What is the difference between us and your regular cocoa supplier?
First, we are farmers growing our own cocoa and we also work with other estate farms willing to deliver a high standard fine flavor quality. Second, we look to partner long term with chocolate makers interested in unique cocoa beans to jointly develop fine cocoa products.
- Custom fermentation processes to fit specific requirements;
- Steady supply of blends or singles origins of beans dedicated;
- Freshly harvested cocoa beans stored less than one year;
- Carefully packaging to preserve fine flavor characteristics of cocoa;
- Estate farm cocoa beans;
- Full traceability of cocoa beans;
- Organically produced although NOT certified;
- Direct trade from the Farm;
- Investment possibility of buying future cocoa production acreage in our plantations.
The raw material…
A broad classification of cacao, or cocoa before seeds are fermented and dried, imposed by the industry upon its intended use is “bulk cocoa” and “fine cocoa”. Globally, 98% of the cocoa is considered bulk and it is basically produced in West Africa. The remaining 2% is fine cocoa produced primarily in South America.
To date, fine cacao has been cultivated to make delicatessen chocolate products with three or less ingredients. Similar to fine wine, specialty coffee or single malt whiskey, fine cocoa flavor is related to the soil and environment where the plantation is established, also known as “terroir”.
In a later step, those natural flavors are enhanced or developed throughout the after-harvest processes of fermentation and dry. Chocolate made from fine cocoa is a rare and unique luxury known by a minority of the market.
From the conservation of biodiversity perspective, the varieties of fine cocoa have not been modified agriculturally to develop any flavor, it is rather a natural feature of the “terroir” but they also yield less than bulk cocoa and are more susceptible to phytosanitary attacks.
On the other hand, bulk cacao has been agriculturally developed to extract its 50 % butter content. Once extracted, the byproduct left from the cocoa bean is known as cocoa powder.
Because of the cocoa butter industrial versatility, it is a pricey and highly demanded ingredient to several sectors like food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics among others. In contrast, cocoa powder, a bitter solid generally mixed with artificial flavors, stabilizers, and a lot of sugar, has been vulgarized in a sugary low cost grocery product introduced to us as “candy chocolate”.
In conclusion, fine cocoa has a small place in the market mainly for people interested in a healthy, natural and specialty product obtained while caring about the conservation of biodiversity. Meanwhile, the large industry has targeted bulk cocoa mainly to produce butter and “get rid” of the byproduct as candy chocolate.