Saturday, February 13, 2010

Seductive Chocolate for a Mindful Valentine’s Day

The basic ingredients for a romantic Valentine’s Day celebration are fairly simple: flowers, wine and chocolate.

In years past, chances are you’ve bought poor-tasting chocolate for your Valentine from a big business that could give a hoot about the environment…and your health. Don’t do that this year—take a moment to familiarize yourself with some of our favorite eco-friendly, high-quality chocolate makers below....

Click here to read more about Askinosie, Taza, Seth Ellis, Alter Eco and Theo.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Costa Rica Bound in March

It’s official. Anna and I have booked our airline reservations to Costa Rica. We’ll be arriving at the San Jose Juan Santamaria International airport on March 6th and we won’t be coming back until three weeks later. We have many goals while we are there, including finding farmers that we can work with in the future and mostly learning about what it takes to produce good quality cacao.

Our first week will be spent with Steve DeVries and Pam Williams in the Ecole Chocolat educational setting. It will be vastly helpful for us to work with people that know their way in and out of the bean-to-bar business and know the cacao growing hot spots in Costa Rica. Our original itinerary called for just one week down South, but we were able to work things out for us to stay an extra two weeks. This will give us a chance to explore and deepen our understanding of sourcing cacao from Central America.

The majority of our time will be spent in Costa Rica but we would love to visit some of the cooperatives in Panama and hopefully discover some organic growers in Nicaragua. Developing positive relationships with the farmers and cooperatives will be an essential step toward gaining momentum for Chocolate Baar. The better we prepare for our travels in Costa Rica—the better our short trip will be spent.

As March approaches, we’ll keep you up to date on some of our travel plans. In the mean time, we have beans from Panama and Madagascar on the way and they should be arriving by late next week. Can't wait to taste the finished product! Thanks for reading.