woensdag 23 november 2016

Letterpress Los Angeles Craft Chocolate.

Founded in 2014, LetterPress Chocolate is a small batch bean to bar chocolate company which features single-origin, and in many cases single-project cacao from around the world. There goal is to forge direct relationships with farmers and co-ops who feature truly exceptional cacao, to pay a premium and help raise the quality of life.

Good to know:
Why LetterPress?
We love the handcrafted feel of letterpress printing and are docents at the Internatonal Printing Museum in Carson, CA – the largest print museum in the world. We’ve been very fortunate to train under veteran graphic designers and letterpress printers since we started volunteering there. We found that chocolate making and letterpress printing are our two passions that can work together in similar ways. Hence the name.

We love chocolate.
But we don’t love how most chocolate tastes the same – artificial, full of sugar and vanillin. We want you to experience the subtle differences in each region we work with, like coffee or wine. To that end, we source and roast cacao beans that are truly exceptional – not only in flavor, but featuring a truly ethical, sustainable supply chain. We travel to meet farmers in person at the source – Peru, Guatemala, Belize, Dominican Republic, and beyond. We’re always looking for new ways to help farmers and small co-ops out, and with us, you can help too! We pay a premium to the farmers to encourage them to keep growing fantastic, lower-yielding and delicate cacao, rather than tearing out and planting bulk over-productive commodity cacao or other crops. Cacao is the future. And LetterPress will help build it. We’ve begun the process of selecting farms we truly believe in – not just buying cacao, but actually investing with them and taking an active role in cultivation. Sending equipment and expertise on site, our goal is to make the best chocolate in the world, in a fully 
sustainable and transparent way.

New cacao fermentary with Asociaci├│n Ak’ Tenamit students at Izabal Agroforest in Guatemala (January 2016)

So this is one of the reasons we started to buy there chocolate bars, I want people to realise that a small batch bean to bar chocolate is not just a candy store sweet, but is real passion for the fruit and the people behind the cocoabeans.

Feel free to contact us at info@letterpresschocolate.com!
Follow us on instagramtwitter and facebook!
Available in Belgium Kortrijk 

L.A.'s Best Chocolate Comes From a Living Room in Beverlywood

dinsdag 22 november 2016

La Naya Chocolate: chocolate has deep roots with Incan and Mayan civilisation.

Chocolate has deep roots with Incan and Mayan civilisation. That is why the whole brand and story is based on a village of La Naya.

Far across the waters, surrounded by the glorious green mountains of Guatemala, washed by the warm summer rains and kissed by the bright sun, hides the precious jewel of nature - LA NAYA village. Only the sincere laughter and cheerful songs of playing kids and delicious aromas of cocoa, ripe berries and juicy fruits, crusty fresh home made bread and blooming flowers gives it away. This is the secret land full of surprises we found and we want to share the best of it with you.

Close your eyes for a moment.
All you should know now that with every single piece of chocolate we will take you to the place and time when your senses will be satisfied…

We welcome you to the land of unexpected.
We welcome you to LA NAYA.
La Naya Chocolate has 5 main flavours.

Emotional structure: satisfaction, pistachio, queen’s laughter, cocoa ribs, trip to the centre of the universe.

Emotional structure: buckwheat honey, soft wind, rye bread, days gone by.

Emotional structure: Easter morning in Vatican, orange fruit, sunlight, imminent victory, juniper.

Emotional structure: apocalypse, raspberries, pineapple, dead mountains, eternal flame.

Emotional structure: strawberries, chili, the journey of a tiger, cinnamon, songs of angels.

Chocolate Covered Goods - Emotion Capsules
Handmade, wrapped with love and care in a silk paper and set in a Gift Box. 
100g of sour and juicy joys! 

Put the chocolate bars together in a line - you will see an artwork reflecting everyday processes and mood of La Naya. People are working in fields, children playing around, ladies bringing harvest. Cut into 5 pieces - you will see 5 different compositions for each flavour. They have balance and look excellent both ways - in the whole artwork as well in small compositions. Moreover, sele
cted colours complement the concept, taste and mood. 

What's Unique?
Packaging is made out of one piece of paper and only few gluing parts. It is suitable for fast and comfortable packing. What is more, special chocolate bar was created to convey and supplement the concept. Main inspiration - Mountains, surrounding La Naya village.

