Say hello to our NEW Origin Hot Chocolate Flakes range!
Co-founder Claire here with an exciting update about our hot chocolates flakes. Our different single origin hot chocolates are one of the highlights of a visit to our chocolate houses and we know that lots of our cafe customers visit us just for our hot chocolates. This year in particular, with all the horrors of covid, being able to replicate a cafe experience at home is something that we are aware is a welcome treat for many and something we should be offering. Also, with lockdown starting to ease soon, but still with the rules about meeting loved ones outside, a hot chocolate could be just the drink to enjoy whilst sitting in the garden catching up!
Before I update you on what we have done for our range, a quick word on the definition of hot chocolate flakes. For many brands, 'hot chocolate' is actually an amalagation of cocoa powder, sugars, milk powders and goodness knows what else and so is a composite product that has been fiddled with and is usually very, very sweet. I would also say that we in the UK have historically had a pretty poor relationship with the whole concept of 'hot chocolate' - how many times have I been served a watery thin, artificial-tasting drink, even in premium locations, which has been made with just hot water being added to a 'hot chocolate mix'. Or, alternatively been served a drink made with milk but with a chocolate powder-based mix which is just far too sweet & cloying. I won't name any names, but many of the big coffee chains fall foul of that particular sin! Just think about how much coffee has evolved into different origins and formats, yet in many cafes, hot chocolate is just one option - 'hot chocolate' and your only choices are the size of the cup and whether to add cream & mallows on top (or worse still, have a syrup based flavour added).....I could go on ranting, but you get the idea!
To reassure you, we don't do that - our hot chocolates as served in our cafes, and as now launched here, are pure chocolate - we take the couverture that we work with to make our award-winning chocolates and flake it into easily meltable flakes when blended with the milk of your choice. We don't start with cocoa powder and then fiddle with it adding weirdy sugars, sweeteners or milk powders. With us, you are getting pure proper fine chocolate in an easily meltable form.
Ok rant over, back to our new hot chocolate flakes range - it has taken us a little longer than planned, but we are delighted to finally launch our new range of hot chocolate flakes. We have long been offering our 70% Madagascar origin flakes, as we serve in our chocolate cafes as our house hot chocolate, and our 100% Colombian hot chocolate drops, but weren't able to offer other variants or formats that were easy and consistent to use. Further, the 100% drops were very big and often broke making it harder to work out the correct amount to use per drink.
As we are a listening bunch (or hope that we are!), we took all the customer feedback and requests for more hot chocolate options on board and also looked for a packaging format that would be both plastic-free and more user friendly that the very narrow tube of old.
We also wanted to find a new 100% chocolate with a smoother, more rounded flavour profile when made into a hot drink, and are delighted to launch our new 100% Ecuador flakes, our first Direct Trade project with Martinetti Cocoa, a small family-owned chocolate company, based in the Los Rios region of Ecuador. As you know, we love supporting chocolate companies based in their country of origin who are raising the value of their export trade by making finished, value-added products vs just commodity cocoa beans, and have been in conversation with the Martinetti team since late 2020 about working together. Watch this space for more exciting news to come over the next few months as we develop our partnership with them.
So, after lots of work...ta dah! say hello to our new range of 4 different single origin hot chocolate flakes, mirroring 4 of the versions available in our chocolate house cafes in new food safe plastic-free kraft wide tubes, which make it so much easier to scoop, and clearer instructions on how to make a hot chocolate Chococo-style. We have also supplied suggested flake dosage guidelines which of course you are not obliged to follow!
Our initial launch range of hot chocolate flakes consists of:
NEW 45% Venezuela origin milk hot chocolate flakes - this is our house milk chocolate now in flakes form! Made for us to our own recipe with fine cocoa beans from the Sur del Lago region of Venezuela, one of the oldest cocoa growing regions in the world, our rich creamy milk chocolate will make a super creamy hot chocolate for those with a sweet tooth.
70% Madagascar origin dark hot chocolate flakes - this is our house hot chocolate and best seller in our cafes. Made with fine cocoa beans grown in the Sambirano region of Madagascar, this Raisetrade chocolate from Chocolaterie Robert, with its vibrant, rich berry fruit notes, makes a delicious hot chocolate that doesnt need any sugar (well we don't think so) and is also naturally vegan-friendly if you make your drink with any plant milk.
NEW 80% Uganda origin dark hot chocolate flakes - this is one of our most popular hot chocolates in our cafes and is now available in hot chocolate flakes for the first time ever. Made with fine cocoa beans sourced from the Bundibugyo region, the heart of cocoa production in Uganda, this robust, earthy chocolate makes a great rich hot chocolate, which is also naturally vegan-friendly if you make your drink with any plant milk.
NEW 100% Ecuador origin dark hot chocolate flakes - we are proud to source this chocolate chocolate directly from Martinetti Cocoa, a small family-owned chocolate company in Ecuador. Made of single origin Arriba cocoa beans grown in the Los Rios province, this chocolate has intense cocoa flavour notes, as it is 100% pure chocolate with no added sugar, but it is also smooth and soft on the palette when mixed with milk for a drink. You may find it too intense, but of course you can add sugar to taste. It is also, by definition vegan-friendly and so can be made with any plant milk to keep it that way.
AND if that is not enough, we have also re-launched our popular 70% flakes with a Chococo mug to hug gift set, wrapped in compostable cornstarch cello which makes a gorgeous gift, especially for Spring time outdoor gatherings!
Click here to view our full range of hot chocolate flakes