The Cocoa Bean To Bar Process...
Vintage cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate-making, on an artisan basis, is a long and painstaking process with numerous steps, many of them involving a scientific approach. As Canada's only artisan science-based cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate-makers, we work closely with the University of BC in Vancouver on various research projects relating to the science of chocolate-making within Wild Sweets® micro-batch laboratory settings and small-scale machinery.
Farms we source our cocoa beans from....
MALEKU: The name Maleku comes from a population native to the northern plains of Costa Rica, between the Arenal Volcano and Costa Rica’s border with Nicaragua. Nahua works closely with 240 smallholder cocoa farmers in the area, sourcing pods from native trees, which tend to be a mix of Trinitario and Criollo. Many of the plantations are quite remote, the oldest of which lie along the banks of rivers that flow into Lake Nicaragua.
Region: Guatusco and Upala, Alajuela
Variety: Trinitario, Criollo
Harvest Season: June-July & November-December
Fermentation: 5-6 day ferment in wood boxes
Drying Style: Raised wooden beds
Flavour Notes: Plum, molasses, spice
Camino Verde is a privately owned fermentary located in Duran, just minutes outside Guayaquil, Ecuador. They have built a passion for impeccable quality and consistency in beans, as well as an understanding of the applied science in cocoa fermentation that pushes the boundaries for new-age methods of cocoa post harvest processing. Camino Verde’s owner, Vicente Norero, has years of experience in microbiology, which brings a unique approach to cocoa processing.
Harvest Season: April-June, October-December
Fermentation: Efficient microorganism / inoculant controlled. Bag fermented in temperature/humidity controlled room
Drying Style: Sun dried and mechanically dried if necessary
Flavour Notes: Rounded chocolate, almond
Kokoa Kamili is a Cooperative that currently works with approximately 1,500 small shareholder farmers, most of whom farm between 0.5-2 acres of cocoa. Kokoa Kamili pays a premium – well above the market rate – to farmers for their ‘wet’ cocoa, and conducts its own fermentation and drying. By taking over the fermentation and drying process, Kokoa Kamili can produce more consistently higher quality cocoa beans. This method gives farmers a reduced workload, along with greater compensation, and the farmers are paid immediately after the cooperative receives its wet beans.
Region: Mbingu Village, Morogoro Region.
Harvest Season: June to November
Fermentation: in locally sourced and constructed eucalyptus three tier boxes for 6-days with turns on days three and five.
Drying style: 100% sun dried on raised drying tables with combination of direct and indirect sunlight.
Flavour Notes: Cherry, coffee, lemon
Montserrat is a farmer-owned and run cooperative whose primary goal is helping to revitalize the local cocoa industry and improving the quality of life for its farmers through its higher bean price. The co-op began in 2009 when 5 farmers and grew to its current pool of 48 large and small farmers. In 2016 the co-op became the first organization in the English-speaking Caribbean to receive certification from Rainforest Alliance. This is a significant step in the evolution of this farmer-led effort and its goal to produce a large quantity of beans that are high in quality and overall standards of operation.
Region: Gran Couva
Flavour Notes: Marshmallow, Cedar, Brown Fruit
If you're in the Vancouver, BC area, please feel free to drop by The Atelier located only 28 minutes away from downtown Vancouver by car. Or shop for our products online: