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.
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.
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.
One of the things that has surprised us when listening to our customers is how many people love – or at least want to try – 100% cocoa chocolate. That’s chocolate that’s made from pure cocoa beans and nothing else. No sugar, no additives, no nothing.
100% chocolate is for the adventurous, the open minded, and the real chocolate lover who wants to experience the natural flavours of chocolate in their purest form.
To that end, we’ve put together a special “100% Club” tasting box with four amazing 100% cocoa solids bars, all made from Madagascan cocoa. We think this collection shows off the natural fruitiness present in Madagascan cocoa. But it also highlights just how different four bars made from nothing but cocoa from the same region can be. Each bar is unique and surprising, thanks to the skills of the chocolate makers.
Feeling adventurous? Head on over to our shop to read more about this exclusive collection!
Last night the Cocoa Runners team were invited to do a private chocolate tasting at Reed Smith, a large law firm with offices around the world. That’s exciting in itself, but their London office is on the 33rd floor of one of London’s tallest buildings and has these spectacular views of the city.
We’ve done many chocolate tastings, but this was certainly one of our most unusual venues!
We think it’s great when people want to learn about real chocolate, and Reed Smith wanted the big picture. Around 50 staff stayed after work to spend a couple of hours finding out all about the bean-to-bar chocolate movement and tasting eight different bars that we’d specially chosen to illustrate the different ways in which modern chocolate makers work.
As well as tasting the chocolate, our new friends got to see how chocolate is made from the bean and found out about chocolate’s complex history.
We love doing these tasting, and always get a kick out of sharing great chocolate, as well as hearing about people’s favourites.
Do you love great chocolate? Would you like Cocoa Runners to come and do a tasting at your office? Why not get in touch to see how we can work together!
We’re delighted to announce that Michel Cluizel is now in the Chocolate Library.
Cluizel is one of France’s premier bean-to-bar chocolate makers and has been producing their own chocolate from the bean since 1971. The company is proud of its artisan heritage, and has become one of France’s most respected chocolate makers.
You can find out more about Michel Cluizel and browse a complete list of bars on their chocolate maker profile.