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Bean to bar chocolate fans love Caribeans.  If you are here in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, you can visit our chocolate tasting lounge and load up on delicious craft chocolate gifts!  But if you can’t come to Costa Rica, you can now order online! Taste the Caribbean at home!

Healthy

We make all of our products from organic ingredients locally grown and directly sourced from area farms.  Chocolate boosts your anti-oxident intake. It helps with magnesium deficiency and balances your mood.   Craft chocolate also improves memory recall and concentration.

Fair and Direct

Your purchase also provides a livable wage to area farmers, and their children.  We are not certified fair trade or organic, but prefer to work directly with farmers. This allows generous pricing for their excellent quality work.  Basing the price on quality produces better chocolate.  All our farmers taste our chocolate to ensure it is up to their standards.

Farm to Bar

We select the very best of each harvest of over 15 micro producers in Costa Rica.  Sourcing in micro batches allows us to find unique flavors and aromas from farm to farm.  Cacao farmers are actually the first and most important in a complex chain of actors in the building of a world class bean to bar chocolate. Chocolate makers only make the last several steps to get the best out of the beans.  Our farm to bar chocolates are featuring the farmers who are the real heroes of craft chocolate.

Creative Flavors

We also make bean to bar chocolate with whole herbs and spices such as: cinnamon, cardamom, peppermint, vanilla, chile peppers, tarragon, nutmeg, allspice, orange, anise, coffee and even lime leaves.  All are sourced from our farm or from local farms that can produce these ingredients organically.  For an amazing flavor journey order a variety pack.

Please allow 3 to 4 weeks shipping due the remote location of our farm from any fast shipping method.

Cacao Farming makes all the difference in chocolate quality but, when I first started making chocolate almost ten years ago, I was surprised to find out that the chocolate we made from one farm would taste different than the chocolate from another farm.

Now it is obvious that the farming and genetics of the cacao will make flavors and aromas different from one country to another.  My first experience with this was at the Northwest Chocolate Festival several years ago in Seattle.

Caribeans was one of the only chocolates made at origin in this very large chocolate exposition.  We were very inexperienced and had almost no marketing skills whatsoever.  I felt like a tiny fish in shark infested waters.  Even though we were just a super micro bean to bar chocolate maker we were given an experience that made our chocolate even better.

Our bean to bar chocolate is made from cacao grown exclusively here in Costa Rica.  Other chocolate companies were able to make chocolate from cacao grown in any country that produces cacao.  I tasted bars with over 20 different countries of origin.  The main thing I noticed is that, even though I only use cacao from Costa Rica, our chocolate had nearly as much diversity in flavor and aroma as all of these different countries.

I realized it would be next to impossible to get a cacao from Madagascar but one of the farms I work with has flavors and aromas of fresh berries.  Another farm has aroma of honey and cinnamon and yet another had notes of green olives.  Also since the farms are right here the costs of import and transport were much less.  We started giving the farmers a chance to taste the chocolate.  Time after time the farmers would tell me this is a first for them.

Soon after we started the farmer tastings, farmers would ask me what they could do to reduce an off flavor or improve their cacao.  Since I didn’t have any experience with cacao farming, I began to learn what I could from the internet and began visiting farms.

What I learned is that each farm has its own collection of trees.  In our case many that were planted with seed about 80 years ago.  That meant that the genetics although similar from farm to farm was completely wild.  This diversity in genetics is the first reason the chocolate tasted different from farm to farm.

Soil type is pretty similar in our area but we cannot discount differences in drainage, micro climates, elevation and other terroir factors.  This means each farm would be unique terroir.

I also learned that the farmers are fermenting the beans and drying them in the sun.  Some used the sacks used for rice or flour.  Some used wooden boxes.  Some made a pile on top of banana leaves.  Every farmer uses whatever natural micro-organisms available in the process.  Some frequently mixed the beans and some never did anything special.  All of these variables must be dramatically affecting the flavor and aroma.

The drying also was hugely different from farm to farm and also from batch to batch according to available sun.  Sometimes the cacao dried too fast and leaves the chocolate sour like pickles or vinegar.   Sometimes the cacao dried to slow and developed mold or smokey meaty flavors.

Over the years and making thousands of micro batches of bean to bar chocolate from the same farms we have discovered some of the key factors for making better chocolate.  Nearly all of these factors are in the farming.

If you want to taste for yourselves, order a farms tasting pack.  You will notice dramatic differences from one chocolate to another.

Better farming makes better chocolate.

 

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