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  • Sep 20

    Too good to be true … how to read the small print of chocolate and health studies with Dr Tim Spector

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  Tastings, The Science of Chocolate

    One of our mantras at Cocoa Runners is that “Craft Chocolate tastes better, is better for farmers, better for the planet and also better for you”. It is pretty easy to “show” people that Craft Chocolate tastes better.  They just need to try some There are also LOTS of studies showing how direct, transparent trade leads […]

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  • Sep 13

    Vintage Chocolate? And some new Craft Chocolate Conversations and Tastings

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  New Products, Tastings, The Science of Chocolate

    From having been “the food of the goods” (Theobroma Cacao), chocolate has, sadly, often fallen to being a commoditised, mass market ingredient in confectionery. In some ways the “commoditisation” and “mass processing” of food, of which chocolate has been subsumed, has been great. For most of history the majority of humankind has been at risk of […]

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  • Aug 23

    Fermentation: Great for your Micro-biome and Critical for Craft Chocolate

    By Spencer Hyman  ·  The Science of Chocolate

    Many of the world’s greatest foods and drinks involve fermentation – think wine, coffee, beer, yogurt, bread, cheese and, of course, 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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  • Aug 16

    Cooling Down with Chocolate – and why you shouldn’t Store Chocolate in the Fridge

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  The Science of Chocolate

    As we were melting in the UK’s mini heatwave, it seemed like a great time to explore the importance of heat in chocolate crafting.   Before we delve into the intricacies of roasting, grinding, conching and tempering chocolate (all of which rely on heat to work their magic on cocoa beans), some good news: savouring Craft Chocolate […]

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  • Jul 18

    Does Chocolate Help You Sleep?

    By Spencer Hyman  ·  The Science of Chocolate

    For most of its history we’ve “drunk” chocolate.  And hot chocolate remains a favourite “night cap” for many kids and adults. Yet many people fear that eating, or drinking, chocolate in the evening will keep them up at night.  And one of the most common questions at our Virtual Tastings remains “does chocolate contain caffeine”. […]

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  • Jul 05

    The Bliss Point in Craft Chocolate

    By Spencer Hyman  ·  The Science of Chocolate

    How chocolate “blisses” us out… This week is about bliss (or more accurately the “Bliss Point”).  And about Craft Chocolate.  And we’ll be discussing this on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch this Sunday morning. Towards the end of our Weekly Virtual Craft Chocolate Tastings we explain the Bliss Point as we finish with two great milk chocolate bars. […]

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  • Jun 23

    Untangling Organic and Craft Chocolate

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  The Science of Chocolate

    During our Virtual Tastings one of the most common questions is “what about organic chocolate?” It’s a great question.  But answering it is complicated and confusing.  Here’s why Craft chocolate is all about bars that taste better, are better for you, and better for farmers and for the planet.  Organic farming, fruit, vegetables, meats and […]

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  • May 29

    Water and Chocolate

    By Spencer Hyman  ·  The Science of Chocolate

    This weekend was meant to be about CocoaSwimmers.  CocoaRunners had planned to swim “Castle to Castle” with the wonderful Mike, Becca and Chocolarder team in Cornwall to raise money for the RNLI.  This sadly isn’t happening (next year!). Instead we are going to explore the links between chocolate and water.  There is a longer version of this […]

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  • May 17
    100% Cacao (No Added Sugar) Gifts | Cocoa Runners

    Dark Milk Chocolate – a low-sugar alternative

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  The Science of Chocolate

    “Everything in moderation”.  Epicurus had it right.  A little sugar in chocolate is to be welcomed.  And a little milk can add creaminess and the impression of sweetness too. In craft chocolate, sugar is added to bring out the flavour of the bean. In the words of the esteemed Mrs Beeton (she of Victorian cooking […]

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  • May 10
    Chocolate and low sugar

    How much sugar is in your chocolate?

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  The Science of Chocolate

    Sugar is a sticky topic.  There’s a large swathe of people who lump all chocolate into the catch-all “if it has sugar, it has to be bad”.  We beg to differ. Let’s start with a couple of questions.  Which has less sugar? A typical breakfast cereal or a dark craft chocolate bar? A low fat […]

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