Tree to bar artisan chocolate maker, Diogo Vaz, took a straight forward approach to naming – its name is from the plantation of where its cocoa is farmed: Diogo Vaz Roça on the island of Sao Tome (Roca means plantation). And the inspiration from the company is similarly straightforward. Jean-Remy Martin, founder of the Kennyson Group, a company known for its work in the rural development in Africa, wanted to revitalise São Tomé’s cocoa history. So Jean-Remy set up a project to replant cacao across the island and thereby raise the social status, and incomes, of local cacao farmers’ by providing higher yielding and finer cacao (which offers higher prices). After various negotiations the project was “greenlight” by the São Tomé government in 2004. Soon after the Kennyson Group took over the management of the historic Diogo Vaz plantation. Fast forward 15 years and with the help of master chocolate maker, Olivier Casenave, Diogo Vaz are now growing, crafting and selling award winning bars from Sao Tome.
Despite its “unroasted” credentials, the beans are in fact slowly roasted. The beans after having been fermented at the Diogo Vaz Roça are dried and slowly roasted before drying for a third time at the factory. This slow and long process is to get rid of all the bitterness while keeping the floral and fruity flavours.
This 70% dark chocolate has a clean snap with an aroma reminiscent of forests and pine trees. In flavour is a subtle floral tone with a burnt caramel edge. The finish is slightly astringent with a grassy note.