Sirene carefully sources their cocoa beans from cocoa farms growing great tasting beans in an ethical way. Then they craft each delicious direct trade bean to its full chocolate-y potential in their custom chocolate workshop in Victoria, Canada.
Ch’abil means “nice” or “good” in Q’eqchi Mayan. In the lush, mountainous region of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, you’ll find the indigenous Q’eqchi Maya farmers who grow a magnificent cacao bean. Their heritage traces thousands of years, back to chocolate’s probable origins in the ancient Mayan civilization, so clearly they have a bit of experience with cacao trees. This dark milk bar uses cardamom grown in the same region as the beans, with a bit of crunchy cacao nib added for texture. Bronze academy of chocolate 2018, Silver winner 2018 International Chocolate Awards.
Fleur de Sel: The Costa Esmeraldas Plantation is right next to the sea, which might explain why this chocolate marries so well with the essence of ocean waters. Andrew Shepherd’s Vancouver Island Salt Company uses pure seawater from Canada’s wild west coast to handcraft a range of artisanal salts. This package contains one 73% dark chocolate bar made with cocoa beans from the Costa Esmeraldas Plantation in Ecuador with fleur de sel mixed in for a delicious salty crunch.
Mayan Spice: The chili mix used in this bar arose from the need for Q’eqchi Mayan travelers near Cahabon, Guatemala for a paste that could be transported easily when traveling. It is then mixed into the 73% Lachua dark chocolate. Winner of a Silver medal at the 2018 Northwest Chocolate Festival.
Lachua: In the lush, mountainous department of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala a heritage tracing back to cacao’s origin in the Mayan civilization go into the cultivation of these cacao trees. The indigenous Q’eqchi Maya farmers produce a magnificent bean. This bar was originally created as a custom bar for The Chocolate Garage in Palo Alto, CA. It went on to win a Silver medal at the International Chocolate Awards in the Americas competition in 2015 and a Silver medal at The Academy of Chocolate Awards in 2016, a Bronze at International Chocolate Awards in 2018.
We get up close and personal with the cocoa beans and sort them by hand to remove flats, cracked beans and beans harmed by machetes during harvest.
The beans are then roasted to loosen the shell and begin the process of maximizing the inherent flavours in each bean.
The whole bean needs to be cracked to extract the flavourful heart of the bean called a nib so that the shell of the bean can be removed.
Winnowing separates the papery shells from the cracked nibs. If left in, the shell can impart undesirable bitter and harsh flavours. These shells make great additions to various Spinnakers Beer and Sheringham Distillery Chocolate Vodka.
Next the whole bean is ground down to a very fine consistency. It is during this stage that pure cane sugar is introduced, the only additional ingredient in our single origin chocolate bars.
Conching eliminates any remaining impure flavours, and allows the subtle, unique flavours of each bean to shine. Friction and heat do the work.
Tempering is a finicky process that allows the chocolate to form the right crystal structure necessary to give it a smooth silky texture and have a nice snap when broken.
The last step is pouring the chocolate into molds, to be cooled and hardened before being wrapped and sent off to you for your enjoyment.