Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bar of the Week: Domori's Teyuna

Our Bar of the Week is a longstanding favorite around the shop.  Made by Domori, an Italian maker known for the impeccable texture of its chocolates, the Teyuna bar is a 70% dark chocolate from Colombian cacao. The flavor is simple but seductive, with notes of honey and toasted cashews and exactly the right amount of sweetness.

We also know from experience that Teyuna's best qualities translate well to drinking chocolate; if you're already a Teyuna fan, keep in mind that for only $1.50 extra we can take this bar (or any other) and transform it into a hot, frothy, hand-warming treat. 

Stop by on Saturday, December 3rd, for a sample of Domori's Teyuna. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bar of the Week: Original Beans' Esmeraldas with Salt

What do you get when you combine a German conservation entrepreneur, a Dutch fair trade pioneer, and an American organic food marketer?  It sounds like the set-up for a bad joke, but it was actually the start of a great chocolate company.  Founded in 2006, Original Beans produces environmentally-friendly chocolate focused on conserving types of cacao that grow wild in the company's partner communities.  For every bar of  chocolate sold, Original Beans plants in a tree in those communities; a number on the package allows you to look up the tree associated with any of their bars.

Our bar of the week is Original Beans' Esmeraldas with Salt, a 42% Ecuadorian milk chocolate made from indigenous Arriba cacao rather than the more prevalent industrial hybrid.  Mixed with just a hint of fleur de sel, this bar is velvety-smooth and every bit as a rich as a butter caramel.

We'll be offering samples of Original Beans' Esmeraldas salt salt on Saturday, November 26th. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bar of the Week: Madecasse 63%

Hungry for a chocolate that'll make you feel as good as it tastes?  Then give one our Madecasse bars a try!

The company was founded by two former Peace Corps volunteers who leveraged their experience in Madagascar to start a chocolate company that trades directly with rural farmers.  Even more unusually, Madecasse chocolate is made in Madagascar itself; as Madecasse's website notes, "85% of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa. less than 1% of chocolate is made there."  By basing their operations in Madagascar, Madecasse ensures that more of its profits stay in the country.  Although Madecasse isn't certified "fair trade", the company estimates that localized manufacturing has even more benefits for its farmers than would certification alone.

Our bar of week is Madecasse's "sweet & smooth" 63% bar, a rich-textured dark chocolate with a softened take on the notes of cherry and citrus so characteristic of Madagascar.  Come by for a sample on Saturday, November 19th.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chocolopolis + Kiva, Part 2

We just accumulated enough change in our unofficial tip jar to make another microloan through Kiva!   Last time we funded a fudge maker in Nicaragua; Juana used the loan to expand her production facilities and has already started to make repayments. 

This time we chose Elizabeth, a cacao farmer in Peru who will use her loan to buy more cacao plants. What could be more perfect?

If you're one of those who has told us to "keep the change," we hope that you'll approve of our choice.  Thanks so much for helping us to help others.

And go, Elizabeth, go!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bar of the Week: Valrhona's Tanariva

Milk chocolate lovers, we haven't forgotten about you!  Although we have a lot more dark chocolate than milk chocolate in the store, the milk chocolates we do carry hold up their side ably, with tons of personality in a creamy package.  Case in point, our bar of the week:  Valrhona's Tanariva. 

Tanariva is a 33% milk chocolate made from single-origin cacao grown in Madagascar.  The cherry and citrus notes typical of the region are present, but muffled by rich, warm layers of cream and caramel. 

Be sure to stop by on Saturday, November 12th for a melt-in-your-mouth taste of Valrhona's Tanariva.