 16

    Anything But Plain; Vanilla

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture, Science

    If ever an adjective was unfairly associated with a spice it’s ‘PLAIN’ with vanilla (as in ”plain vanilla”). Vanilla’s history is anything but plain, what it contributes to many foods, again, is anything but plain (think milk chocolate, ice cream, cakes, and even curries) and what comprises ‘natural’ versus ‘artificial’ vanilla flavour is not at […]

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  • Mar 28

    Easter: A ‘moveable feast’ that is almost here

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture, Science

    There are lots of important dates and calendar related events this week and weekend: This Sunday, the clocks go forward in the UK, Daytime is now officially longer than night time (we’ve passed the March equinox), Easter is ALMOST here (and Passover starts Saturday night), Lockdown restrictions continue to ease (e.g. the Hampstead ponds for […]

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  • Mar 07

    Celebrate Easter with Craft Chocolate and Fine Wine

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Science

    Easter is rapidly approaching: We are delighted to launch our Easter offerings – along with a quick recap of the history of chocolate and Easter below. And we are also very excited about a pair of Fine Wine and Craft Chocolate Tastings that we are launching with Corney and Barrow on Thursday 25th March and […]

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  • Feb 11

    Compare the Difference: Milk & Dark Chocolate

    By James  ·  Science

    See how the addition of milk changes a chocolate bar! These pairs of bars are all made by the same maker using the same beans – the only difference is the cocoa content and addition of milk. Notice the differences in texture and mouthfeel, and see how the sweetness of the milk changes the beans’ […]

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  • Sep 27
    Great Taste Awards 2016

    The Great Taste Awards and the “Art” of Tasting

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  Science

    This week we’d like to congratulate a number of chocolate makers who have entered, and won, multiple awards at the Great Taste Awards — in particular Fjak and Tosier (ladies first), Standout, Firetree and Solkiki swept the boards. To celebrate we’ve pulled together an award winning box (see below) and highlighted a few other awesome […]

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  • Aug 23

    Fermentation: The Forgotten Hero of Craft Chocolate

    By Spencer Hyman  ·  How is Chocolate Made?

    Many of the world’s greatest foods and drinks involve fermentation: wine, beer, coffee, bread, cheese. Exactly the same is true of chocolate. Life would be a lot less fun without the miracles that yeasts and bacteria perform in transforming grapes into wine, hops into beer, and cocoa seeds into chocolate. This week’s blog post aims to explain […]

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  • Apr 17

    Vintage and Beans

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  Science

    One of the great pleasures of single estate chocolate is the way that different makers and farmer can coax out so many flavours from their beans. It’s the antithesis of mass produced chocolate where the aim is – to be kind – uniformity and sameness. Single estate is all capturing the essence of the bean. […]

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