I now support the Heirloom Cacao Project by donating a little to them every month.
The project's mission is: "
To discover, identify and preserve fine flavor Heirloom cacao varieties for the conservation of biological diversity and the empowerment of farming communities". I can get behind this fully. I don't have a company if I cannot offer the fine flavors that projects like this preserve.
I've been wanting to donate to causes like this for a long time and now, with your support I can finally financially do so.
You might be thinking, "It's just chocolate! It all tastes the same, what's the big deal?" You are correct to a degree. The commodity chocolate industry has been pumping out chocolate for so long and doing so quite well that they see no reason to change. Chocolate is delicious, boosts your mood and if you can take it without all of the milk and sugar it's pretty damn good for you.
In my chocolate roasting trials to discover what I wanted to do, I found that there are so many different flavor characteristics that can be gleaned from a single bean it's hard to fathom. The farmer has the power to change the taste when they ferment and then dry, doing either improperly will result in a poor or lackluster bean. When I get the bean, roasting and grinding are the two ways I have of affecting the flavor. A lighter roast brings out the nuances of the bean and a shorter grand will tend to make it more astringent, because I've not allowed most of the vinegar aerosols to be released.
The Heirloom Cacao project does their best to get me the best bean so I have quality to work with. This will be an ongoing project as there are literally millions of cacao farmers out there that need to make a better living and the HCP can drive them there.