For every 70g bar purchased they replant a tree in its area of origin (more than 3 million trees have been planted so far) and each bar carries a tracking number so that you can check out it’s provenance on their website www.originalbeans.com As their founder Philipp Kauffmann explains “we believe that what we consume, we must conserve and replenish, after all, the single most effective way to combat climate change is to plant more trees.”
Original Beans source their beans directly from global biodiversity hotspots which have the climate and soil, known as the ‘terroir’ in wine making, to produce world-class chocolate. They do all of this whilst also making a real difference in helping both the local communities secure long-term livelihoods and their ecology too They work directly with individual small-scale farmers who may only have a few hectares to farm. They teach them how to plant cacao trees, how to cultivate, harvest, ferment and dry the beans. They help subsidise bicycles for farmers to transport the beans from tree to the nearest road, even if, as in one case, that involves negotiating a tree trunk bridge across a river. What’s more they pay their farmers up to 10 times the Fair Trade premium. As Kauffmann explains, “we’re paying for craftsmanship and quality beans.” However, Kauffmann insists the farmer is only accountable for 25% of chocolate quality. Nature is responsible for 50% through variety, soil and biodiversity, while 25% is added in the factory through the exact recipe, the roasting and the all-important long-conching: the grinding and blending process that achieves the ultra smooth texture and releases the flavour particles that gives Original Beans chocolate such intense fruity flavours and long mouthfeel.
All Original Beans organic chocolate is based on three pure & simple ingredients: cocoa beans, cocoa butter and organic cane sugar. They express the fruit of their terroir with no need for vanilla to add extra flavour or emulsifiers to make the chocolate smoother.
What’s more their beautiful, award-winning packaging is entirely bio-compostable, even the foil wrapping is made from wood pulp, a first in chocolate packaging. Further proof that Original Beans are pioneering a very different approach to chocolate: moving away from being a cheap commodity to a product with depth and integrity like coffee or wine.
Many of London’s top, sustainably minded chefs are cooking with Original Beans chocolate too.