Welcome to our first collection of 2019. We’ve chosen some bars from some of our most popular makers to help you start the New Year in style.
Bean Origin: Madagscar Cocoa Content: 75%
First we have a classic dark from Bonnat, one of France’s oldest makers. With more than 130 year of experience behind them Bonnat continue to innovate and to delight us with its incredible chocolate.
A smooth dark chocolate with supremely buttery mouthfeel. As the rich bar melts, hints of berries and dried fruit come through. The sweet notes of red fruits are mixed in with more indulgent tones of caramel and fudge.
Bonnat is one of France’s oldest and most respected chocolate makers. The family owned and run company has been crafting single-origin bars since the 1980s, making them an original pioneer of the bean-to-bar movement. More than 130 years after Bonnat was founded, the company is now run by Stephane Bonnat, the great-grandson of founder Felix Bonnat. Stephane takes a hands on role in crafting and sourcing cacao from over 35 farms worldwide.
Bean Origin: Brazil Cocoa Content: 72%
Next is a new bar from Austrian maker Zotter. This bar is particularly special and came about via a particularly close partnership between the Zotter family and the farmers. The results is a wonderful bar we hope you will enjoy.
This bar has a sleek, silky texture which melts quickly, releasing waves of flavour. The chocolate has delicate dried fruity notes on the nose, which in flavour develops into chocolate bananas and caramel sauce, with a pure cocoa finish.
Zotter chocolate is an Austrian chocolate company founded by Josef and Ulrike Zotter. The couple’s daughter, Julia Zotter, was instrumental to the creation of this bar. Julia spent a summer staying with a family of cacao farmers in Para Brazil. Working alongside the farmers, Julia learnt about cacao cultivation as well as the tips and tricks of cacao fermentation. Thanks to the knowledge the famer passed on to her, Zotter was able to craft this bar.
Bean Origin: Mexico Cocoa Content: 75%
Then from Ritual is yet another new creation. Mexico is growing some truly exciting beans and it is a joy to see how makers are using them. Ritual’s bar is a fantastic example of the country’s cacao.
This dark chocolate achieves a delicate smoothness which is rich but doesn’t overwhelm. The initial profile is distinctly nutty, with a mix of hazelnuts and almonds coming through. Sharp hints of citrus balance out the wooded tones.
Ritual bought these beans from the Rayen cooperative, a recent network of cacao growers in the southwest of Mexico’s Chiapas region: Soconusco. Rayen cooperative focus on quality and continuing the reputation of Soconusco as a region for growing fine flavour cacao. It partners with international chocolate makers and Mexican chocolatiers to boost their production and find new, direct buyers while conserving biodiversity in the cacao forests of Soconunsco.
DUFFY’S OH JUNO!
Bean Origin: Nicaragua Cocoa Content: 45%
Finally from British maker Duffy Sheardown is a wonderful Nicaraguan bar. The beans, Chuno, are unique to the country and have been designated an ‘Heirloom Cacao’ owing to its unique flavour profile and genetics.
A creamy milk bar with a gentle and soft mouthfeel. Delicate flavours meld with subtle sweetness in a smooth tasting experience. A complex mix of fresh hay, honeyed figs, and mellow red fruits gives way to a caramel finish.
Duffy is an early supporter and promoter of the ‘Direct Trade’ movement, which goes well beyond Fairtrade standards. Duffy follows a ‘Direct Cacao’ model, in which chocolate makers agree to pay whatever price the farmer asks for his cacao beans – without complaining. Duffy has sourced his beans from Xoco who work with farmers in Honduras and Nicaragua. The Chuno bean strain for Duffy’s Oh Juno! grows south of the Lake Managua in Nicaragua.
This collection can be bought as our Box Of The Month gift box for the special price of £24.95 while stocks last, until late February 2019.
We’ve teamed up with Whole Foods Market UK to bring you an in-store monthly Craft Chocolate Focus. Every month we’ll be showcasing a new theme, and what better way to bring in the New Year than with 100% pure cocoa chocolate with no added sugar.
