The Best Dark Chocolate the Fruit of the Rainforest
Fresh dark chocolate delivered to you factory direct. Making the best dark chocolate is a complex process of careful audits in quality from beginning to end. As a chocolate supplier to world famous brand we take chocolate quality serious. You've heard about the health benefits of chocolate. Our specialty is bulk chocolate couverture and it will exceed your expectations. Ready to eat in wafers, you can discover for yourself the health benefits of organic dark chocolate. Unlike white chocolate, dark chocolate has both cocoa butter and cacao fiber which science has proven to have health benefits. The cacao fiber is the part of the cocoa bean where most antioxidants are found. This is why dark chocolate with high cocoa solids and thus cacao fiber, is considered healthy chocolate and as a result the best chocolate to eat for medicinal properties. We offer you the world of organic chocolates sourced from pristine rainforests. Our pure chocolate is more than candy. We make our couverture chocolate for the healthy California lifestyle. With USDA organic certification, Fair Trade Chocolate audits and Kosher certification, Santa Barbara Chocolate delivers flavor to USDA organic standards. Perfect eating from the package, home baking or manufacturing, Santa Barbara Chocolate sells the best dark chocolate in bulk wholesale packaging.
We care about providing dark chocolate that is considered the best in the world. That is why as a worldwide chocolate brand we make an extra effort to work with wholesale suppliers and cacao growers that care about the raw chocolate they source.
When it comes to nature, Santa Barbara Chocolate works in harmony so that every tree, every leaf and every ray of sunlight contributes towards the authentic taste of chocolate dark and pure, unadulterated and clean. In a world where the rainforest is struck down and the delicate earth trampled we are becoming increasingly conscious about our footprint on this earth. The cacao tree is a true gift which is why we strive to work in natural harmony with the planet and the forests that decorate it. This is why we choose UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade and Ethical Trade raw ingredients.
The rainforests of this world are stunning to the eye, emerald green canopies sparkle in the morning mist, a low fog drenches everything in moisture and butterflies flit from the tangled vines. It is here amongst the shade of these great trees where the long time indigenous farmers grow their specialist shade grown chocolate. From these healthy trees come the bittersweet chocolates we love.
We are one of the few Chocolate brands buying from organic cacao suppliers. Believe it or not there is a huge difference when it comes to the taste of shade grown chocolate and sun drenched chocolate. In shade grown chocolate the plant has the chance to work in perfect precision with the climate, the environment and the sunlight it knows best. This is as opposed to a cacao farm where the plants will sit in direct sunlight on clear cut land being scorched by the sun. Shade farming for chocolate takes the organic approach one step further and delivers something truly magnificent, chocolate grown the way nature intended it to be. As a result you'll notice complex flavor nuances in our dark chocolate. These complex nuances accent the traditional chocolate flavor with hints of red berry, spice and vanilla orchid. Tasting one of bittersweet dark chocolates you'll be taken on a flavor journey of wonderful warm flavors and classic chocolate payoff.
The best tasting chocolate will come from cacao trees with lower yield. The cacao plant grown in shade offers a smaller yield, but when it comes to shade grown cacao it is the quality not the quantity that counts. This is where the capitalist marketplace is replaced by a local company that cares about the best tasting chocolate and the quality of the world we live.
Shade growing not only has magnificent benefits on the quality of dark chocolate it produces but it also helps us all toward a better world. By supporting shade grown chocolate the chocolate lover is also supporting local communities that thrive on cacao growing and the sweet scented forests the plants inhabit. Instead of bulldozers laying these forests flat, they will be protected and every song bird, chirping insect, and blossoming flower will be protected with it. This is how the chocolate brand you choose can have direct result on the environment.
Thanks to the shade of the forests leaves working in harmony with the sun and the plants, with shade grown chocolate you get sweeter soil as dark as night bursting with earthy nutrients. The shade grown way is the natural way and allows the cacao plant to thrive in its own glory without the use of chemicals or contamination and so organic chocolate growing becomes the harmonious and right way. This makes shade grown chocolate beautiful and full of great karma, not to mention a quality chocolate.
At Santa Barbara Chocolate we always strive to produce chocolate that will leave a lasting impression, not only in the sensational taste but in the way it was created. Every dark chocolate from Santa Barbara has traveled a long way, from the tiny cacao shoot that burst through the sun glazed forest floor to the farmer’s hands who picked the cocoa bean, this is chocolate with a conscience. This is shade grown chocolate, the best dark chocolate.
