Our expertise

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ETHICAL, ORGANIC AND WITH CHARACTER: OUR CHOCOLATES ARE THE FRUIT OF A PERMANENT QUEST FOR TASTE AND EXCELLENCE.

Through the choice of terroirs and the precise selection of the most aromatic varieties, together with the art of enhancing beans through to the preparation of recipes, at Kaoka, nothing is left to chance.

We are present every step of the way. It is our integrated program model that means we can guarantee excellent aromatic chocolate.


Homelands and varieties

The quality of a chocolate begins with the selection of cocoa homelands. This is why we have created 4 integrated programs, in four countries with specific varieties and aromatic profiles.

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Ecuador

Local variety: Nacional cocoa.

A part of the country’s heritage, Nacional cocoa only grows in Ecuador. Recognized as a grand cru cocoa, its floral and fruity flavours are characteristic and lend chocolate an intense aromatic richness.

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Dominican Republic

Local variety: Hispaniola cocoa (Trinitario).

Typical of the Caribbean, its scent is fruity with deliciously tangy notes.

São Tomé

Local variety: Amelonado cocoa (Forastero).

Fruity and woody accents, very characteristic of this cocoa from the middle of the world.

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Peru

Local variety: Trinitario cocoa.

A very smooth-tasting cocoa with fruity notes and a malty flavour.

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Just as it takes a good grape variety and good vinification methods to produce good wine, the quality of chocolate also depends on a good variety and good fermentation.
Sébastien Balmisse Cocoa programs & quality director at Kaoka

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Growing high quality aromatic cocoas

We looked at the quality of the cocoa produced by our partner growers.

Through our plantation renovation programs, we carefully selected the most aromatic cocoa trees in partnership with growers, tasting dozens of fresh and then dried cocoa beans. This rigorous selection process enabled us to build a collection of aromatic plants, raised in nurseries and then planted or grafted in the plantations of our partner growers.

This process, implemented more than 15 years ago, means that our cocoa has become more refined in taste and aromas over the years.

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Expertise in fermentation to enhance the full aromatic potential of our cocoa

At Kaoka, we are passionate and we like to go the extra mile.

The work therefore does not end with the selection of varieties. As in viticulture, the processing of the harvest is decisive for the final result.

Thanks to our integrated program model, the harvest is perfectly organized. We buy fresh cocoa from our partner growers, which is then fermented within 8 hours to preserve all its aromas (beyond that, it could start to oxidise and lose its quality). We have developed real expertise in controlling fermentation, an essential step for the optimal development of the first aromas. This is where we put to good use all the agronomic work carried out upstream.

Remember 100% of our cocoa ferments in special facilities, according to our own precise protocol.

 

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OPTIMAL COCOA DRYING

Our cocoa is then dried, mainly in solar dryers, for two to three weeks. It is carefully and regularly stirred to allow all the moisture to evaporate. Optimal drying is essential to avoid the risk of mould during transport, which would spoil all the work done beforehand.

Assembling

Even though we control the fermentation and drying stages, we also make sure that the batches of cocoa produced are quality controlled.

Our technical teams taste them to assess their quality and draw up their organoleptic profile.

Using the information collected, we assemble the batches according to their aromatic characteristics to make all our cocoa masses (multi-origin and pure origin). This blending work requires real know-how and years of expertise. At Kaoka, it is Guy Deberdt, the founder’s son, that carries out this wonderful mission.

To ensure the aromatic intensity of our cocoa mass is enhanced in our chocolates, we have developed our own special Kaoka recipes: rich in cocoa mass, with a minimal addition of cocoa butter, no lecithin and no vanilla.

Did you know? The percentage of cocoa displayed on a bar of chocolate corresponds to the percentage of cocoa mass and cocoa butter. The addition of cocoa butter tends to cloud the palate, preventing the flavours of the cocoa mass from being properly perceived during tasting. This is why we always limit the addition of cocoa butter. Rich in cocoa mass, our chocolates are aromatic and have a full and lasting mouthfeel.
The Kaoka® taste

Our years of collaboration with our partner growers, through varietal selection, the renovation of plantations, expertise in fermentation and the formulation of high quality recipes, make up the Kaoka® taste. This is what differentiates our chocolates from others on the market.