Coffee and chocolate is, of course, a classic combination and this bar came about because Bertil Åkesson so enjoyed savouring a square or two of his chocolate with his morning coffee. Using his 75% Brazil dark chocolate as a base, Bertil has created crunchy, caffeine-filled treat. The chocolate has a light tropical fruit aroma (the pitanga fruit, inform Åkesson’s), but is dominated by stronger roasted flavours, with woody notes and a hint of tobacco on the finish.
The bourbon Arabica coffee beans have a light roast to bring out the subtleties of the bean. The coffee’s aromatic notes of malt and maple syrup with a whisper of fruit, provide an intriguing undernote for the stronger flavours. The crunchy coffee bean pieces release bursts of flavour into the smooth chocolate.
The coffee is sourced at a neighbouring plantation. This makes for a fascinating inclusion, with the coffee beans benefiting from similar terroir. That is to say that both ingredients were grown under similar environmental conditions including soil, climate and temperature. Indeed, this is a very well-suited couple that really do go hand in hand.
In 2009, Bertil and his Brazilian partner Dr Angelo Calmon de Sa purchased the historic Fazenda Sempre Firme in Bahia, eastern Brazil. This 120Ha cacao plantation is situated right in the middle of the extraordinary Mata Atlantica wild forest, claimed by Åkesson’s to have the highest levels of biodiversity on earth. For Bertil, who has managed to recreate local social structures on the estate, the best reward he could possibly ask for was to hear the community refer to the Fazenda as “paraiso” (paradise).
At Bertil’s Fazenda, they grow a cacao variety native to Bahia called Parasinho. This is a traditional variety which was, state Åkesson’s “the glory of Bahia” during its golden years of the 20th century. This is a very small variant of Forastero cacao. Åkesson’s Brazil dark milk has been crafted from parasinho beans harvested at Fazenda Sempre Firme.