Why You Should Buy Craft Chocolate
If you are reading this you might be wondering, what is Craft Chocolate?
Craft chocolate is more than just chocolate it is a movement, a way of life.
You might have also heard of bean-to-bar chocolate, sometimes the two are used interchangeably.
Bean-to-bar describes the chocolate-making process. It is a process where makers control each step of the chocolate-making process from sourcing the cacao through direct trade to grinding and conching the chocolate.
The term bean-to-bar was introduced by craft chocolate makers to stand out from large commercial chocolate makers. Bean-to-bar makers broke the model of chocolate companies buying pre-made European chocolate.
Pioneers of craft chocolate in the include Dick Taylor, Marou Chocolate, and OmNom Chocolate Reykjavík. Today, you can find a craft chocolate maker in almost every city.
Why You Should Buy Craft Chocolate
The majority of craft chocolate is organic chocolate. You will find organic certifications on the packaging of the chocolate. The makers buy cacao directly from small co-ops and farms, which for economic and purity reasons don't use chemicals like pesticides and herbicides on their crops.
The Cacao Bean
If you are eating a chocolate bar that you picked up from your grocery store, it most likely used bulk cacao beans.
Bulk cacao beans make up a majority of the cacao supply in the world since it is inexpensive and easy to grow in mass. Bulk cacao lacks a flavor profile, and has a risk of coming from exploited farmers.
True craft chocolate makers, use fine flavor cacao beans. These beans offer a much more complex flavor profile to the chocolate, depending on the bean and what region of the world it comes from. Popular beans used in chocolate are forastero, criollo, and trinitario.
Fair Wages For Farmers
Unfortunately, while most of us enjoy chocolate, the inequalities in the chocolate industry are there. In West Africa, where most of the bulk cacao is grown, industrial chocolate makers, their average farmer earns less than a dollar per day.
Craft chocolate makers source their beans directly from farmers (Direct Trade). While working directly with farmers, allows the chocolate makers to know where their cacao comes from. This makes the supply chain transparent and traceable. It also allows the makers to work with farmers closer and understand how the cacao is grown and in turn, allows makers to extract the best flavors and notes for their bars.
On a side note, some makers like Akesson's Chocolate own their own organic farms. The process these makers use is known as "tree-to-bar" and is a model more similar used by wineries for wine.
Real Chocolate/No Additives
Craft chocolate uses real and simple ingredients. In a craft chocolate bar, you find cacao beans, sugar, and cacao butter. The list kind of ends there. With inclusion chocolate bars becoming more popular, you will find a few more ingredients in these bars such as pieces of fruit and nuts.
By eating craft chocolate, you get the purity of chocolate, where the cacao is the center stage, allowing your taste buds to experience the full flavor notes the cacao bean offers.
Artisanal products always taste better, right? This is because the makers care. Their work is their pride and joy. In craft chocolate, the makers care about their chocolate and the farmers who grow the cacao.
Craft chocolate is better for the environment.
Bulk cacao unfortunately like most of the food we eat today is grown in monocultures. This type of farming is more efficient and profitable for companies and cheaper for the consumer, but alters the natural ecosystem creating pollution and unsustainable environments.
The farmers of fine flavor cacao, on the other hand, care about the crop and its prosperity. Farmers of fine flavor cacao work hard to conserve the biodiversity of the crop.
Chocolate can be healthy? Sign me up!
In moderation, yes, it can. Studies have shown that cacao is full of antioxidants and flavanols. People who consume enough antioxidants and flavanols can help improve their cardiovascular system and regulate their blood sugar.
It has also been suggested that consuming dark chocolate, high in cacao, can help with memory, stress, and overall immunity.
You will find craft chocolate to be 70% or higher in cacao content and on the darker side compared to the wide market chocolate bar. This has slightly changed as recent trends have been shifting towards dark milk and inclusion bars. These bars still have a high content of cacao, providing all the benefits of cacao as mentioned, along with bold, exciting new tastes.
To get started with craft chocolate, start with our Kekao Box. We search the world for the finest chocolate bars and bring them right to your doorstep monthly. From rich dark Peruvian chocolate bars to new start-up chocolate bars on the come-up, you never know what you'll get inside the box! Each month we will curate 4 to 5 premium specialty crafted chocolate bars.
If you want to just try a couple of bars, check out our online chocolate store.
If you have any questions regarding this blog, our Kekao Box, or premium specialty crafted chocolate bars, feel free to contact us! Keep up with us by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.