Ok Brad I accept that your opinion and mine may differ on this, I wouldn't call our approach deceptive and very misleading, as its imposssible to determine exactly what is the worlds rarest. Perhaps only the beans from 1 INDIVIDUAL POD OF CACAO (Sebastian !!!!!) can be called the worlds rarest.
I will say that your Choklat website features the phrase "We start with the rarest cocoa beans..." center front and large on the home page. when i click on Learn More I have a choice between Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, and Truffles and Confections. Milk Chocolate and Truffles have no information about the cacao used. Clicking on Learn More under Dark Chocolate leads to information about Jim's brazilian beans, nothing about mexico, nothing about porcelana, nothing about 50lb batches with distinct flavors per batch.
Is your chocolate really made from the "Worlds Rarest Cacao?" Clearly not, by your own standards. Is that "deceptive and very misleading". I frankly don't think so, but it is hypocritical for you to criticize me for doing exactly what you are doing. By your own standards you should probably make some changes to your website asap so as to stop deceiving and misleading your own clients.
I think you're probably a good guy Brad but it seems like you're using "honesty" as a shield to be a hypocrite and a jerk on these boards. How about a little civility and getting your own marketing house in order before you start throwing mud against my good name?
In a debate, when one has absolutely no recourse, or valid reply to a point, they attack just as you have. At that point, the discussion is over.
Right now, we have a limited supply of Claire Echevaria's Porecelana I acquired a couple of years ago. Is it rare? Yeah. Is porcelana commonly considered the holy grail of chocolate? Yeah. That's why Amedei sells their limited supply of blended porcelana for $25 per 53 gram bar! Can you only get a ton or so a year? Yeah. I guess when you weigh that amount to the several billion lbs of cocoa available on the market every year, it would be pretty safe to deduce that it's the among the rarest in the world. If it weren't EVERYONE would make chocolate with it.
We also have a small supply of Chuao. Everybody's heard of Chuao. Heck, there's even chocolate companies who have named themselves after that bean! Those beans are among the rarest and most sought after as well. No refuting it.
We also have a small supply of beans from a plantation in the Cuyagua district of Venezuela. Same story as the Chuao.
Are Jim's beans rare? I don't know. They produce an amazing chocolate, and form the basis for all of our confections and a couple of our bars. However they are primarily a well fermented and harvested brazilian forastero. There's nothing that really makes them "rare".
We DO use some of the rarest cocoa beans in the world, and I've had some of the most prolific chocolatiers walk through our doors and spend time learning what it is that we do here.
What I DON'T do is call my chocolate the rarest in the world. It's not. Nor is yours Brian.
I'm not the one being a jerk or a hypocrite. I'm simply asking pointed questions. ...and I'm CERTAINLY not lying to my customers by advertising it as the "Rarest Chocolate In The World", then openly admiting in a public forum (IN WRITING NONETHELESS!!!) that I don't really know if it's the rarest in the world.
Who's the jerk now????
Ok Brad, many of your forays into the forums end exactly here, and now i see why in a more complete light. You're saying worlds rarest cacao and we're saying worlds rarest chocolate. we both think we're justified in using the language we use. I maintain that you have a rather abusive nature on these boards, and you rather abusively disagree with me.
I still think you're probably a pretty good guy, I've had many friends who are abrasive and hard to embrace but worth the effort and you come across that way. This must be incredibly boring to anybody that bothers to read through it so for my part I will drop it there. I hope I have the chance to meet you someday, try your chocolate and hopefully we can drink a beer and have some laughs.
You call me a hypocrite, yet you openly admit to not knowing if your chocolate is the rarest or not, while at the same time actively promoting that it is.
You call me a jerk because I openly ask the question and call you on it.
I never once called you abrasive.
I simply called you to justify how you call your chocolate the world's rarest, and you could provide NO definitive justification for doing so. Instead, you resorted to calling the person who asked the question, a hypocrite, abrasive, and a jerk - tactics of someone who's been caught in a lie and backed into a corner, which is exactly what I did to you here. I backed you into a corner.
Nobody can question how rare the cocoa is that I use, and I don't claim to make the world's rarest chocolate, because I don't make the world's rarest chocolate.
Nor do you, so stop publicly claiming to.
I have no problem being the "bad boy" of the industry - pointing fingers and blowing whistles. Somebody has to. At the same time, if I'm wrong, and I seldom am, I will be the FIRST one to admit it, and make changes to make things right.
I post on forums like this, not because I'm out to make friends. I post on forums like this to legitimately help people when I can, and to let people know that what they read isn't always accurate or true.
Having said that, not a single person who has involved themselves in this conversation believes you have the world's rarest chocolate. It's not just me.
Like I said before, you should focus on your fabulous relationships with your growers and the special effort you make to harvest the cocoa you use to have your chocolate made for you. That IS truly special.
At this point I have to step in and point out that it is probably NOT Brian who is making the statements about Marañon being the world's rarest cacao or chocolate. It's the marketing people in the US who are doing it, not the guy who's working the beans in-country.
Brian may (or may not) have any input or comment on the language bring used on the website and in the marketing materials.
Brad and Brian - I think the discussion has been pretty interesting to this point and some valid points have been contributed by a number of ChocolateLife members - but I don't want the thread to devolve into a back and forth in the same tone and spirit as the last couple of posts. That won't do anything to move the discussion forward.
Clay, I agree.
Brian's evidently very passionate about what he does, and he should be. I've watched some of the videos, and I think it's pretty cool what he's doing. Sometimes I wish I could spend time at the plantations where my beans come from. I certainly don't want anyone to think I discredit his efforts and passion there.
That being said, my question was asked and answered, and my opinions contributed. I have nothing more really to add.
I found everyone's comments very interesting and educational. Let's just say, a very rare cacao. I like the idea of marketing the direct connect with the farmer and the hands-on in the post harvesting and processing. What knowledge all of you have shared will sure help me ask better questions as a wander cacao farms in the DR this summer. Thank you all.