We Only Use The Best Beans
Over 99% of Tanzanian cocoa is grown organically. Cocoa farmers in the Kilombero Valley practice organic farming, in the complete absence of any inorganic inputs. However, we are not yet certified as organic - we hope to work with an organic certifying agent in the coming year.
Rewarding farmers for their hard work. We hold ourselves accountable to paying our farmers a higher price above the going market rate. In 2013 we paid a premium of 23% above market rates, in 2014 our premium was 24%. We work with roughly 2000 small holder farmers, roughly half of the farmers in the area, and hope to increase this number in the coming years.
We put a great emphasis on our farmer relationships and the traceablity of our beans. With any purchase of our beans, we are able to provide a list of every farmer that has contributed to the lot as well as their location, phone numbers (if they have them), and what percentage they contributed to the lot. We provide full transparency on how much each of our farmers are paid - and are committed to making sure farmers are paid fairly for their hard work.
Our beans have predominantly fruity notes - red fruit, apples, plums, as well as pleasant woody notes, and light cocoa/chocolate notes. Our beans are predominantly of the Trinitario variety.
We are happy to work directly with chocolate makers with specific fermentation requests - please reach out to us if you are interested in a custom fermentation profile!
A history of Tanzanian cocoa
The beans we have in the Kilombero Valley are typically thought of as Trinitario. We currently have a sample undergoing genetic testing which will allow us to further trace the origins of our beans. We are very excited to try to further track the history of our beans!
Various historical documents cite points of origin from all over the world - but the one thing that we can be sure of, is that cocoa has been grown in the country since the 1880s.
We have a great deal of research on the history of cocoa in Tanzania and love to tell the full story to anyone who might be interested.
We operate the only commercial cocoa fermentary in Tanzania. After buying wet beans from farmers, either at our gate or directly from their farms - we follow a tried and tested set of protocols to ferment and dry the beans to the highest quality.
We continuously monitor the pH and temperature of our beans during fermentation, and adjust our methodology if required to make sure we have well fermented beans. During drying we regularly check the moisture content, and do visual and taste tests to ensure the proper processes are being followed. After drying we painstakingly grade and blend our beans to ensure only the best quality cocoa is bagged and exported with our stamp of approval.