Our partners over at Dandelion Chocolate Japan use the same cocoa beans that we do, but not the same roast profiles. For every new origin, the DCJ production team starts from scratch, running test batches and taste tests just like we do until they land on the flavor profile they like best. You might recognize some flavor notes in their bars, but you’ll also notice that those bars are decidedly different from our own. To us, this is one of the most exciting things about working with single origin chocolate: so many different flavors are possible in a single type of bean.
The beans for this first bar come from Kokoa Kamili, a social enterprise and fermentary in Tanzania founded by Brian Lobue and Simran Bindra. Kokoa Kamili buys wet (i.e. freshly harvested, unfermented) beans from over 3,000 smallholder farmers, then ferments and dries them together to better control quality and consistency. The chocolate makers at DCJ decided to make an 85% bar with these beans, and you might taste a few of the same jammy red fruit notes that you find in our own version, if a little more bitter. Our own Pearl, who spent a few years as a chocolate maker at Valencia before helping DCJ set up their own factory, designed the profile.
All of our single-origin bars are made with just cocoa beans and sugar, no added cocoa butter, lecithin, or vanilla.