FEITORIA DO CACAO brand started after a trip made to São Tomé and Principe by the two company managers – Tomoko Suga and Sue Tavares. In São Tomé and Principe we had the opportunity to visit several coffee plantations (Roças) and contact directly with the people who produce cocoa. During the visits that we had the privilege of making, we were shown how cocoa is processed until it reaches the hands of chocolate producers all over the world. Not only did we learn the whole process as we were also shown the humble and bitter lives of cocoa farmers, which in no way resemble the image we have of chocolate: sweet and rich. It was, for us, a great shock. Through this direct contact, we realized how important it is to contribute to reduce the gaps and economic differences between cocoa farmers and chocolate producers. Therefore, inspired by this sensitizing experience, we put our hands to work and started FEITORIA DO CACAO project.
For a year we studied, and did training as Professional Chocolatier and Chocolate Maker, performed tests and experiments with cocoa from different countries until we reached a product that focuses on unique and special character that each Terroir can offer us. We respect its nature, paying attention to every detail in the chocolate manufacturing process: we make chocolate from the cocoa bean in micro-batches, Bean-to-Bar. At the same time we bring a unique product to the Portuguese market, since we are the pioneer company in this type of chocolate in our country, contributing to what has moved us from the beginning of the project: we pay a fair price, above the ones in domestic market, for the raw materials we use, contributing equally to the motivation of producers to a high-quality cocoa whose price is proportional and appropriate to their effort and dedication. Chocolate wins, as well as all of us who will taste it.
In Portugal, we want to change the idea of chocolate as a simple sweet for children: it is a nourishment from the Gods, to all ages.
What Bean-to-Bar chocolate means
Many companies begin their chocolate manufacture from cocoa paste almost ready to be shaped into bars. Others, in turn, have greater control of their product, participating in the whole process – from the cocoa bean to the bar (Bean to Bar).
We make the choice of cocoa, we roast it, part the skins, grind, refine, temper it and pack by hand, from the raw cocoa beans to the finished bar in small amounts and all within our facilities. Not only do we have a chocolate that tastes good but also a chocolate that makes us well.
Chocolate producers from the cocoa bean not only give more attention to the process details as they relate directly with producers and cocoa cooperatives, ensuring better quality and the best price possible for the raw material in some of the poorest parts of the world.
Large companies recognized in the market also make their chocolate from the cocoa bean, but in a much larger scale, having as a priority a production in quantity, more efficiently, keeping the same taste, rather than respecting quality and cocoa character that varies by origin, variety and harvest seasons. This results in a chocolate that keeps the same taste, regardless of the year of harvest, which usually has a bland and dull taste far from the good quality cocoa can really provide.
The fine chocolate cannot be rushed. Our chocolate is fresh and the purest possible. We do not add emulsifiers to rush the process or reduce costs; As we respect and enhance the cocoa scents, flavourings are not needed. The process takes a few days, but it’s worth it. The refining process makes a smooth and silky chocolate, a process that happens while the cocoa is ground (in stone wheel), heated and exposed to air circulation, so as to eliminate the unwanted volatile acids, obtaining as final product an elegant and balanced flavor chocolate.
If in one hand we can take the credit for the extreme caution we have in the whole manufacturing process of our chocolate, by knowing where the scents have reached its peak when the desired texture is reached, all the credit for the range in unique flavors as well as the effect that chocolate has on people who taste it, goes to the cocoa that we use and its countries of origin. We use cocoa from different origins and the Terroir in cocoa, as in fine wine, gives each type of cocoa its unique flavor and character.
We could make chocolate in larger quantities, we could be less worried about buying the best cocoa, or in paying a lower price for the raw material: it would be cheaper and less laborious. But our obsession to obtain the best chocolate from each cocoa, leads us to devote all our care and soul in what we are doing.
Tel: +351 234 427 100
Susana Tavares & Tomoko Suga, Lda.
Estrada de São Bernardo Lj. 91B
3810-195 Aveiro Portugal
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