Made With Ananda Madagascar 75% 87.5/100

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This bar is made with cocoa beans from Madagascar. Once harvested and shipped they’re turned into one of Made with Ananda’s nutritious chocolate bars in a chocolate kitchen in Leeds. Continue reading

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Ritual Chocolate Peru Maranon 75% 89.5/100

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This bar is made with pure Nacional cacao from the remote Maranon river valley in the Cajamarca region of Peru. Once harvested and processed these beans are shipped to Park City, Utah where Ritual Chocolate use traditional European methods to turn them into one of their chocolate bars. Continue reading

Best of Paris: Coffee & Chocolate Part 2

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After an unbelievably good breakfast at Hardware Societe, featuring espresso based beverages from Melbourne based coffee roasters Padre Coffee, we made our way across town to 10 Belles for some filter coffee. Continue reading

Chocolat Chapon Mexico Soconusco 75% 90/100

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From the most southerly of the Mexican states, Chiapas, this ancient cacao shares its lands with ancient Mayan structures and the timeless rainforest. To call this ancient may be overstepping, but this is a classical cacao, having been grown throughout history for its high quality and notable prestige. One of the first prized cacaos it was shipped to Spain and the rest of Europe due to its reputation amongst the native elite. Difficult to grow with weaknesses to both pest and disease this cacao has now been revived. After sourcing the beans Patrice Chapon begins the process of roasting and preparing the beans at his chocolate workshop, east of Paris in Chelles, before turning them into one of his chocolate bars. Continue reading

Chocolat Chapon Venezuela Chuao 75% 93.5/100

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Formerly the exclusive purchasing right of Amedei, Chuao has been open to other bean to bar producers for a while now. While Domori’s Chuao is grown at Hacienda San Jose, this bar is from the Chuao growing region on the northern coast of Venezeula, part of the Parque Nacional Henri Pittier. Chuao these days is best described as both a variety and a village with some pods having left the village to be produced elsewhere in Venezuela. This cacao comes with a reputation for having won a glutton of awards and so bar makers run a risk with these beans of not living up to their reputation. After sourcing the beans Patrice Chapon begins the process of roasting and preparing the beans at his chocolate workshop, east of Paris in Chelles, before turning them into one of his chocolate bars. Continue reading

Chocolat Chapon Venezuela Porcelana 73% 90.5/100

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Porcelana or white criollo (different from white nacional) grows south west of Lake Maracaibo in the Venezuelan region of Zulia and is considered to be one of the best varieties of cacao. Porcelana beans grow white rather than the purple and brown hues we traditionally associate with cacao beans due to the absence of the flavonoid anthocyanin, which is responsible for the purple colour. This absence of anthocyanin is responsible for the lack of bitterness in fine white criollo chocolate, which makes it highly desirable in terms of flavour. This lack of anthocyanin and Porcelana’s ancient heritage come at a cost however, with ancient white criollo strains being susceptible to pests and disease, thankfully though Venezuela has never shyed away from growing vulnerable, low yielding, but flavourful cacao strains. With less than a 1000kg of this Porcelana produced every year it makes every Porcelana bar made a rarity. After sourcing the beans Patrice Chapon begins the process of roasting and preparing the beans at his chocolate workshop, east of Paris in Chelles, before turning them into one of his chocolate bars. Continue reading

Best of Paris: Coffee & Chocolate Part 1

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Paris, the capital of all things couture, was one of the later adopters of specialty coffee, but it’s a scene that has blossomed so significantly that it’s impossible to visit all of its cafes in a week, never mind a short trip. As a city of romance, it’s clear that Parisians have fallen in love with lighter roasts and distinct expressions of terroir, just like they have with wine, cheese and chocolate. There’s a very definite offering of all things distinguished and there’s a shop selling something interesting on nearly every street. Strolling the boulevards, parks and galleries it’s easy to be enchanted by the city as you make it from one destination to the next. Continue reading