Yep, that’s right, for the month of January we’re dialling up the intensity and focusing our attention on 100% cacao bars. 100% cacao bars are made using nothing but cocoa beans. They are intense, powerful and they’re an excellent way to experience the pure taste of the cocoa bean.
With no added sugar, flavourings or vegetable fats, the only ingredient is cocoa mass, cocoa butter and the natural sugar of cocoa (cocoa after all is a fruit, so it contains 2-5% sugar).
If you’re new to 100% cacao, don’t be put off by the idea that it will be astringent and bitter. It’s true that the flavours can be intense but 100% cacao bars are generally not nearly as astringent and mouth puckering as you might expect.
Much of the mouth-puckering bitterness and astringency that you find in mass produced high percentage dark chocolate is down to how the beans are crushed, pressed and even treated in chemical solutions as they rush to make the maximum amount of chocolate in as little time as possible. On the other end of the spectrum you can find our wonderful craft chocolate makers, who take their time to coax out the awesome flavours of their fine flavour cocoa beans with careful grinding, concheing and blending.
If you head to any Whole Foods Market UK branch (Kensington, Piccadilly, Richmond, Stoke Newington, Camden, Clapham Junction and Fulham), you’ll find our craft chocolate makers’ 100% bars centre-stage of the chocolate aisle.
Dates to look out for to sample the 100% chocolate in-store at Whole Foods Market include Wednesday 16th Jan. 4-7pm in the Piccadilly store and Friday 18th 12-3pm in the Camden store. We had previously held our demos on the 8th January at Kensington and 11th at Clapham Junction.
An absolute must-try for the 100% lovers. Menakao’s bar packs quite the punch in comparison to the more mellow 100% bars of Oialla and Pump Street. This award winning dark bar is an intense 100% Madagascan dark chocolate.
Unwrap the chocolate and you are instantly hit by a strong fruity aroma. Delicious and inviting as this may be, don’t be fooled into breaking off a great chunk as this chocolate has a serious intensity! The initial berries have a citrus edge, leading to a powerful and sharp finish. A roasted note is mixed with the fruits, which reminds us a little of strong filter coffee.
The baristas at Climpson’s Coffee often use this 100% for “palate training” and find it ideal for baking.
This 100% Criollo bar is both an exceptional and rare example of terroir. In 2018, these Åkesson’s Criollo beans were awarded Heirloom Cacao Preservation (HCP) status.
Wonderful berry notes burst forth from this smooth textured yet incredibly intense chocolate. This is accompanied by a natural sweetness that you might not expect to find in a bar with such a high percentage of cacao, complementing the citrusy tartness.
Crafted from beans from Hacienda Limon plantation of the Los Rios province in Ecuador. Possessing an intense cocoa flavour, this bar has a low acidity and earthy taste thanks to its long conch yields. It’s buttery and rich, which makes it ideal for baking.
This bar is crafted exclusively from cacao from the Alto Beni region of Bolivia. Bolivian cacao is known for its honey like profile, and these notes are certainly present in this bar. It has a remarkably even melt, and a richness derived from the flavour of the beans and the rich, fudgey texture of the bar.
The bar itself is delicate to hold, and the packaging has a Scandinavian minimalism that many admire as being simply “sophisticated”.
Rich and buttery, crafted from cacao of Madagascar. It’s smooth, buttery and embodies a hefty roasted profile, the signature style of French chocolate maker Pralus.
MIA stands for ‘Made in Africa’, an acronym that neatly sums up everything this maker stands for. The bar has many of the jammy notes that are so typical of Madagascan cacao, with a slightly roasted finish. Also, do keep an out for our February Craft Chocolate Focus of MIA at Whole Foods.
We were delighted to welcome Original Bean’s first ever 100% bar into our Library mid 2018. This is an intense 100% dark chocolate with a very pleasant and perfectly smooth melt. There is a sherbet like sweetness amongst the Peruvian cacao, and the melt and finish of this bar is clean and bright.
This chocolate had been crafted in Scotland, with Ali and Friederike working carefully to reduce the acidity of these cocoa beans from Belize. The touch of added cocoa butter yields a smooth melt. The flavour of this 100% is just fantastic and highly approachable.
