Friki holding chocolate

It has been almost two years since my fascination with cocoa began.*  I came across a European website that sold chocolate and cocoa with different origins and flavours. With my experience in specialty coffee and craft beer, I was immediately intrigued.

At first, it was difficult to find cacao in South Africa, especially with supplier traceability which is important to us at Gegrond. However, I persisted and eventually found a kilogram of unroasted cacao in Cape Town in February 2022. Despite the lack of traceability or flavour descriptors, I decided to try roasting it.

The roasting process for cacao is different from coffee, requiring a longer roast at lower heat. While cacao also has a first crack, it is not as distinct as coffee. Despite having no idea whether it was a good or bad roast, our first attempt was successful based on taste.

Fast forward to June 2023, we visited Europe to attend the World of Coffee expo in Athens and took the opportunity to meet with cacao suppliers in Belgium. We chose to work with Silva Cacao, a specialty cacao supplier based in Antwerpen with full traceability of their cacao. We learned about their sourcing and quality control processes and tasted an incredible amount of cacao from all over the world.

Coffee in Antwerp

We were excited to start this new journey and confident that Silva Cacao was the right partner for us. In July 2023, we roasted our first lot of Tanzania Kakoa kamili cocoa. Although we missed the ball in terms of roasting time, the flavor was still incredible, with acidity, berries, apricots, raisins, and winey notes coming to the forefront.

We are now processing the cocoa we roasted further to make chocolate and other products that we will release soon. We are thrilled with the partnerships we have formed and look forward to exploring the complex world of cacao with everyone.

Give our Single Origing Tanzanian Kokoa Kamili 70% Dark chocolate bar a go. Order some HERE

*Interesting Fact: Unroasted = Cacao, Roasted = Cocoa