Letterpress Dark Chocolate - Ecuador Costa Esmeralda

     Club ChoKolate's first available bar made with cacao from Ecuador had to be made by Letterpress, one of our favorite dark chocolate makers. The cacao beans are grown in the region of Esmeraldas, an area not typically known for its cacao.

     Costa Esmeraldas is a family business, solely owned and operated by the Salazar family. This private estate farm was established on reclaimed cattle field and is currently planted with approximately one hundred hectares of five-year-old Nacional hybrid cacao. Would you like to know the specific clones? Well, we have those, they are EET-95, EET-96, and EET-103. We believe that this family's idea to use the land to plant the source of future dark chocolate was the best!

     The farm is now developing, and they plan to include ten hectares of a legendary Esmeraldas cacao varietal, with red-colored cacao pods resembling some criollo varieties thought to be its origin. This cacao was grown in isolation for over one hundred years from the typical Nacional cacao produced in the rest of the country. Can you imagine dark chocolate bars made with this unique cacao?

     As you might have heard, fermentation and drying are two of the most crucial flavor developing steps in the dark chocolate making process. At Costa Esmeraldas, a brand new, optimized fermentation and drying facility was created by Cacao Services and constructed in a dry microclimate about 15 miles from the farm close to the town of Tonchigue. The facility design allows production of remarkably consistent and clean cacao with an efficient movement of material that diminishes craftsman injury and burnout.

     When looking at this dark chocolate bar, you will notice the strikingly dark tone for a 70% dark chocolate but belies its mild fruity flavor. The cacao beans used in this bar have been classically described as having tropical fruit aromas and flavors, but get ready to be surprised by some nuttiness, and floral notes. Experience it by yourself, let your palate decide!

 Bar Type

 Dark Chocolate

 Origin

 Ecuador

 Harvest

 NA

 Made in

 USA

 Varietal

 Nacional Hybrid

 %

 70

 Aromas

 Floral

 Flavors

 Nutty, tropical fruits

 Awards

 2018 Academy of Chocolate Awards Silver Winner
 2017 Academy of Chocolate Awards Silver Winner
 2017 Good Food Awards Winner

 Ingredients

 Cacao beans, unrefined organic cane sugar, cacao butter




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