Food & Drink Magazine

5min Coffee Break with Bo... Bean to Bar Chocolate

By Boberika @boberika

This week I got to chat to the lovely Lucy from Bean to Bar Chocolate. I first met her at the Sunday Up Market where she introduced me to single origin chocolate and her passion for good chocolate is really inspiring...

Can you give me a brief background on the chocolate you sell and what's so special about single origin chocolate compared to regular chocolate you can buy at the supermarket? Bean to Bar Chocolate specialises in sourcing the finest chocolate from around the world. Like coffee or wine, chocolate varies depending where it is grown and how it is processed. The chocolate I’ve chosen to sell has been made from the highest quality ‘single origin’ cocoa beans or a carefully chosen blend; then the beans have been meticulously crafted in small-batches to bring out the finest flavours in the final bar. Because the vast majority of people are used to eating manufactured chocolate made in large volume (most often with low grade beans to keep the cost low) we don’t actually realize how complex the flavours from the cocoa bean can in fact be; with all sorts of possibilities such as red fruits, liquorice, leather, smoke, nuts, tannic or sour notes imbued in the bar. One fun way to see the vast difference between the flatness of mass produced dark chocolate and the vibrancy of single origin dark chocolate is to try them side by side- the flavor will speak for itself!

Why have you chosen the brands you sell? I choose brands first and foremost on flavor. I have tried hundreds of bars and firstly write tasting notes, then I compare against the full range of chocolate that that maker produces, then I compare the different brands by bean origin i.e. all the chocolate from Ecuador etc. This process highlights the flavor differences more accurately and I can then write the final tasting notes for the guide. One of the other things I look for in the chocolate makers I supply is how ethically they run their business and source their beans. My experience has been that the small- batch chocolate makers take a very conscientious approach with their suppliers and trade fairly.

What inspired you to set up a chocolate business? I’ve always loved chocolate and spent some time in my early 20’s making chocolate desserts and selling them on market stalls in London. However, it was when I tried a Madagascan chocolate, full of the most amazing vibrant sour fruit notes, that I realised there was a lot more to chocolate then what most people have access to. My research uncovered a burgeoning movement, particularly in the US, and I became very excited by all the small – batch producers treating bean- to- bar chocolate making as an art form; sensitively taking control of every aspect of the process from bean roasting through conching to moulding. In this pursuit of sourcing the finest cocoa beans and working with them to bring out an incredible range of flavours, we consumers now have access to a wide variety of chocolate with distinct and complex flavor profiles. We’re used to this concept in fine wine and more recently in coffee, but single origin fine chocolate is still a relatively new notion for the wider public. My goal is to support this amazing craft by sourcing and supplying some of the finest chocolate and making it more readily available in the UK.

If you could be a biscuit which one would you be and why? I love a digestive. Not overly sweet and a bit wholemeal, good with a cup of tea. I like its versatility: used in tiffins, cheesecake bases and fridge cake- a practical biscuit!

Thanks for taking the time to discuss chocolate with me (I too love it!) and I hope people are more aware that good chocolate is something they need to try and support. Keep me updated on your projects and when you launch your website. Bo xx

Up Market5

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog