There’s something so exciting about origin chocolates that evokes a sense of adventure in me. The word origin means the point or place where something begins, and in the case of a single origin chocolate, it means the cocoa beans are grown in one place; usually from a certain region or country. Some single origin chocolates may even be from the same farm or estate plantation, although this is more likely in small batch bean to bar producers.
Like a fine wine, or exceptional coffee, the flavour profile of a single origin chocolate can be incredibly complex and specialist, with the flavours being reminiscent of the geographical areas in which they are grown. The fermentation and drying of the beans are the first steps in which the quality of the finished chocolate can be greatly affected, and the cocoa grower must ensure this is done correctly to retain the exquisite flavours of each particular region. This process then moves more mechanically to the roasting stage, which again is crucial in determining the final flavours; along with the ingredients added, and the skill of the chocolate maker throughout the refining and conching process; all key steps in the process of ensuring the final flavour of the chocolate is perfected and it’s very best.
Broadly speaking, there are two general categories of cocoa beans recognised by the world cocoa market; bulk (or ordinary beans generally produced from Forastero trees), and fine (or flavour) beans, more often produced from Criollo and Trinitario cocoa trees (although there are exceptions to this). The forastero are hardy, disease resistant cocoa trees, capable of producing high yields of cocoa beans; whilst the Criollo and Trinitario are less so.
95% of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa, and is mainly of the Forestero variety, widely used by bulk chocolate manufacturers. Only some of the world’s cocoa grown carries the highly valued classification of Fino De Aroma cacao, approximately 5% in total, and this is so classified due to it’s outstanding flavour notes found in the cocoa; fruits (fresh and browned, mature fruits), floral, herbal, and wood notes, nut and caramelic notes, as well as rich and balanced chocolate bases.
We’ve handpicked our single origin range of bars just for you, to showcase a world of flavours, allowing you to venture into a sensory delight of taste, exploring countries from around the world.