Introducing.... our new drinking chocolate. Roasted, ground, packaged and made by one of the best Chocolate makers in the country 'The Chocolarder
We've always wanted to supply a Hot Chocolate that was as well sourced, sustainable and tasty as our coffee. It's proven to be a long road.
We started blending our own 'Hot Chocy' over a year ago now and we've always been proud of the taste, but it was never the finished article. Whilst we were using a single origin cocoa powder and fairtrade sugar, it wasn't from cocoa beans roasted in this country and we could only find limited traceability. In all honesty, we found the transparency in the chocolate world is a bit of a grey... to say the least.
It happens that, Mike is a neighbour, friend and chocolate maker with similar ethics and aspirations to our own. He is
one of the only small batch bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the country. Producing fine quality, stone ground chocolate using organic beans imported from single estate, family-run plantations in Venezuela, Java, Madagascar, Peru and the Dominican Republic. They are ever shipping Peruvian cargo via sail to reduce carbon emissions.
Making Drinking Chocolate
Turn's out making drinking chocolate from cocoa nibs is not quite as simple as we thought. In fact, Mike needed a large and expensive piece of equipment which he could use to separate cocoa mass, leaving us with cocoa powder for the drinking chocolate and cocoa butter for his 'soon to be released' white chocolate.
It has taken over a year and a lot of tasting (poor us) but we're all very proud to say the drink is finally here. It's a blend of cocoa from two origins (60%), with a fairtrade demerara sugar added to sweeten things up (40%).
We'll be retailing 250g tubes in the coming weeks, but if you can't wait till then to try it ask one of our stockists as we've got wholesale bags going out this week!
Here's a little more info on the origin of the cocoa:
The first half of this blend is cultivated and harvested by the Asháninka people in Peru. We’ve been working with Rainforest charities to source these beans direct from the source. The Asháninka are indigenous peoples of the Ene River Valley in the Amazon rainforest and continue to live in tribal societies using traditional techniques to farm. The cacao is a wild heirloom variety dating back thousands of years unique to the area and unrivaled in complexity and depth of flavour. Even better, the Asháninka community gets a fair price for their beans which means they can sustain and invest in their communities and keep their land out of the hands of the illegal logging industry.
Madagascar is one of only a few countries that produces 100% fine flavour cacao, and is renowned for some of the best-tasting cacao in the world. This is great news for the island as cacao plants love the shade, so the focus on producing more of it has led to widespread re-forestation. Our beans are from an organic single estate and produce a cocoa that tastes of citrus and raspberry whilst staying remarkably well-rounded.
The blend of these two beans leads to cocoa with strength, depth, complexity, and body that can be enjoyed with hot water and only a small amount of sugar for sweetness. Giving purity to the drink rarely found.
Bags and bags of well traded cocoa. Roasted and ground by The Chocolarder.