The dates for our next series of craft chocolate tasting evenings in London have been announced!
We will be continuing to hold our monthly events at Prufrock Coffee in London’s Leather Lane, close to Chancery Lane and Farringdon Stations. There’s still time to buy your ticket for our next tasting, which will take place on Wednesday January 23rd, at 7.30pm. Subsequent tastings will take place on Wednesday February 13th, Wednesday March 13th and Wednesday April 10th. The tastings last for approximately one hour, and the doors open promptly at 7.15pm.
Buy your ticket today and join us to taste over a dozen different craft chocolates while learning more about cocoa origins, the crafting process, and emerging trends across the industry as a whole. This the perfect opportunity to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask and to meet like-minded craft chocolate lovers (and maybe even a maker or two!).
And if you want to treat a friend, you can purchase a gift voucher for a pair of tickets that can be used at any of our monthly tastings at Prufrock in the next six months.
Head on over to our Events Directory to book your tickets today.
We hope to see you there!
We hope you all had a great start to the year, and we are excited to kick off 2019 by introducing a new maker, Solstice Chocolate.
Solstice Chocolate is an American chocolate maker settled amongst the scenic vistas of Salt Lake City, Utah. Often dubbed the craft-chocolate-capital of the United States, Utah’s boom in makers and retailers of small batch craft chocolate has made it a destination for craft chocolate in the United States.
In 2013, husband and wife team, Scott Query and DeAnn Wallin, founded Solstice Chocolate with much support from their daughters. DeAnn has had a lifelong interest in chocolate and so initially started Solstice as a passion cum hobby. She was delighted by the enthusiastic reaction that their bars generated, so she moved to making craft chocolate full time. She named the company Solstice in deference to a legend that cocoa was best harvested during the Solstice.
We first came across Solstice when we were travelling in the USA three years ago, and we were instantly taken by their chocolate. In introducing Solstice to the Cocoa Runners’ Chocolate Library, we also introduce our first Ugandan chocolate bar.
We hope you enjoy and wish you a great 2019 that is full of (cocoa) beans!
Welcome to our final box of 2018. We finish the year as we began it with some outstanding craft chocolate bars for you to taste and enjoy.
The last twelve months have been an exciting time at Cocoa runners as we have expanded our library of chocolate makers and tasted even more bars from ever more diverse corners of the globe.
And we ourselves have been travelling too; we’ve been introducing people to craft chocolate all over the UK, have had a blast organising Canopy Market and have even popped up on TV a couple of times.
But we’re not stopping here. Already over the last few months we’ve been hard at work planning more events, more monthly boxes to ensure that 2019 proves an even more exciting year in craft chocolate.
There’s still one final ingredient in all this and that is you, our loyal subscribers. Without your passion and enthusiasm Cocoa Runners would not be here. Thank you for your continuing support, we look forward to sharing more chocolate with you next year!
DORMOUSE KABLON FARMS DARK MILK
Bean Origin: Philippines Cocoa Content: 56%
This dark milk chocolate is creamy and mellow with a fragrant sweetness, offering up notes of tea leaves and freshly-baked biscuits. The Muscovado sugar used, naturally makes for a caramel and treacle-rich flavour profile.
Mancunian chocolate maker Dormouse has crafted this chocolate using cacao sourced from Kablon Farms in South Cotabato, Philippines. Kablon Farms, alongside growing cacao, produce coconut sugar, and jams made from fruits of the trees that shade the cacao: coconut, mangosteen, guava, jackfruit, durian, passionfruit. The cacao beans that grow here are much smaller in size than the average bean, but they pack a lot of flavour.
PUMP STREET CHOCOLATE NUTMEG MILK CHOCOLATE
Bean Origin: Grenada Cocoa Content: 60%
A sweet, spicy and creamy treat. This limited edition dark milk bar has been infused with aromatic nutmeg, giving a sweet yet rich flavour. The chocolate brings to mind gingerbread, honey cake and biscuits.
