The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

January 2008 Blog Posts (4)

Do biotic community dynamics of shaded coffee plantations inform cacao plantations?

I went to a talk last week about the dynamics of biotic communities on coffee plants on a 100 year-old organic shaded coffee plantation. The biotic interactions were fascinating, and ever increasing as the speaker elaborated on her research. The speaker was Ivette Perfecto from the University of Michigan. Here's the gist:



Arboreal ants live in nests in the shade trees and come down to tend scales (coffee herbivores) on the coffee plants and eat the honeydew produced by the scales. At… Continue

Added by Lorna on January 29, 2008 at 8:12pm — No Comments

Theo Chocolate is now available at Costco

According to their monthly newsletter, Costco says that Theo is making a "limited" (as limited as anything that is sold in Costco can be) edition Valentine's Gift Set.



This follows a trend for well-known chocolate companies to sell their wares through Costco. While probably less destructive to the bottom line than selling through WalMart, the fact that people can purchase the chocolate at 20% normal retail prices would indicate that Theo is not making its customary… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 29, 2008 at 2:26pm — 3 Comments

Starbucks Rumors

Hold on to your hats everyone, rumor has it that Starbucks will be getting into the "artisan" chocolate business in a big way pretty soon. Given the number of doors (that's the technical term that people use when they talk about the number of stores) in the Starbucks franchise it stretches credulity to believe that the chocolate will actually be made using artisan production methods. When I know more I will let everyone know what I find out.



In the meantime, take a moment to post your… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 29, 2008 at 10:39am — 6 Comments

TCHO: Redefining Chocolate

The majority of the growth in the premium chocolate business in the US over the past several years has come as a result of an increase in interest in artisan confections. This has led to dramatic growth in the number of artisan chocolatiers capable of commanding premium prices for their goods.



Less dramatic, but no less interesting, has been the growth of artisan chocolate makers in the US. In 2005 the list contained one name: Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker.



Their success,… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 29, 2008 at 9:22am — 2 Comments

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