A guide to our single origin chocolate

17 Apr 2020

Food + Drink

If you want to taste the intricate, nuanced notes of the cocoa bean, then single origin chocolate is one of the best types of chocolate to try.

Single origin chocolate might sound fancy, but it is a relatively simple concept: it is chocolate which is made from one variety of cocoa bean, grown in a particular region. This impacts the taste of the final product: the flavour of chocolate can depend on the conditions the cocoa beans were grown in, meaning single origin chocolate can be incredibly varied in taste. Rather than blending different types of cocoa bean, single origin chocolate lets the nuanced, delicate notes of the particular cocoa bean shine through.

Although single origin chocolate may sound like a luxury chocolate product, it doesn’t need to come with an eye-watering price tag. Whilst chocolate made from a blend of cocoa beans is still delicious, we believe that everyone should sample single origin chocolate at least once in their life!

Single origin dark chocolate

Dark chocolate-devotees might sometimes feel that the dark chocolate you find in supermarkets doesn’t quite satisfy their cocoa craving. However, our award winning Honduras 100% Dark Chocolate lets you fully explore the intensely rich, fruity notes of the cocoa bean. Its savoury, bitter edge lets the punchy notes of the cocoa bean really sing, resulting in a flavour akin to a multi-layered Burgundy.

If the thought of 100% dark chocolate is slightly daunting, you can still indulge in the intricate flavours of the humble cocoa bean with our Tanzania 80% Dark Chocolate. This single origin dark chocolate has distinctive flavours of strawberry, kiwi and green apple, sourced from the Kilombero Valley growing region. A lighter option, but with bold flavours, this dark chocolate is a wonderful introduction to the intricate tastes of single origin chocolate.

Single origin milk chocolate

A sweeter way to sample single origin chocolate, milk chocolate captures the indulgent notes of the cocoa bean, without the bitter taste of dark chocolate. We wanted to push the boundaries with our single origin milk chocolate, which is why we caramelised milk and sugar in our Colombia 53% Caramelised Milk Chocolate to create a deep and malty butterscotch flavour profile. Its cocoa beans are sourced from the coastal Sierra Nevada mountain range, which impart notes of yellow fruits, adding a fruity, treacly element to this milk chocolate.

We don’t stop there – in 2015 we broke the traditional milk chocolate mould with our revolutionary Supermilk chocolate. Our award winning Honduras 65% Supermilk Chocolate raises the bar even higher: grown in the Copán highlands, on their own these cocoa beans are a bottle of Burgundy. Add sugar and a little milk and they’re transformed into a taste akin to strawberries and cream, adding an extra element of luxury to this single origin chocolate.

Single origin white chocolate

Although some might ask whether white chocolate is really chocolate, at Hotel Chocolat we believe white chocolate deserves its place in the chocolate category. Whilst white chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa powder, it is instead made up of cocoa butter, which is extracted from the cocoa bean after pressing.

We use a high amount of cocoa butter in our white chocolate to create an exceptionally smooth and creamy finish. Our single origin Dominican Republic 42% White Chocolate adds an extra element of luxury – by precisely balancing the caramelisation of milk and sugar, we’ve brought out a toasted maltiness in this white chocolate, evoking tastes of honeycomb.

The ethics behind our single origin chocolate

Single origin chocolates don’t just taste wonderful; they can also be ethically and environmentally friendly. At Hotel Chocolat we’ve committed ourselves to a programme of ‘Engaged Ethics’ to try and change the lives’ of the amazing farmers who grow our cocoa beans.

Our cocoa from Colombia is sourced through an organisation that works with more than 200 local farmers to ensure they keep a fair share of the profits made from the cocoa bean. In Honduras we work with an organisation which regularly trains farmers on how to achieve successful yields, and pays farmers a 50–100% premium for a specific fine-flavoured variety of cocoa.

In our cocoa world, we believe that single origin chocolate should be sourced fairly from communities: we feel our single origin chocolate tastes all the better with the knowledge that it has helped transform the lives of those who farm it.