Hi! I’m Howard Frederick, chocolatier in Australia and Samoa. I’m writing to see if any master craft chocolatiers would like to have a free shipment of Samoan Gold Cocoa beans? We'd love you to evaluate them. We now have a renewed supply of Samoan cocoa beans. Our “BioKoko” Single-Origin Samoan Cocoa is organic, fairtrade and . . . carbon-neutral because we use only biogas energy in our production.
Samoa was devastated by cyclones and a tsunami and is just now getting back on its feet. Before the cyclone, Samoan cocoa was designated as “Fine and Flavourful” (the top category) by the International Cocoa Organisation. There are 5000 acres under production and about 1200 farmers. Right now we’re re-starting the industry with beans export, and the moving up the value chain. You can see below an artist’s concept of our factory under construction. Our energy source is a biogasifier using agricultural waste, so we make a positive contribution to the planet by sequestering carbon. We believe the LOHAS markets will find them an attractive marketing angle.
Cocoa orchards are concentrated in the two 'rain shadows' (see map) along the northwest coasts of both islands. Ninety percent of Samoan cocoa is Trinitario. Samoa's fine chocolate quality may be due to the unique soil composition of Samoa's cocoa growing areas. The northwest rain-shadowed coast of both islands experiences marked dry seasons; trees seemingly grow out of rocks. Almost no mechanization is possible, even walking is difficult. Land is difficult to clear, but once established, cocoa trees on the lava flow thrive on the weed-free environment, where their own leaves cover the earth so their feet stay cool.
So my question to you is, can you use some Samoan FF beans or likor? May I send you some product? I’m happy to air freight you 2 or 10 kg for you to bench test. I know you’ll be very happy about the re-entry of Samoan Gold Standard Cocoa into the world market.
Kind regards, Howard
Prof Ahorangi Howard Frederick
153 Johnston Street, Collingwood (Melbourne), VIC 3066 Australia
T: 03-9419-3869, M: 0435-622-446
On behalf of
Cocoa Samoa Ltd
P.O. BOX 488, Apia, Samoa, South Pacific
Saleufi Street (opposite Chan Mow Complex)
Apia, 'Upolu Island, Samoa
Telephone: +(685)27122 Fax: +(685)27122
Hi Howard, I just sent you a message on The Chocolate Life.
Hi Howard, i'd also be interested in adding a Samoan to our other Pacific range. Prefer un-roasted beans or nibs.
Happy to look at roasted or liquor but would need to know the roasting profile used so we can benchmark. Also may have a market for the frozen pulp of the cocoa, which is usually a by-product.
We also use the winnowed shell for cacao tea so please advise pricing on this if available.
will also message you, cheers
Hi everyone: Just an update. I brought ~30kg of Samoa Gold Pacific BioKoko to Melbourne with my proper phyto-sanitary certificates and had to pay only Australian GST. You have to make a declaration of how much it was worth, so I gave my price.
We have had inquiries from Brooklyn to Perth of master and craft chocolatiers who are interested in testing this product.
At this point, I need people who can roast, give me a flavour profile (e.g. is there a note of coconut?, how much cocoa butter is there?) , and "tame" a single-origin bar. If you have an idea where I can have a craft chocolatie, I'd appreciate it.
PS This is the logo we used on the first export bags from Samoa. We designed to be a collector's item. BioKoko refers to the fact that our factory will use a biowaste generator which sequesters carbon. I have a stock of empty bags for $50 each. The Polynesian Vaka will cruise the Pacific on a publicity tour, if anyone is interesting in hosting an event? I know it's an arcane hobby, collecting cacao sacks, but I once had one with "Cocoa from Revolutionary Nicaragua" that I then onsold when I became an entrepreneur.
Howard, have you received the feedback that you wanted. If not then I'd be more than willing to put your cocoa to the test. I am only starting in the chocolate making, but a single origin hand crafted Samoa chocolate bar would be a great thing to produce. Finding out what percentage worked best would be a fascinating challenge.
A potential customer in Tasmania asked whether Samoan cocoa is good in hot chocolate. What, is the pope Catholic? Samoa’s national beverage is called Koko Samoa and the average Samoan drinks 5 cups a week. That would be 200g or 10kg a year. That puts it in the leagues of Switzerland in terms of per capita consumption. You can see a good recipe at http://www.samoafood.com/2010/10/koko-samoa-samoan-cocoa-recipe.html Now, in my shop I have been focus-grouping it to a variety of customers. Mostly they go yuck that looks like cocoa water. Australians expect a think gooey syrupy milky substance with lots of cream and sugar, maybe some added corn starch to make it even thicker. Or they prefer the ubiquitous powder (even Starbucks uses it) with West African beans and probably Fonterra dried milk. No, mate, this is the really McCoy. It is a bit like when you were a teenager and someone said try this for the first time . . . coffee, and you said how can anyone drink this. Or maybe when you first tasted wine. The way they make it in Samoa is the farmer goes into the plantation and picks some ripe pods of cocoa, takes out the beans, dries them in the sun, and roasts them slightly on a BBQ. Sometimes they ferment it before they dry it, but often not, and I can’t taste the difference. Then they pound it by hand with a wooden mortar and pestle. The result is a think cocoa paste still containing morsels. You can buy this “paste” in the markets everywhere in Samoa and also in the Samoan Food stores e.g. in Auckland and Brisbane. You just shave off a couple tablespoons with a serrated knife, two T to 1 cup water, and you gently boil it for five minutes. My wife the Choc Diva loves it straight, but I usually put a T of raw Queensland sugar. Some people add a bit of coconut milk. I’ve experimented with adding Chai Spice.
But Australians turn their noses up at it. I’d say about only one quarter like it, and no one prefers it given the choice of gooey.It just goes to show you that chocolate consumption is a very cultural phenomenon.
Yep, there's no doubt Koko Samoa is an acquired taste (I am a fan) - possibly a bit "smokey" for most people.
However we have been making hot chocolate by melting our finished chocolate (made from Samoan Trinitario cocoa) with milk (roughly 250ml of milk to 50g of 70% cocoa chocolate) and it is pretty fantastic.
Have also tried brewed cocoa with the finings from winnowing - works quite well in an espresso machine (even has a little crema on top) but again a bit of an acquired taste for most people.
Hi Howard, I'd be very interested in evaluating some of your beans if you still have them available. I'm a small artisan maker in California and would very much like to add learn more about your FF beans.
I would definitely be interested in doing a test batch. Just added you as a friend lets talk :)