Coffee is no longer the trendiest bean in town. From chocolate ‘clubs’ to raw devotees, the homemade to the ethically produced, Britain it seems has become a nation of cacao purists with chocolatiers and makers getting seriously obsessed about the single-origin bean. So this Easter, join us in waving cheerio to Cadbury and bye-bye to Bourneville — here’s our best British bean-to-bar picks for those looking for cacao with class.
Already a well-established craze in the States, the rise of bean-to-bar chocolate is now in full swing across the pond bringing with it a delicious new wave of beautifully crafted British choc. But one of the forerunners of this new era for Britain was Duffy, who garnered world renown for his artisan British bars produced from premium, small batch beans in his quaint Lincolnshire town of Cleethorpes.
Another chocolate fan-to-manufacturer story following in the footsteps of Duffy is the Chocolader. The pride of Cornwall’s chocolatiers, they work directly with the overseas famers of their high-quality beans, boating them over to their kitchen in Falmouth to produce small batches of inventive handmade bars. Flavours include Wild Gorse Flower and Cornish Honeycomb.
If you’re looking for the purest bean of all then Forever Cacao offers refined raw chocolate options for the discerning cacao craver. Based in Wales but working closely with producers of heirloom cacao deep in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, Forever Cacao’s bars are minimally processed to maintain all the health benefits and great taste of chocolate in its finest form. Try their award-winning 80% signature bar.
This small family-run bakery on Suffolk’s heritage coast are relatively new to the British chocolate scene. However, the combination of their baking expertise together with the single-origin cocoa beans they directly import has resulted in award-winning culinary magic—their Sourdough and Sea Salt bar comes highly praised.
If you’re in need of a regular cacao fix, then sign-up to Cocoa Runners and for a fixed monthly fee you can have four different single-origin chocolate samples from around the world sent straight to your door. This bean-to-bar subscription service includes many of Britain’s premium bean producers, so you’re guaranteed the finest cacao experience.
Nicole Harley is Editor at The Epicurean.