I’m a big fan of Original Beans, so I was very excited when I found out they were doubling the size of their range with four new bars.
Founded by conservationist Philipp Kauffmann, Original Beans puts conservation at the heart of everything they do. In fact, for every bar purchased, the company plants a tree in the rainforest, and both the outer wrapper in the foil inside are made from wood and are completely compostable. By eating this chocolate, you really are having a positive impact on the planet.
But there’s more to Original Beans than just ethics – their chocolate is reasonably priced and tastes great too. Kauffmann spends much of his time searching out rare and forgotten cacao, and this Papua Kerafat bar is no exception.
Now if you judge a chocolate on name alone, you might think this bar is made with beans from Papua New Guinea – a common choice for many bean-to-bar chocolate makers. But it’s actually made with beans from the Indonesian province of Papua on the western side of the island of New Guinea.
That might seem like a small thing, but New Guinea is the second largest island in the world, and consequently has a huge variety of cacao. Traditionally, beans from Papua New Guinea are dried over fires, giving them a smoky flavour, but these Indonesian beans have been dried more conventionally (or at least more carefully!), revealing more of the true flavours of the cacao.
Those flavours, as it turns out, are really rather good. Open the foil wrapper and you’re greeted by a wonderfully rich, warm cocoa aroma.
As you can see, my bar is a little battered having travelled from Original Beans HQ in The Netherlands to get to me, but that hasn’t affected the flavour at all. It has a smooth, buttery texture and an intense, chocolatey flavour. There’s a hint of cocoa powder flavour and a touch of astringency to it, but for me those just enhance the chocolatiness.
As it melts, it reveals a gentle fruity acidity. The tasting notes on the packet describe it as “pear and dried fruit”, and I’m not going to argue with that. It’s like a smooth, buttery pear dipped in cocoa powder. If you can imagine that!
Original Beans Papua Kerafat is currently only available through a very limited number of stores, but that’s purely because it’s no new. I expect it to be widely available very soon, and recommend trying some!