Pump Street is an English bakery and chocolate makers, set up by father and daughter team Chris and Joanna. Before starting Pump Street, Chris was engineer at IBM with a number of patents to his name. His insatiable desire to invent and innovate lead him first to the art of sourdough bread and then to craft chocolate. His obsession with perfection took him all the way to the cacao farm to ascertain the farmers are fairly compensated.
FRIIS HOLM BARBA & MEDAGLA
Bean Origin: Nicaragua Cocoa Content: 70%
Two tasting bars of dark chocolate for you to compare. The Barba is bright and spicy with a touch of black pepper and a buttery finish. The Medagla is savoury and intense, and resonates with hints of mixed baked fruit.
Danish chocolate maker Mikkel Friis Holm is passionate about the genetics of cacao. He has been committed to isolating the genetics of cacao since he first got involved in Nicaraguan cacao farms back in 2008. These two bars each have been made using one of the unique Nicaraguan varietals Friis Holm has helped to rediscover. The beans in each bar are incredible rare; Friis Holm estimates there are less than 100 trees growing either Barba or Megdala beans.
CHOCOLAT MADAGASCAR DOMAINE DE MAVA
Bean Origin: Madagascar Cocoa Content: 70%
A pleasant and well-balanced acidity comes through in this dark bar and is softened by the chocolate’s buttery quality. Plums, damsons and forest fruit complement the classic red berry notes of Madagascan cacao.
Chocolat Madagascar is one of only two craft chocolate factories in Madagascar. Whilst Madagascar is well known for the quality and flavour of its cacao, the vast majority of its beans are exported and crafted in Europe, the US and Asia. The Mava farm is located in North West Madagascar, nestling in the Sambirano valley and foothills of the Tsaratanana Massif, it offers unique terroir cacao. The farm is owned by the local Ramanandraibe and the Taloumis families.
This collection can be bought as our Box Of The Month gift box for the special price of £24.95 while stocks last, until late January 2019.
As we head into winter, we’ve four delicious craft chocolate bars to help keep you warm.
Bean Origin: Blend Cocoa Content: 75%
First from expert second-generation chocolate maker François Pralus is an unusual bar which blends different cacao origins together. We invite you to taste what happens when two unique cacao harvests are expertly combined.
A smooth and buttery dark chocolate with a gentle yet creamy melt. The bar has subtle smoked and roasted notes. As the smokiness fades, some interesting and unexpected notes of mushroom and pollen come through.
Crafted in France, this bar uses a blend of cacaos from Ghana and Indonesia. Pralus has been making patisserie and baked treats in Roanne, France since 1948. Auguste Pralus quickly became famous for his Praluline, a stunning brioche with pieces of bright red almonds and hazelnuts coated in rose sugar. Today, Auguste’s son François is at the helm, and while the Praluline is still popular, Pralus is now as well known for its chocolate.
ARA TINGO MARIA
Bean Origin: Peru Cocoa Content: 70%
Next is another bar crafted in France by a much younger company, Ara. Ara is French for ‘macaw’, and founders Sabrina and Andres are as dedicated to protecting the environment as crafting incredible chocolate.
This Peruvian dark chocolate is foremost jam-like, mixes the sweet flavours of strawberries, raspberries, and blackcurrants. The bar has a slightly roasted profile, with a fudgy texture and thick melt.
Ara crafts its chocolate in France, with its founders Andres and Sabrina originally hailing from Venezuela. The simplicity and quality of Ara’s ingredients is the key to expressing the true flavour of the bean in each bar. Sabrina and Andres try to find organic cocoa growers in Central and South America, who grow their cocoa using sustainable farming techniques that don’t destroy local ecosystems. The city of Tingo Maria is on the Huallaga River in central Peru.
BELMONT ESTATE MILK
Bean Origin: Grenada Cocoa Content: 60%
Now we’re delighted to introduce Belmont Estate from Grenada. Belmont has been growing cacao for centuries, and more recently has worked with the Grenada Chocolate Factory. Inspired by the legacy of Mott Green, Belmont has now set up its own small factory.
