With such an incredible culture of food, patisserie, desserts and strong respect for artisan tradition, it may come as little surprise that Japan has now embraced bean-to-bar chocolate. One of these Japanese makers is Cacaoken by Yukari Nakano and her parents.
As you might recall, Cacaoken is short for ‘cacao laboratory’ in Japanese. It crafts all its chocolate bars in its laboratory in Fukuoka. It sells in coffee stores throughout Japan and also via a caravan that Nakano-san drives around Japan (in which she and her mother, demonstrate how small batch chocolate is crafted).
And on top of this Cacaoken has a farm and research lab in Vietnam. Here Cacaoken grows cacao and experiments with bean fermentation. The bars all use these Vietnamese cacao beans (sometimes blended with Ghanaian cacao).
This bar sees white chocolate paired with matcha from Japanese tea guru Hoshino Yamato. Hoshino Cha is a tea plantation with an established history and production techniques that have been nurtured by the abundant nature of Okuyame since its foundation in 1983. It produces and sells high-quality green tea grown with the utmost care and attention.
Hoshino Cha is a tea grower with a long and distinguished history. The farm has passed through four generations and is famed for its delicious Yame tea, but perhaps best known for its Okuyame Hoshino tea.
This bar has the earthiness of matcha and the sweet creaminess of white chocolate. It has a slightly grainy texture, and a quick, even melt.