In recent years there's been a lot of media coverage about the future of the cocoa bean; but it's good quality chocolate that is really in danger.
Not all cocoa beans are alike. The three main types of cocoa plant, criollo, forastero and trinitario, all differ in quality and taste. Criollo are the finest quality, with mellow, plump beans, but they are not a hardy crop. Forastero on the other hand are very hardy, but forastero cocoa beans are flat with a bitter, acrid taste. Trinitario beans are a hybrid of the two and have the benefits of a better taste than forastero, but a better yield and resilience than criollo.
Sadly, it is not criollo beans that are in great demand come market day. Buyers are looking for the cheapest, not the best quality beans, so even farmers who have worked hard to certify their crop end up selling for the going rate. The quality cocoa beans are mixed in with all the others and the distinctive tastes of regions and cocoa strains are lost.
It is only by settling for nothing less than the best quality chocolate that demand for premium beans
stays high. That way, farmers get paid fairly for quality crops and luxury chocolate maintains its
integrity in delivering a myriad of flavours, unique to each region.
New to luxury chocolates? Try our taster ballotin assortment or visit our Birmingham boutique store for a guided taste-test with Pierre.