Friday, February 10, 2012

Maker Profile: Ritual Chocolate

company nameRitual Chocolate
chocolate makers
Robbie Stout and Anna Davies
factory locationDenver, CO, USA
factory toursno
direct online purchaseRitual
direct storesN/A
retail store purchasewhere Ritual is sold
selling bars since2011
plantation barsBalao
Costa Rica
single origin barsBelize
blend barsnone
production cyclebean to bar
added fatnone
sweetenercane sugar
organicyes (not certified)
sustainableyes (not certified)
economicsdirect trade (not certified)
last updatedJanuary 28, 2012

In 2008, Robbie Stout and Anna Davies met, soon fell in love, and began making chocolate together. On a 2010 trip to Costa Rica, they took a course with renown chocolate maker Steve DeVries, learned about his factory in Denver, Colorado, and arranged to use it. Although they now share the same equipment and some of the same cacao, Robbie and Anna use different techniques to craft their own unique chocolate. In July 2011, they released their first chocolate bar: Ritual Costa Rica.

They source their Trinitario cacao beans from the same farm as Steve DeVries in Costa Rica. Ritual makes their chocolate in small 80 pound batches in the factory in Denver, but does not quite follow the standard formula for making chocolate. They roast at lower than typical temperatures, use a roll mill for more consistent particle size, and age their chocolate about one month before remelting it to temper and form into bars.

Ritual uses only cacao beans and cane sugar in making their chocolate. No additional cocoa butter, emulsifier, or flavoring is added. The cane sugar is certified organic and fair trade. The farm where their cacao is grown is organic and certified sustainable by Rainforest Alliance. However, their chocolate bar does not yet have any certifications.

Robbie and Anna are also considerate of the environment in their chocolate making. The only waste product at present is cacao bean shells, and they are investigating having their wrappers made from the shells. Their current wrappers are made from foil and recycled paper. Even the local delivery of chocolate bars in Boulder, Colorado, is done by bicycle.

You can purchase Ritual chocolate online directly from them, or in person at retail locations in nine cities in the western United States and in New York.

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