Blending different types of chocolate will create some of the finest and most interesting tasting dark chocolate. In fact, you can create your own custom chocolates including cocoa percentages and couvertures from scratch.
If you blend equal parts of a Dark Chocolate 72%, such as the Organic Dark Chocolate 72%, with a Milk Chocolate, you will have a Semi Sweet Dark Chocolate 52% cocoa solids with a creamy milk undertone. This chocolate has the flavor, melt and mouth feel of a classic Swiss Dark Chocolate. (72% cocoa solids + 32% cocoa solids = 104% total divided by 2 = 52% cocoa solids). Temper this new chocolate as a milk chocolate if you are using it in molds.
Another exciting mixture is to take our very dark chocolate (the most bittersweet type 100%) as a base and create your own homemade bulk chocolate bar. This is just like how the big companies make custom blends. For example, mix 100 grams of our most bittersweet dark chocolate with 25 grams of a very fine powdered sugar and blend slowly while melting. You just created a 75% cocoa solid dark chocolate with no added vanilla, no lecithin and no fillers. Pour into parchment lined pan and refrigerate. Once set up, pop out of the mold you made. and you have your homemade dark chocolate from the very best ingredients.
Many artisan 'bean to bar' chocolate companies make their custom dark chocolates using the above methods. In fact you'll find bulk dark chocolate bars (handmade artisan bars) at local coffee shops that were made this exact method.
Crafting your own Chocolate Brand
Bean to Bar Chocolate Makers buy chocolate dark 100 from Santa Barbara Chocolate to add into their bar chocolate production. We have become the bulk chocolate source. Our customers are some of the most famous chocolate brands from around the world. Large European and American chocolate manufacturers, to small boutique chocolate shops and artisanal chocolate makers use our custom formulated dark chocolates. Consider the recommendation below from one of our chocolate partners who talk about Santa Barbara Chocolate Company as a source of premium chocolate.
Santa Barbara Chocolate has been able to carve out a niche in the United States by providing quality chocolate and developing personal relationships - just like what you are doing as an artisan chocolate brand.
Santa Barbara Chocolate offers value to your company by providing cacao paste. Our cacao paste is Fairly Traded, produced in a 9001 facility with HACCP and GMP in place and audited. Our cacao paste is formulated to our specifications by the bean blend we purchase using our network of brokers. The grind is to 32 microns and the paste is very sanitary with less then 1% cocoa husk. We offer a South American blend which comes in coins and we also offer our pride which can be purchased in bulk dark chocolate bars. We have representation with chocolate farmer and thus have first pick of cocoa beans. Our co-ops want cacao that has no slaty or over fermented or over roasted dark cacao. As a result, the roast and flavor profile of our dark cocoa paste and dark chocolates are superb.
If you consider using cocoa paste in addition to your own conching you can increase production. This is a proven process by famous bean to bar chocolate makers and dark chocolate truffle making companies. We have acted as advisors to manufacturers you likely know in incorporating this procedure. It would be a honor for Santa Barbara Chocolate Company to become your long term chocolate supplier and see your success.
Santa Barbara Chocolate is proud to offer an extensive range of premium chocolate products, including chocolate with no added gluten for our customers with gluten sensitivity. The best gluten free dark chocolate is easy to get.
What is Gluten Sensitivity?
When it comes to gluten sensitivity it’s important to know what you are putting into your body so you feel safe in the knowledge that the ingredients won’t harm or upset your health. Gluten sensitivity or celiac disease is better known as an intolerance to certain proteins that can be found in grains such as barley, wheat and rye. If someone is gluten intolerant, these foods will cause them health problems.
The Sweet Truth About Low Gluten or Gluten Free Chocolate
At Santa Barbara Chocolate we understand that when it comes to chocolate it should be enjoyed by everybody, which is why our traditional recipe chocolate made from roasted cacao beans has no added gluten ingredients and can be called gluten free chocolate. Whilst most pure chocolate is considered gluten free, many companies add certain ingredients to enhance the flavor of their products – as not everybody enjoys the dark and bittersweet taste of pure chocolate. Additional sugars and milk products can be blended with the rich cacao beans and dense cocoa butter to dark chocolate. It is when blending these additional ingredients that chocolate can run the risk of being unsuitable for those with gluten intolerance.
Every Effort to Ensure Our Chocolate is Gluten Free
Here at Santa Barbara Chocolate we strive to make all our rich and innovative chocolate products accessible to everyone. Customers can rest assure that our dark chocolates are with no added gluten.
