|Refreshed and republished on April 27, 2022
|This post was originally published on January 20, 2020, and has been enhanced and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
What makes Fine Flavour Cocoa so special and exquisite? Some factors determine the flavour of this type of cocoa. The secret is between the origin and all the industrial processes, such as shelling or conching. All the stages contribute to giving a particular and striking sensory profile to each of the products made with our Fine Flavour Cocoa.
Cocoa’s place of origin is one of those special factors to consider. And we are going to talk about Colombian origin.
Where chocolate is grown? Our single-origin cocoa-producing map
Between 45,000 and 55,000 different species of flora grow in Colombia. What makes us home to approximately 20% of plant species worldwide. This includes the cocoa tree or Theobroma cacao.
Our cocoa forests are no exception. They host enormous biodiversity of birds, squirrels, and monkeys, among other animals. The wildlife becomes friends with the cocoa and makes these forests their home.
According to Fedecacao (National Federation of Cocoa Growers in Colombia), there are approximately 188,370 hectares of cocoa plantations in Colombia. All in 28 of its departments. In 2021, the country produced 69.040 tons of cocoa.
You can plant cocoa between 0 and 1300 meters above sea level. This is in 4 agro-ecological regions: Tropical rainforest, dry inter-Andean valleys, Andean region, and the mountains of Santander.
If we talk about genetics, Colombian crops have cocoa hybrids of universal and regional trinitarian clones.
Artisan chocolate relies on cocoa origin history
We determine the sensory properties of the origin cocoa by genetics, climate, and different types of soil. Thanks to our country’s biodiversity, each region supplies us with particular and special conditions. That provides us with different flavours.
Cultivation and post-harvesting are also key processes carried out by our cocoa farmers. As processes such as the harvesting of ripe cocoa pods, post-harvesting, fermentation, and drying all have a significant impact on the definition of the sensory characteristics of cocoa.
At Luker Chocolate we work with chocolates from different origins: Tumaco, Huila, Necoclí, and Santander. We are working with other origins using our own crops in Huila, and Casanare. Below, we highlight five special regions that give our portfolio of origin chocolates its outstanding quality, Selected Origins.
Necoclí: single estate chocolate
El Rosario farm is in Necoclí, a town in Antioquia, Colombia. It’s located on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Urabá. Single estate chocolate is unique because it highlights all the sensory characteristics and flavour profiles from Necoclí.
This couverture is defined by 78.5% of fine flavour cocoa, with slight bitter undertones that elevate the citric and fruity notes.
With a well-defined cocoa flavour, this limited-edition chocolate has unmatched characteristics. Thanks to its uniqueness (achieved through more than 3 years of experience), we get a fine acidity, fruity and nutty notes, and a delicate aroma of the wine.
Its distinctive sensory profile is the result of the unique geographical conditions of the territory. As well as the experience and tradition of Luker Chocolate in cocoa crops.
Huila: 70% dark chocolate couverture
The Huila department is home to the Tatacoa desert and the mountain peaks of Nevado del Huila. It is in the country’s southwestern Andean highlands. The broad range of climates in this region is conducive to the existence of paramos, forests, and desert areas.
All this diversity is in the sensory profile of Huila origin cocoa. It is the representation of the cocoa-growing tradition. Its aroma is reminiscent of the extensive cocoa crops, and its robust flavour is captivating with delicate citrus and fruit notes, exquisitely roasted nuts, and warm sweetness.
For those who prefer to pair this chocolate with an alcohol-free beverage, it goes perfectly with Earl Grey black tea, where it is the perfect complement to the intense flavour of the tea.
The Huila Colombian cocoa is the basis for Dark Huila chocolate. With 70% cocoa content, it has excellent fluidity and is highly versatile for baking and patisserie applications. For dessert making, Huila 70% stands out for its acid notes that provide a distinctive sensory profile.
Tumaco: 85% dark chocolate couverture
Tumaco is one of the world’s rainiest regions, despite being two meters above sea level. Tumaco, a municipality of Nariño, lies in southwestern Colombia, near the border with Ecuador. It has a tropical wet climate that extends from the mountainous Andean region to the Pacific plain.
The sensory profile of Tumaco origin cocoa is characterised by its potent cocoa flavour, with defined nutty notes, followed by delicate tropical fruit tones and subtle acidity. Its flavour presents a good balance between cocoa notes and its typical bitter taste.
Our Luker 1906 portfolio includes Extra Dark Tumaco with 85% Fine Flavour Cocoa content, which can be used for coating, moulding, decoration, and other baking applications such as ganache or fillings.
Chocolate with an exquisite and robust profile with a defined aroma, typical of the cocoa of this region. A strong bitter taste balanced with cocoa notes and delicate sweet tones. These combined with subtle fruity and nutty notes make this chocolate the best possible expression of dark chocolates.
For those who’re ready to be adventurous, you can use this chocolate as a dip for oven-baked crispy bacon, obtaining a delicious contrast between the salty bacon and the cocoa tones. This chocolate can be paired with Tawny Port where both, in small amounts, lead to an amazing mouthfeel.
Santander: 65 dark chocolate
Santander’s mountainous landscape is full of waterfalls, caves, hot springs, and even volcanoes. It is in the Andean region, in the country’s northeast. This apparently arid soil, together with other factors, defines our Santander origin cocoa, with its balanced bitterness, low astringency, slight acidity, and a delicate fruity tone resembling dark fruits such as plums.
Given the versatility of Dark Santander chocolate, it can be used for moulding, as a filling, for decoration and toppings, or in desserts and for decorative figures. Its cocoa content is 65% Fine Flavour Cocoa and it has a perfect balance of sweet and distinct cocoa notes, with hints of berries and citrus and light spicy tones, which complement the sublime profile of this chocolate.
This chocolate can be paired with an Italian wine from the Valpolicella region, to highlight its unique mouthfeel characteristics.
This tour of four representative regions of our country shows that life in Colombia is manifested in the colors of orchids, in the immensity of the impressive wax palms, and in unique flavors such as the Colombian Fine Flavour Cocoa.
Over a million square meters located in an intertropical area make our country a privileged place to grow our cocoa. We invite you to discover all the potential of our ingredients here. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our portfolio.