From there, the beans will soon travel over the high pass (15,700 feet) accross the Andes mountains to Chile's Pacific coast port of Arica, where the precious cargo is loaded onto a feeder cargo ship. From there, the wild cocoa beans are shipped to Panama, then through the Panama canal and across the Atlantic to Europe where, upon arrival in Rotterdam they are reloaded onto smaller feederboats for the relatively short trip to Basel, Switzerland. Once they arrive in Basil, they are painstakingly inspected once more by the receiver - the famed Felchlin Chocolate Company. These unusually small cocoa beans require extra special attention and care during the manufacturing process. All the machines used to process them must be readjusted individually to fit the demands of the Cru Sauvage; the roasting process especially requires intensive care and patience. For Bolivian wild cocoa, the roasting temperature is lower and the roasting time is longer than for all other cocoa beans. Then comes conching. Conching is a time-intensive blending and refinement process requiring a great deal of know-how, experience and dedication - as well as a certain amount of intuition, and a natural sense of what the Cru Sauvage chocolate needs. Each type of cocoa is different - and so is its conching time. For the Cru Sauvage, 60 hours in the traditional conches have been determined as optimum length of time. This extra-long-lasting conching process and aeration allow the still hidden wealth of its aromas and flavors to unfold. At the same time, homogeneity, taste subtleness and ideal texture are reached, leading to a unique flavor and exceptionally high quality mouth-feel. Through such great care in picking and processing, the small wild beans gradually unfold their intensive and unique aromas and flavors. Cru Sauvage is truly the only one of its kind - and relatively cheap, considering its long voyage from wild bean to exquisite couverture chocolate!
To learn more about Volker Lehmann, and his journey to preserve the Bolivian Wild Cocoa Bean, Cru Sauvage, and the rain forest, click here.
Love chocolate - even in the summer? Read our Blog Post: 6 Ways to Get Your Chocolate Kicks without Turning Up the Heat.
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