Coffee Milk 60%
El Palmarito coffee (from Square Mile Coffee Roasters) complements this Mono Bravo cacao beautifully with its praline and chocolate notes achieved through a washed process mix of Bourbon and Pache San Ramon varieties produced by Carlos Gomez in the El Progreso region of Guatemala.
The special cacao beans from Mono Bravo, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador, have a mild and distinctly nutty flavour profile, and make a deliciously creamy coffee milk bar.
The Esmeraldas Province lies at the southernmost point of one of the most threatened and least known rainforest ecosystems on earth – the Chocó. Esmeraldas cacao is sourced from Mache Chindul, the last coastal cloud forest of Ecuador which feeds all major rivers in the region and is home to a huge variety of plants and wildlife, including the Imbabura Tree Frog and the Mache Glas Frog.
Already, 85 small rural communities have settled inside the nature reserve and add to the deforestation, caused by logging and slash and burn practices. However, the remoteness of Mono Bravo guarantees that their heirloom Arriba Nacional cacao remains unaffected by Ecuador’s boom in hybrid cocoa. This gives them exceptional heirloom chocolate, and the chance to preserve the other gifts of nature in Mache Chindul.
Interwoven throughout 280 hectares of mountainous cloud forests are farms growing this traditional cacao. These Ecuadorian farmers pride themselves on their old-grown Arriba Nacional, preferring to ferment their beans in bags covered with banana leaves to reduce acidity without losing the rich textures and flavours.
The expert cacao sourcers I work with have partnered with Original Beans to provide local training in organic agro-forestry, post-harvest handling, and quality control. On top of getting paid for their cacao, farmers also get a premium for preserving the rainforest that falls on their land, incentivizing them to protect the rich biodiversity of the Mache Chindul Ecological Reserve.
Bean variety: Arriba Nacional
*Contains dairy milk, gluten free
“…Coffee Milk Ecuadorean cocoa, was also gorgeous and both had what I can only describe as a fulsome mouthfeel, very satisfying and rather too easy to eat.” Annalisa Barbieri, The Observer Magazine, Notes on Chocolate 27.02.22