A dark milk chocolate with a flavour profile of caramel, vanilla fudge and lightly whipped meringue. This is a milk chocolate that sings pudding throughout, from its flavour to its fudgy texture.
Belmont Estate is a cacao plantation that dates all the way back to the 17th century, and the cacao today still receives ancestral traditions in the harvesting, fermentation, drying of its chocolate. In 2017 Belmont built a small chocolate factory to start crafting its own bars after more than 200 years of growing cacao. The name Belmont is a hybridisation of the French for beautiful mountain “belle mont.” The bell on the packaging is a real bell on the estate and is 300 years old.
MESTICO BONANCA 14 VARIETAL
Bean Origin: Brazil Cocoa Content: 75%
Finally we welcome Brazilian cacao grower and chocolate maker Mestiço. The family farm, Fazenda Bonança has been growing cacao for over 40 years. The vision of the Mestiço farmers and chocolate makers is to focus on bean quality not quantity.
The chocolate is very pale in appearance, and the texture is very creamy and smooth. The opens on notes of muscovado molasses and delicate spice. The powerful caramel sweetness gives the impression of a dark milk chocolate.
Brazilian tree-to-bar chocolate maker Mestiço has been growing cacao for over 40 years at Fazenda Bonança, in Itacaré, Bahia. Mestiço plant and graft productive and resistant strains of cacao. The Bonanca “14 Varietal” is a Trinitario strain of cacao, named after the farm where it had grown. The name “Mestiço”means “mixed race”. It is a reference of both the Trinitarios that grow on the farm and of the mixed heritage of the chocolate maker: Japanese and Brazilian.
This collection is featured as our Box Of The Month for the special price of £24.95 while stocks last until late December 2018.
With under five weeks until Christmas, today we present our edit of seven superb craft chocolate bars that are sure to fill you with festive cheer. And if you’re looking to treat someone else, these showstopping chocolate bars will delight chocolate lovers of any age.
Our makers have been hard at work crafting exceptional chocolate delicately infused with all the flavours of the season.
This year, our holiday bars come from makers around the world. We’ve milk chocolate made in the UK and Iceland, and dark chocolate bars that hail from Madagascar, Germany and the Czech Republic.
We’ve also a very special bar from American maker Taza. This dark chocolate bar with Gingerbread Cookie sees Taza take its signature stone-ground 60% and flavoured it with ginger, cinnamon and a whole load of warming spices.
We hope you enjoy!
Chocolarder – Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh | £6.95
All three kings come together in this spectacularly festive bar from Chocolarder.
The Peruvian dark chocolate is bursting with earthy caramel flavours. Chocolarder has then blended frankincense and myrrh into the chocolate.
The bar is topped with edible gold leaf to give a final festive flourish.
Taza – Gingerbread Cookie | £6.95
This festive limited edition sees Taza take its signature stone-ground 60% and flavoured it with ginger, cinnamon and a whole load of warming spices.
This Gingerbread Cookie Bar is simply bursting with irresistable festive flavours!
Pump Street Chocolate – Panettone | £6.25
This dark chocolate with Panettone inclusions is sweet, perfumed, and utterly delightful. The sugar crystals make for an authentic touch of the real deal, and create a beautiful texture contrast against the creamy 70% dark chocolate. The armagnac brandy is subtle, but ever so warming on the palate.
Menakao – Dark Chocolate with Orange & Cranberries | £3.95
The Madagascan chocolate maker has crafted this bar on the island using local ingredients. This is a rare with chocolate – it’s estimated that less than 5% of the world’s chocolate is made in the same country the cocoa is grown.
The bright and juicy dark chocolate is given an even fruitier twist thanks to the addition of orange peel and cranberries. The sweet but tart dried fruit give the bar a fabulously festive flavour that reminds us of richly spiced mulled wine and satsumas.
Taza – Cinnamon | £5.95
Rather than being refined and conched until smooth, Taza simply grinds the cocoa beans with sugar and spice in a traditional Mexican stone mill called a molino.
