Vinces de Los Ríos
This Nacional varietal lot from the Vinces de Los Ríos region of Ecuador showcases floral citrus atop a lush base of fig and butterscotch.
Producer: Vinces farmers
70% Nacional Cacao
Fermentation: Wooden box, 140 hours
70% cocoa content
Nutrition pr 100g
Energy - 1869kJ / 446kcal
Fat - 29,9g
Saturated fat - 17,5g
Carbohydrates - 54,9g
Sugars - 30,0g
Fibre - 22,4g
Protein - 10,1g
Salt - 0g
Ground Chocolate is a natural extension of our cacao project. After years of searching for a high quality hot chocolate to serve in our own cafés, we finally have the opportunity to create our own, using cacao sourced and roasted by La Cabra. Ground Chocolate doesn’t go through the final tempering stage of chocolate making, meaning it melts at a much lower temperature when combined with warm milk. We recommend a 1:7 ratio of Ground Chocolate to your favourite milk or plant-based alternative. We steam the mixture on an espresso machine’s steam wand, but it can also be heated gently on the stove.
The Nacional varietal of cacao can trace its history back over 5000 years, tracing its genetic lineage back to cacao domesticated by the Mayo-Chinchipe culture in around 3300 BC. By 2009, Nacional was almost extinct, but the Ecuadorean Institute for Agriculture stepped in, not allowing this iconic Ecuadorean crop to be lost forever.
During genetic testing of over 11,000 trees across the original ‘Arriba’ region, only 6 were found to be of the ancient Nacional varietal. Since then, INIAP have distributed seeds derived from these 6 trees across the country, re-populating Ecuador with the cacao that built its reputation. One of the projects that participated in this work that led by Thomas and Yolanda Cedeño Aguilar. As well as growing neo-Nacional cacao on their own farm, they seek out producers that also use agroforestry methods to grow the original Ancient Nacional. They encourage the use of these methods and of the Ancient Nacional trees by paying premiums to these producers.
This lot is composed of the work of 60 farmers near the city of Vinces, inside the original ‘Arriba’ region where Ancient Nacional grew natively. The pods are purchased by the Cedeño Aguilar family at a premium, before they take care of the fermentation themselves, in wooden boxes for approximately 140 hours, allowing the fermentation liquids to drain throughout. The beans are then dried carefully on raised beds to a moisture content of 7%. The character of the Nacional cacao is found here in the subtle florals and the hint of lemon in the final bar, atop a rich base of dried fig and a deep butterscotch sweetness.
We pair these high quality cacaos with 100% organic Danish-grown sugar, produced here in Denmark for generations.
We will always share two ingredient bars. Nothing added, nothing taken away, focusing on the pure experience of carefully chosen single origin cacaos. The inherent texture, flavour and aroma, created by a set of intentional decisions by the cocoa farmer, and showcased by the roaster and chocolate maker.
To reflect our Nordic roots, we pair these high quality cacaos with 100% organic Danish-grown sugar, produced here in Denmark for generations; its pure flavour transparency sharpens the focus on the work of each skilled cacao producer.
Our years of experience in coffee sourcing have led us to this point. As plants with very similar agronomic properties, cacao and coffee often grow harmonically alongside each other, requiring similar conditions to produce high quality fruit. During visits to coffee producing countries, we have seen several cocoa plantations, and many of our long standing partners also work with high quality cacao. We’re excited to see how our experience can translate into cacao, and believe that the first releases that we have secured live up to the high standards we set for our coffees.
Roasting is an important stage in the cacao production process. Unlike green coffee, it is possible to make chocolate from raw cacao, but layers of complexity in both taste and texture are unveiled by the reactions that take place during roasting. As a general rule, cacao is roasted to a lower temperature over a longer time than coffee, but our transferred experience from coffee roasting has led us to a new understanding, always aiming to unlock the potential of the finest and most characterful cacao we can source.