Review: Raw Chocolate from COCOA

The world of raw chocolate is expanding daily. As more and more products come to market, which are doing things differently enough to stand out? COCOA have created a range of sweet, milky chocolate made with coconut milk powder as well as freeze dried coconut water. Rather than a dark, bitter flavour, what comes through is a super sweet and creamy caramel enhanced with coconut and combined with other well chosen ingredients.

We fell in love with their Brazil Nuts in Raw Vegemylk Chocolate, made from coconut blossom sugar, cocoa butter, raw cocoa beans, freeze dried coconut water, bourbon vanilla. This creamy, dreamy, sweet milk chocolate is the perfect complement to fresh, crunchy brazil nuts. Their Raw Coconut Chocolate is a soft and rich bar, similar in texture to a traditional sweet milk chocolate and absolutely delicious in flavour. This is the creamiest raw chocolate we’ve ever eaten. Our favourite has to be the Raw Chocolate Almond Cappuccino with Mulberry. This is not a traditional fruit and nut bar as the ingredients are blended together to produce a silky smooth, rich caramel flavoured chocolate that will delight those who love coffee and even those who prefer to avoid it.

We spoke with COCOA about what they do and why they do it…

What inspired you to make raw chocolate when so many other brands are doing the same?

We are enthusiasts of superfoods and chocoholics who are fortunate enough to realise our passion every day, both at work and after. We manufacture and sell a premium quality raw, organic chocolate and chocolate coated superfoods under COCOA brand.

Our chocolate is made of cold pressed cacao beans and delivers unrivalled taste whilst preserving the abundance of health benefits ingrained in the cacao. All our ingredients and the production process are fully eco, vegan and organic certified and controlled.

We are here for all health, diet and lifestyle conscious chocolate lovers and connoisseurs who want to delight themselves with their favourite treat and feel good about it.

Our passion for superfoods dates back to many years ago. The raw cacao beans which we sold in our niche online store at that time inspired our imagination right from the start. We dreamed of having our own place where we could transform those beans into chocolate creations, through a magic process that carries the absolutely best, flawless and pure taste of cacao through to the end product. And our dreams came through!

What makes your chocolate different to what is already on the market?

We are different to other brands in many aspects: we do not take shortcuts and compromises on ingredient quality and sourcing; we have developed our own unique production process and are a true ‘bean-to- bar” producer; we don’t use any refined sugar, milk or animal ingredients, soy, fillers and enhancers. And finally, the taste of our chocolate is truly unique. Trust us, there are not many others like us.

Milk powders, starch and emulsifiers added to cocoa mass are full of artificial substances which fill volumes and make traditional chocolate cheap to produce. Flavouring agents and enhancers are just chemicals used to cheat our senses.

The other ingredients we use in our chocolate are:

  • Bourbon vanilla: An excellent antioxidant that enhances combating free radicals. It is also an antidepressant; its sweet scent can help to calm shattered nerves. The components of vanilla oil have beneficial influence on boosting our mood too. Thanks to its tonic, moisturising and softening properties, it is also used in the cosmetic industry. No wonder vanilla is so willingly used in our products.
  • Coconut blossom sugar: Our sweet, healthy secret straight from Indonesia. It has extremely low glycaemic index of 35, and it replaces the detrimental refined sugar.
  • Salt: Only Himalayan. The purest and most natural salt on the earth which contains all 84 of the minerals and elements your body needs.

Where are your products made? Do you use fairtrade labour?

All our products are made in our own factory in Poland where we have full 100% control of the creation process: from bean to bar. All of the ingredients we use come from certified Fairtrade farmers and our own labour is definitely fairtrade.

Why organic and raw?

Only raw, organic chocolate and superfoods can deliver our mission. Free from everything that is not needed, good for our health, sustainable – as nature intended.

Cacao is an enormous source of health benefits and a profound medicine that scientists and researchers have discovered.

Over the past several years, a lot of science has emerged which proves that cacao and the foods made from it – like chocolate – possess extraordinary, life-imbuing and disease-fighting benefits.

Most notably, cacao significantly reinforces our cardiovascular system by helping to reduce risks of heart attack or stroke, as well as high blood pressure. Some researches suggest that cacao can reduce the risk of cancer and its regular consumption is associated with slower cognitive decline in an old age.

The COCOA raw chocolate is made exactly with the purpose of bringing all this goodness to the finished products. Our chocolate making process is based on cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans through a diligent, 60+ hours long process of grinding and conching the beans at low temperatures (<45°C). This method keeps the living enzymes in the cacao in tact and ensures an optimal preservation of all its valuable antioxidants and polyphenols. Magnesium is the most important component which helps to overcome negative effects of stress. Phosphorus, also known as the beauty agent, heals our skin, hair and nails. The antioxidants present in cacao delay the aging process and bolster our immune system. They also contribute to improving our moods and boost concentration.

Why vegan?

Veganism is about lifestyle and diet choices, so in line with our mission we wanted to include vegans amongst our target consumers. This meant excluding any animal related ingredients in all our recipes or replacing them. For example, our milk tasting chocolates have coconut milk or coconut water to replace animal milk or milk powder so widely used by other producers.

Where are your ingredients sourced? Are they fairtrade? Are they sustainable?

All our ingredients are from ecological farming, are fairtrade and sustainable. We import the most exclusive cacao beans such as Criollo and Trinitario, which are grown in Peru and Ecuador.

What plans do you have the future of your brand?

We want to further excel in delivering best quality, healthy chocolate and superfood treats to our consumers and be widely available for them.

What would you like to see change in the world of commercial chocolate?

Increased awareness from consumers of what they eat and how to recognise what is good or not so good for them. This refers to chocolate as well.

Does it mean that all chocolate lovers have to choose between health and having their favourite treats? No. COCOA raw chocolate is addressing exactly this dilemma. Compared to traditional chocolates, raw chocolate is a totally different world which we are introducing to you in our own way.