The resulting chocolate has a coarse, almost biscuity texture and a sweet flavour that lets you taste the cocoa, sugar and spices individually. We particularly love this cinnamon version for its gently warming flavour that always leaves us wanting more.
Chocolate Tree – Whisky & Cocoa Nibs | £5.95
The bar is crafted in Chocolate Tree’s workshop just outside Edinburgh. Husband and wife Ali and Frederike founded Chocolate Tree in 2009. This bar brings Chocolate Tree’s Scottish roots together with its carefully sourced cacao.
Chocolate Tree has hand-crafted the bar from a blend of South American Cacao. It has then soaked the more of these cacao nibs in Scottish single malt whisky from Islay. Islay whisky is renowned for its peaty and smoked notes. The whisky evaporates while the whisky’s distinctive aroma infuses the cacao beans. Chocolate Tree mixes the nibs in with the chocolate, infusing a subtle hint of whisky to the chocolate.
Georgia Ramon – Dark Chocolate with Kardamom | £6.95
A delicious dark chocolate bar with a cardamom twist. We love this aromatic, flavoured dark chocolate bar. Made from a blend of Ecuadorian and Dominican cocoa, the inclusion of cardamom in this bar gives the chocolate a wonderfully spicy kick and distinctive chai notes.
Jordi’s – Dark Chocolate With Ginger | £4.95
Czech maker Jordi’s has crafted a bittersweet dark chocolate with crystallised ginger.
Large chewy chunks of ginger are sprinkled on top of the smooth dark chocolate.
The sweet ginger lends the bar a gently spiced and warming flavour, which is just what you need on a cold winter’s night.
This winter we’re teaming up with Pure Grenada to bring a hint of spice to Canopy Market in London’s King’s Cross. From November 30 – December 2nd we will be joined by a capsule collection of chocolate makers, each of whom will be showcasing craft interpretations of Grenada. bars.
Under the Canopy you’ll discover single estate craft chocolate makers such as the Grenada Chocolate Company, Duffy’s, Dormouse and Pump Street Chocolate to present a selection of the finest single origin bars available today. We’re also delighted to announce that Pure Grenada has helped to secure an amount of cacao for Dormouse and Duffy’s to produce limited edition bars that will only be available at the market.
Over the course of the weekend the market will play host to tastings and workshops. Duffy and Dormouse will be presenting their limited edition bars, and sharing the inspiration behind their creations. Grenada Chocolate Company and Pump Street Chocolate will each also be sharing the stories behind their unique ties to the island known to so many as the Spice of the Caribbean.
Grenada is well known in the craft chocolate community for it’s annual Chocolate Festival, held on the island in May each year. We are honoured to be joined at Canopy by Magdalena Fielden, founder of the Grenada Chocolate Festival and all round champion of Grenada chocolate. She will be with us for the weekend, sharing stories of the festival. In addition, Hazel Lee will be presenting Canopy’s first Taste With Colour workshop in which participants will user watercolours and her innovative colour map to explore the flavours in Grenadan chocolate. We will also be joined by Steve from Bottleshop and Karen Gaudin for chocolate and beer and chocolate and cheese pairing sessions.
Full details of the talks that are being held across the weekend can be found in our Events Directory.
The market itself is totally free to attend, but you’ll need to sign up in advance if you’d like to attend any of the workshop sessions.
Friday 30th November
5pm – Chocolate & Cheese Pairing, £10
6pm – Chocolate & Rum Pairing , £10
Saturday 1st December
12 noon – Taste with Colour with Hazel Lee, £5
1pm – Duffy & Dormouse Showcasing new bars, crafted from Grenadian Beans, £5
2pm – Welcome To The Craft Chocolate Revolution, with Cocoa Runners, £5
3pm – Pump Street Chocolate Grenadian Tasting, £5
4pm – Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean, with Magdalena Fielden £5
5pm – Chocolate & Beer Pairing with Bottleshop, £10
Sunday 2nd December
12 noon – Chocolate & Coffee Pairing, £5
1pm – Welcome To The Craft Chocolate Revolution, with Cocoa Runners, £5
2pm – Duffy & Dormouse Showcasing new bars, crafted from Grenadian Beans, £5
3pm – Grenada Chocolate Company Tasting, £5
4pm – Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean, with Magdalena Fielden £5
Full details of the talks that are being held across the weekend can be found in our Events Directory.
