Mirzam is the United Arab Emirate’s first craft chocolate maker, located in Dubai. Today Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures, peoples and cuisines, all of which contribute something to the local flavour. And for centuries the Middle East was at the centre of the historic spice trade. Adventurous traders and sailors traveled the seas from China to the Mediterranean bringing with them the rarest spices and ingredients.
The beans for this bar are sourced from Kokoa Kamili, a social enterprise fermentary who operate by purchasing ‘wet’ cocoa beans directly from smallholder farmers, and then ferment and dry the beans following its post-harvest protocol. The cacao beans are all sourced from the Kilombero Valley, Morogoro Region, so as to raise the profile of Tanzanian cocoa.
Mirzam flavours and origins are directly inspired by these maritime trade routes. Its single origin bars use cacao from plantations along the spice route. You can also see this seafaring heritage in the bar’s beautiful packaging. Designed in collaboration with local artists. The single-origin bars show sailing ships against the night sky – a reference to how sailors would navigate the seas.
If you are lucky enough to be in Dubai, you can visit Mirzam at its workshop. Not only can you buy bars, have a cup of its gourmet hot chocolate, you can also take a tour of the workshop. As the only bean-to-bar chocolate maker Mirzam are keen to open up their process to the world. So far the chocolate has proved incredibly successful. At one point, the company almost ran out of beans as its dark chocolate was an even bigger hit than expected.
This bar is gentle, despite its “100%” credentials. It is ever so chocolatey, with notes of wood and buttery texture. The bar is delicate to hold and visually distinct with the waves in its mould.