Elaboré en Suisse avec passion, de manière artisanal, de la transformation des meilleures fèves de cacao en grand cru à la confection des tablettes de chocolat. Une saveur authentique.

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Cacao tree

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Harvest

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Fermentation & Sun dry

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Select, Cleaning & Roasting

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Breaking, Grinding,& Rolling

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Conching & Tempering

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Molding

We provide cacao farmers local, sustainable and meaningful perspectives with ecological and economical value. These include fair working conditions and cacao prices that are considerably higher than Fairtrade levels, which allow farmers to plan long-term and secure their future. It purchases beans with well known geographical origins which supports traceability and the transparency of the cooperatives.

Around 200 years ago, Swiss emigrants settled on the peninsula Samaná, in the Dominican Republic. They founded the plantation “Hacienda Elvesia” and began cultivating Criollo and Trinitario cacao. Soon the aromatic fruits became a much soughtafter raw material for well known European Chocolatiers. In order to facilitate the transport of the heavy bags, Swiss pioneers built a railway - from the plantation to the port of Cano Hondo. The plantation is based on the principle of sustainable agriculture in harmony with nature. The Hacienda is run by Jo Locandro and offers work for around 60 people..

Cru Hacienda couverture made of noble cacao from the Hacienda Elvesia, Dominican Republic. Swiss organic farming accordance Bio Suisse. The elegant, rich cacao flavour is entwined with tender tones of black tea and mild tobacco notes. The traditional, gentle processing method (72 hours conching) releases in this exceptional chocolate a fruity note, hich is complimented by a hint of refreshing orange flavour and a pleasant grapefruit sharpness, leading to a long-lasting and festive finish.

Cacao trees grow in a narrow belt either side of the Equator with a humid tropical climate and a preferred average temperature of 25°C / 77°F. Their natural habitat is the lower storey of rainforests, where larger trees provide shade.

Through long-term contracts and enduring relationships with cacao farmers, we are able to directly procure choice cacao for our couverture. Fair prices enable cacao farmers to use natural resources sustainably so that they remain preserved for future generations. In return, we receive the finest quality cacao, with multi-layered and intensive flavours. FAIR DIRECT CACAO: Sustainability, transparency and quality!

Harvesting begins at the end of the rainy season, after the fruit has ripened. Farmers carefully remove the fruit from the trees using sharp knives without damaging the tree trunk, unripe fruit or blossoms. Harvested fruit is then split open and the beans and pulp is removed.

The beans and pulp are placed in a wooden crate and covered with leaves. Due to the high sugar content the mass begins to ferment and undesirable acetic acid vaporizes. The fermentation process takes between five and seven days, during which the beans are regularly mixed to ensure a uniform fermentation.

Our self imposed guideline ensures the sustainability of our cacao and the traceability of our origin cacao.​ After fermentation, the beans are spread in the sun to dry naturally for five to ten days. Selected beans are then cut open to ensure their water content does not exceed 6% to avoid mould growth at a later date.

As a niche producer based in Switzerland, we work directly with cacao farmers and partners around the world to ensure our standards of quality, transparency and sustainability are met throughout all our processes, from cacao planting to our finished products.

The better the bean, the higher the quality of chocolate. We select the beans with meticulous detail. A sample from the origin is sent to the factory in Switzerland, where it undergoes careful sensory assessment. Purchasing only occurs after the beans have passed all the analyses.

The careful handling of the cacao fruit at the origin perfectly prepares the beans for further processing. Quality varieties, the optimal harvest time and meticulous selection ensure the intensive character of our noble cacao.

Beans are then sorted according to size and quality, by hand or using simple equipment. This important step ensures similar sized beans for the following processes. The sorted beans are then filled into jute or specially designed synthetic sacks ready for transport by container ship to Switzerland.

The first process step is cleaning the beans followed by debacterization at 127°C / 260°F using steam. Traditional roasting then occurs slowly and gently in small batches. Roasting times and temperatures are individually determined, depending on the desired roast aroma and bean characteristics.

 

The cooled beans proceed to the breaker, where they are broken into pieces and the shells removed. The small pieces then pass over three pairs of round milling stones in the 3-roll mill to achieve a fineness of 25 to 30 micrometer. Finally the mass is further refined to 15 to 20 micrometer by 150 kg of small ceramic balls in the ball mill.

The recipe for dark chocolate is mixed in the kneader: liquid cacao mass, liquid cacao butter from the first press, without any additional fats, sugar from beets and when the recipe requires, pure natural Madagascan vanilla from Mananara. Quality swiss milk and cream powder are added if milk chocolate is desired. The biodiversity of the Swiss nature contributes to the unique quality of our milk and cream. Controlled GMO-free soya lecithin and sunflower lecithin. The mass is kneaded for a few minutes and then passes through the pre-roller and fine roller to achieve a fineness close to 16 micrometer.​​​

The traditional longitudinal conche releases the hidden chocolate flavours through hours of friction and airing. Conching may take up to 72 hours, depending on the characteristics of the beans and the recipe. Many desirably delicious flavours unfold during the slow build up of heat from the friction.

Elaborate by Jean-Paul Raffin, a Swiss chocolatier based in Monthey & Martigny, Valais, using the traditional Swiss technique and know-how, a lot of local ingredients and some artistic interpretation to create flavors that range from classic to extraordinary, our chocolate bars can be interpreted as little piece of arts.

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CHOCOLAT

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