Friday November 30th, 12-8pm
Saturday December 1st, 11am – 6pm
Sunday December 2nd, 11am – 6pm
The Craft Chocolate Takeover at Canopy Market,
West Handysdie Canopy (outside Waitrose),
This month we’ve four incredible bars from makers worldwide, each using a very special cacao from a different terroir.
MARANA PIURA DARK
Bean Origin: Peru Cocoa Content: 50%
First from Marana is a bar using beans from the Piura Region of Peru. The wonderful cacao farmers in the region produce beans with a vibrant and fruity flavour profile, which Marana has brought out wonderfully.
This fudgy milk bar has a soft and crumbly texture whilst maintaining a distinct creaminess throughout. A gentle sweetness and a creamy milk flavour blends in with subtle hints of violet, rose and orange blossom.
Showcasing some of Peru’s best beans is the principle goal for Marana. It wants to do this by fostering close relationships with the farmers and supporting them to grown the finest Peruvian cacao. Through its distinctive packaging, Marana has sought to represent the cultural identity and heritage of their nation. The bars within the Piura collection are inspired by renowned Peruvian painter, Pancho Fierro and created by a local Peruvian artist in watercolours.
RUKET VIETNAM LAM DONG
Bean Origin: Vietnam Cocoa Content: 78%
Next we skip over to Italy, where Ruket has crafted this limited edition bar from a single crop of Vietnamese cacao from Lam Dong Province. The cool, lush forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands lend the cacao its distinctive profile.
Rich flavours of raisins and prunes balance sweetness and tannins. The smooth bar also has a distinctive creamy flavour that mixes with wild honey. The finish is dominated by honey and a touch of mixed spice.
Ruket is an Italian craft chocolate maker in Sant’Agostino. The founders Alessandro and Marco have always loved food and been fascinated by traditional, artisanal production. Marco wanted to find the very best chocolate for his ice cream parlour, and he asked Alessandro to help him, from this Ruket was born. For this limited edition bar, they have got hold of a limited supply of Vietnamese cacao from Lam Dong Province.
HOGARTH AKESSON ESTATE
Bean Origin: Madagascar Cocoa Content: 70%
Now from New Zealand maker Hogarth we’ve a bar using Bertil Akesson’s Madagascan cacao. There are a highly sought after bean, and we loved tasting Hogarth’s interpretation of this bean.
The dark chocolate melts with a slightly fudgy, almost grainy texture. The bar’s fruity profile has little red berry but plenty of zesty citrus fruits. A drying but chocolatey note counteracts the acidity, creating a very well-balanced bar.
Former fisherman and sailor Karl Hogarth was first inspired by craft chocolate when on a trip to South America he tasted chocolate made from pure cacao. For this bar, Karl has taken Akesson’s renowned Madagascan beans and crafted them into a bar infused with his own distinctive style. He described the experience of using these sought-after beans, ‘When the chocolate is being made in our factory the air is rich with acidic fruit aroma being given off by the beans.’
KRAKAKOA SEDAYU SUMATRA
Bean Origin: Indonesia Cocoa Content: 70%
Finally all the way from Indonesia we have a new bar. Krakakoa has worked with cacao farmers in South Sumatra to create this bar. The hot and humid tropical rainforests and the rich system of rivers create a unique bean.
This aromatic dark chocolate exudes a vibrant flavour profile, one that reflects the cacao’s distinctive and unique origin. Expect flavours that range from spicy to fruity, with cranberry, forest honey, and ginger.
Krakakoa’s name took inspiration from the volcano “Krakatoa” to reflect the chocolate as being proudly Indonesian. For this particular bar, founders Sabrina and Simon worked with cacao farmers in the Sedayu village on the wild land of South Sumatra. Sumatra was one of the first islands to grow cacao in Indonesia. Home to animal filled jungles, nutrient-rich soils and rainforests, and peacefully deserted beaches; it’s a juxtaposed island that nourishes and nurtures.
