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Hacienda Azul

Costa Rica

70 2019

Dandelion Chocolate

Tasting Notes: almond biscotti and buttery caramel

The beans for this bar come from Hacienda Azul, a single estate just north of Turrialba in central Costa Rica. The cacao trees on the estate grow in a diversified agroforestry system surrounded by jungle flora in a biodiverse habitat. The beans come from six genetic types of trees selected by CATIE—a nearby cocoa germplasm and research institute—that are especially high yielding and disease resistant. These agricultural traits are excellent for producers, but don’t always go hand-in-hand with good flavor. In this case, we’re very excited that they do.

Ryan roasted these beans at different temperatures to create a dynamic range of flavors highlighting the beans’ intrinsic sweetness. We taste chocolate almond biscotti and buttery caramel.

Ingredients and Allergens

All of our single-origin chocolate is made with just cocoa beans and sugar; no added cocoa butter, lecithin, or vanilla. Our chocolate is free of soy, dairy, eggs, and gluten, and it is made in a factory that does not process nuts.

Weight

Two ounces (56g)

Learn More

Learn more about our cocoa beans and sugar — the region, the farms, and the producers.

About Hacienda Azul, Costa Rica

We began sourcing from Hacienda Azul, a single-estate cacao farm near Turrialba, Costa Rica, in 2017. Run by Wilfred Zeuner, who applies science to create a great product, the estate is situated ideally for growing cacao, on beautiful, gently rolling land bisected by a river.

The farm benefits from 30 years of CATIE (Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza) cacao research by growing six cultivars that CATIE bred or selected for their natural disease resistance and ability to cross-pollinate well, yielding plentiful, high-quality cocoa. Nearly half of the estate’s 216 acres of cacao were planted in the last decade, and the most recent specimens thrive in the shade of Mexican cedar trees. The flavorful beans themselves reach us via Eric Sharvelle of Buena Nota Imports.
 
On the estate, Wilfred and his team pay minute attention to every detail from cultivation through processing, aiming for efficiency and excellent quality. The trees grow on sloped hills, so workers roll freshly cut pods downhill to tractors for speedy collection, eliminating the labor of carrying heavy sacks of pods. For fermentation, Wilfred uses a tiered setup in which fully fermented beans are washed with water, improving flavor consistency and promoting even drying. As the beans dry, they are turned by hand, and any imperfect beans are removed.
 
Wilfred's consistently excellent beans make for consistently delicious chocolate, and we are proud to work with people who share our commitment to crafting an outstanding product.