To Be or Not To Be... Single Origin Cocoa
Cocoa is a fruit with exceptional richness.
Like coffee or grapes, there are few other species known to offer such a range of flavors and colors which vary depending on the region of production. A glance back to the last century reveals that today’s top origins for cocoa had very limited production in the past. This is due to many factors such as the presence of local diseases which destroyed many estates in Brazil and also the introduction of cocoa varieties and plants in West Africa in the early 1900s.
As a result, the range of cocoa flavors has evolved and expanded. Today, the bulk cacao variety Forasteros is predominant in West African countries, while Criollo (known for its fine flavors) is becoming increasingly rare. Trinitarios (a hybrid of the latter two) has developed better resistance to disease and yield increase. On top of that, the quantity of cocoa from single origin countries highly depends on external factors such as weather.
True that the standard practice of blending beans from different origins has many benefits, such as a stable source throughout the year, consistent taste and color, and the ability to create a robust range of flavors. However, single cocoa origin is interesting for connoisseurs to offer the unique characteristics and attributes of each origin for an extended product line which accentuates the distinct colors and range of fruity and powerful aromatic notes.
Single origin cocoa reveals a new world of flavorful possibilities for product applications. For example, pure Peru cocoa brings an intense chocolaty flavor and is reddish in drinks, while Cameroon develops a more powerful cocoa taste in biscuits, while highlighting an intense color.
Often, single origin cocoa can be connected to certification programs for sustainable cocoa. For instance at Bensdorp, our single origin Ecuador is associated with Rainforest Alliance and Peru is processed from organic and Fair Trade certified beans.
Single origin cocoa powders not only provide a distinct range of flavors and colors, but also showcase the cocoa farmers and their specific farming expertise, highlighting unique characteristics to fulfill every consumer’s desire.
Philippe Goujon, Product & Systems Manager, Global Cocoa R&D