This collection is featured as our Box Of The Month for the special price of £24.95 while stocks last until late November 2018.
CHOCOKOO COSTA RICA DARK
Bean Origin: Costa Rica Cocoa Content: 70%
This month we welcome our first maker from Estonia, Chocokoo. Founder Kristel Lankots was a board member working at a road construction company, when in 2015 she decided to do something she was truly passionate about.
A supremely smooth and buttery texture marks out this dark bar. Honey drenched fruit are balanced by light acidity. Hints of sun-ripened apricots blend into sweet lemon to create a gently tangy finish.
Wrapped in paper designed with Nordic mittens in mind, Chocokoo is Estonia’s first bean to bar chocolate maker. Founder Kristel Lankots wanted to do something new that she really loved, which she could truly call her own. Equipped with a degree in economics and business management, Kristel founded Chocokoo with the aspiration to create something tangible from her hard work. For this bar Kristel has sourced her cacao from farmers in the Upala region of norther Costa Rica.
DANDELION MAYA MOUNTAIN BELIZE
Bean Origin: Belize Cocoa Content: 70%
Next we’ve a wonderful dark chocolate bar from Dandelion. Dandelion has sourced its beans from Maya Mountain in Belize. Beginning in 2010, Maya Mountain was a pioneer of the bean-to-bar revolution. The organisation (part of what is now Uncommon Cacao) is dedicated to providing market access for smallholder cacao farmers.
The bar’s distinctive texture is not quite smooth, but melts nicely on the tongue. The bar has a fresh profile with mixed fruit notes. Sharp cherries and green grapes come through, along with a tangy hint of pineapple on the finish.
Dandelion Chocolate is a bean-to-bar chocolate maker that crafts bars in the Mission District of San Francisco. Dandelion takes a very thorough and careful approach to its supply chain, hence the company’s long collaboration with Maya Mountain. Maya Mountain Cacao was set up in 2010. The four founders wanted to explore Belize as a premium cacao origin, but also bring economic benefits to local farmers. Maya Mountain now works with over 300 local farmers. As
AMMA DARK CHOCOLATE WITH NIBS
Bean Origin: Brazil Cocoa Content: 75%
Next, another new maker, this time from Brazil. Luiza and Diego of Amma have been growing and selling the finest Brazilian cacao to makers worldwide (including Pralus) for almost two decades so we are delighted to share their own interpretation of their beans.
This dark chocolate is generously sprinkled with pieces of roasted cacao nib, creating a satisfyingly crunchy texture. Sour yet sweet, hints of Morello cherry lead into light aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle.
Amma’s story begins in 2002, with Luiza and Diego returning to traditional cacao growing family farms in the South of Bahia, Brazil. They wanted to promote organic cacao in these areas, which would in turn ensure the preservation of the forest and the livelihood of the families of rural workers in the region. After a few years of selling their beans to some of the world’s best chocolate makers, in 2007 the pair teamed up with Frederick Schilling to make their own bars.
GEORGIA RAMON GUATEMALA MILK
Bean Origin: Guatemala Cocoa Content: 62%
Finally we’ve a wonderful new bar from our friends at Georgia Ramon. Ever experimenting and refining their techniques, they have used rare Guatemalan cacao and have chosen not to conche the bar, giving it a unique texture.
A dark milk bar with an intentionally grainy texture. As it melts, deep, warming flavours burst forth. Gentle spiced hints of cardamom mix with malt to create a sweet flavour reminiscent of a winter cookie.
Georgia Ramon is a great believer in the importance of transparency. Founders Georg and Ramona disclose details of the roast, conche and grind times on each of their bars. The cacao for this bar has undergone a medium roast, followed by a 72hr grind. It has not been conched, resulting in the unusual texture. This transparency extends to their cacao sourcing. The Guatemalan beans in this bar were sourced from the Cooperative Fedecovera Q’Eqchi Mayas farmers.
This collection is featured as our Box Of The Month for the special price of £24.95 while stocks last until late October 2018.