Editor’s Note: Deanna briefly looked at this bar as part of an Original Beans selection back in 2009, but we thought it was worth looking at again now the company is more established and we’ve had a chance to meet founder.
“Original Beans uses the world’s rarest cacao beans.” That’s what it says on the tin (well, box), and I for one hadn’t had a chance to taste cacao from Bolivia before.
After reading about Original Beans’ involvement with co-ops and their tree planting scheme (one bar plants one tree) there are a few tasting notes and a list of ingredients – of which there are but three. Directly traded cacao beans, sugar and cacao butter, and as they say, that’s it! Each box also carries a unique code, which you can enter on their website to see just where your particular tree(s) have been planted.
Original Beans was founded when German conservation entrepreneur Philipp Kauffmann, a Dutch fair trade pioneer, and an American organic food marketer somehow met around five years ago. The company’s trading ethics and striving for sustainability are a result of the three founder’s own views on how heir chocolate business should be run.
Looking at the chocolate you can see that dense reddish-brown hue, which matches the deep fruity aroma it gives off. It’s only 68% cocoa, so the choice of sugar was going to be fairly crucial for the overall taste.
The tasting notes were as concise as the ingredients list – cognac, raisins, honeyed black tea. The cacao flavours are light and fruity, and the sugars do indeed give off this amazing rush of light honeyed sweetness. The slight bitterness may be compared with a light tea, but to my palate it was the combination of honey, fruit and those cacao undertones that really came out.
I loved it. It’s one of a handful of bars I have found myself rationing out. Very few other people have tried it. Like Charlie Bucket, I’m eking it out piece by piece, one nibble at a time, and based on this showing I’d be more than happy to see more Original Beans chocolate in my inbox.