It’s time to introduce you to our makers. Knowing who’s behind the products within our gift boxes is really important to us and we’d like to share their stories.
Bahen & Co. Chocolate Makers provide us with beautiful bean to bar chocolate. We were instantly attracted to them because of their beautiful packaging, but when you peel back the wrapper you’ll find an incredible story.
Josh Bahen, previously a winemaker, and wife Jacqui run Bahen & Co. located in Western Australia in the Margaret River region. They have an affair with flavour. Much like wine, chocolate too can have flavours of complexity, aromas and texture which is brought to life in their bean to bar chocolate.
Chocolate, before it was known as confectionary, was predominantly made from cacao. Today chocolate is only required to contain 20% cacao bean derivative to be called chocolate and the remaining 80% is generally made from milk powder, sugar and fats. Bahen & Co. chocolate contains say 70% cacao and 20% organic cane sugar to compare. This allows for the flavour of the beans to truly be tasted and enjoyed.
Cacao” or “cocoa” is the term given to the fermented and dried seed (referred to in the industry as a “bean”) of the important tropical rain forest tree Theobroma Cacao which is native to tropical South America.
Motivated to produce special and unique products, Josh and Jacqui have scoured the most remote locations to find cacao beans with the fullest flavours. They call these heirloom cacao plantations, derives from a past time when cacao was selected for flavour before the industrial revolution and mass production of chocolate as confectionary. They have built long-term relationships with farmers based on their principles, they exceed Fair Trade and pay prices that respect the farmers efforts.
This historic farm has produced since 1920. Today it grows some of the finest flavoured aromatic cacao remaining on the planet. Situated upon rich fertile soils of the Sambirano Valley – the cacao produced here is often referred to by the locals as ‘green gold’.
The farm has a unique combination of heirloom cacao, which originated from Venezuela and Mexico. The genetics for the farm began their journey through the Pacific and across the Indian Ocean from the latter part of the 17th century.
The farm practices modern box fermentation techniques with slow sun drying to complete the post harvest which ensures maximum flavour development. We use a very low and slow roast profile to preserve this bean’s delicate character.
The chocolate bursts with flavours of citrus fruits, red berries and ripe raisins.
To match the old world beans they have also sourced vintage machinery (1930’s Barth Sirocco Ball Roaster and circa 1910 Guitard Melangeur) from over the globe. This specialised machinery operates at low speeds which preserves the flavour.
Bahen & Co. take people on a journey with their unique packaging design. Each design is inspired by the history of cacao and the people involved in it’s cultivation. The patterns and prints are memories of the exotic locations they’ve travelled and where they have sourced their beans, for example colourfully patterned floor tiles in the buildings of Santo Domingo or the depth of greens in a rainforest.
Bahen & Co. truly take you on a journey with every bar of chocolate. We’re proud to share their products with you in our beautifully crafted gift boxes.