See more at: http://www.packagingoftheworld.com/2015/11/la-naya-chocolate.html#sthash.tmvru3tn.dpuf

available at www.patisserievercruysse.be

woensdag 16 november 2016

Pump Street Bakery seriously know their chocolate!

The chocolatiers at Suffolk’s Pump Street Bakery seriously know their stuff, and have the awards to prove it. Using single origin beans from Venezuela, Ecuador, Madagascar, Grenada, Jama├»ca and Honduras, Pump Street offers high cocoa content chocolate as well as flavours influenced by their bakery, like the sourdough and sea salt bar and the rye crumb, milk, and sea salt. Find out more about Pump Street Bakery here.

Since a few weeks this wonderfull chocolate bars are available in Belgium on two different locations: 
In our shop in Kortrijk 

Images taken at patisserie Vercruysse Kortrijk Belgium
Printed handout for Pump Street Bakery Chocolate - taking you through the stages of the bean to bar process. Pump Street Bakery complete every step themselves in Suffolk.

dinsdag 8 november 2016

How does the fermentation process work on the cocoa bean and how long does it take?

How does the fermentation process work on the cocoa bean and how long does it take?

Fermentation can be carried out in a variety of ways, but all methods depend on removing the beans from the pods and heaping them together to allow micro-organisms to develop and initiate the fermentation of the pulp surrounding the beans.

On smallholdings, fermentation is usually done in heaps of beans enclosed by plantain or banana leaves. Heaps can be used to ferment any quantity from about 25kg to 2,500kg of cocoa beans. The fermentation usually lasts about five days and some farmers will mix the beans on the second or third day. Another smallholder method is to use baskets, lined and covered with leaves, to ferment the beans. Similarly, holes or small depressions in the ground can be used but this makes no provision for the juices to drain away.

In plantations or fermentaries, fermentation is normally carried out in large wooden boxes that typically hold 1 to 2 tonnes of beans. The boxes must have provision for the liquefied pulp to drain away and for entry of air. Boxes can measure 3ft to 5ft across and be 3ft deep, but shallow levels (10-20 inches) of beans are preferred to promote good aeration. The beans can be covered with banana leaves or sacking to conserve the heat generated during fermentation. Beans can be transferred from one box to another each day to ensure uniform fermentation and increase aeration. The boxes can be tiered to allow easy transfer of beans. Plantations usually ferment for a longer period than smallholders and 6 to 7 days is usual.

In some areas, where particularly acidic beans are produced, the beans are pressed prior to fermentation to reduce the amount of pulp and allow for better aeration of the beans and so reduce the acidity.

The fermentation process begins with the growth of micro-organisms. In particular, yeasts grow on the pulp surrounding the beans. Insects, such as the Drosophila melanogaster or vinegar-fly, are probably responsible for the transfer of micro-organisms to the heaps of beans. The yeasts convert the sugars in the pulp surrounding the beans to ethanol. Bacteria then start to oxidise the ethanol to acetic acid and then to carbon dioxide and water, producing more heat and raising the temperature. The pulp starts to break down and drain away during the second day. Lactic acid, which converts the alcohol to lactic acid in anaerobic conditions, is produced but, as the acetic acid more actively oxidises the alcohol to acetic acid, conditions become more aerobic and halt the activity of lactic acid. The temperature is raised to 40oC to 45oC during the first 48 hours of fermentation. In the remaining days, bacterial activity continues under increasing aeration conditions as the pulp drains away and the temperature is maintained. The process of turning or mixing the beans increases aeration and, consequently, bacterial activity. The acetic acid and high temperatures kill the cocoa bean by the second day. The death of the bean causes cell walls to break down and previously segregated substances to mix. This allows complex chemical changes to take place in the bean such as enzyme activity, oxidation and the breakdown of proteins into amino acids. These chemical reactions cause the chocolate flavour and colour to develop. The length of fermentation varies depending on the bean type, Forastero beans require about 5 days and Criollo beans 2-3 days.

Following fermentation the beans are dried. The oxidation reactions begun through fermentation continue during drying

Beckett, S.T., Industrial chocolate manufacture and use. 2nd edition. Blackie Academic & Professional, 1994
Dand, R., The international cocoa trade. Woodhead Publishing, 1993
Cook, L.R., Meursing, E.H., Chocolate production and use. Revised edition. Harcourt Brace Johanovic, 1982
Wood, G.A.R., Lass, R.A., Cocoa. 4th edition. Longman, 1985