Santa Barbara Chocolate takes every effort to ensure that there is a very minimal risk of cross contamination. We care about our customer’s health and want everybody to have the equal opportunity of indulging in the taste of our pure chocolate. With this in mind we ensure that our chocolate couvertures are lovingly created separately from those products that do contain gluten. Our chocolate wafers and solid chocolate bars are created with your gluten sensitivity health in mind.
The Best Chocolate
For our beloved customers who struggle with gluten we would like to remind you that at Santa Barbara Chocolate we endeavor to make our solid dark chocolate safe and enjoyable for you with no gluten. Our dark chocolates do not have gluten as an ingredient and we hope this helps our customers enjoy our chocolate that much more.
Some chocolate companies burn their cocoa beans with a heavy roast. This results in a strong bitter taste with little depth in flavor. This is done to hide inferior quality cocoa bean flavors such as the off notes of acidity, metallic or even damp, musty flavors due to over ripe or over fermented cocoa beans. Burning the cocoa bean allows manufacturers to use less cocoa fiber (the dark part of the cocoa bean and the most expensive part) and still get a desired "dark" chocolate taste. This is a process of masking chocolate to make it seem high cocoa when in fact it is not. Santa Barbara Chocolate is a reputable chocolate maker and we are recognized world wide as the smart choice in chocolate supply. The reason behind this is because of attention to detail like cocoa bean roasting.
Santa Barbara Chocolate does not over-roast or use inferior grade cocoa beans. We never burn the cocoa beans to produce a darker flavor. Santa Barbara Chocolate supply is a true balance accentuating the flavor of cocoa with no burnt aftertaste. By keeping cocoa roast low and short, the chocolate will retain a higher concentration of antioxidants. We are a chocolate supplier to the health food industry and so cocoa antioxidants are critically important. We focus at keeping cocoa antioxidants as high as possible while supplying a safe chocolate, free of harmful contaminants that tastes good. This is one more of the many reasons why we can be called the best dark chocolate supplier.
Tony Lass, director of Fox Consultancy, and head of Cadbury’s global cocoa supplies expressed his concerns at Chocoa 2018 regarding the possibility of cocoa extinction of a wild variety of cocoa (cocoa - we will be using cocoa as a term referencing all raw aspects of chocolate in this section). This wild variety of organic cocoa is an original variety from South America. This cocoa through cross pollination and replanting helps create cocoa crops resistant to many plant diseases and to some degree the adversity of climatic conditions when it is allowed to pollinate with other cocoa trees. This particular species of original cocoa is native to Latin America and is a prized organic variety that chocolate makers seek in making dark chocolate. Santa Barbara Chocolate seeks these unique prized cocoa beans in making our world renowned chocolate and this is part of the reason why our chocolate is called the best dark chocolate in the world.
According to Lass, forests and the micro climates at the headwaters of the Amazon River in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru contribute to the world’s richest and most diverse species of cocoa (this is where we source some of our dark chocolate varieties). With urbanization expanding, much of this unique micro climate environment of vital source cocoa is experiencing pressure. Cultivating these rare chocolate varieties from these areas is necessary to develop the market and brand recognition flavor of premium and exotic gourmet cocoa. Chocolate brands need to sell high quality cocoa ingredient products so customers can experience the true magic of these exotic foods. Cocoa extinction due to urbanization, resulting in loss of potential chocolate resources, is unsettling for chocolate makers all around the world and this is possible. Expansion in hydroelectricity development and mining programs that cut the rainforests are seen as reasons behind cocoa tree cutting and thereby increasing the possibility of a cocoa collapse or cocoa extinction of these extremely rare chocolate trees.
The alarming rate at which the various species of cocoa trees are disappearing has caused organizations like Cocoa Research Center (CRC) to launch several sample collection expeditions to salvage these species. Several cocoa crops have been saved through efforts centered in Central America, the Caribbean and South America. cocoa farmers are working to save cocoa from extinction by cultivating these original heirloom cocoa trees. Opting to grow cocoa trees in harmony with the rainforest is critical to long term eco systems as well as the preservation of unique cocoa varieties. Shade growing cocoa trees is a hopeful solution to allow the trees to further weather the changes in climate that may influence growing regions.
Dark Chocolate cocoa diversity:
The need for preserving dark cocoa varieties persists through education efforts and eco farming techniques. Cross pollination of the original cocoa varietals with more hardy cocoa crops can lead to hybrid species that produce cocoa chocolate that has the quality and is environmentally capable of surviving climate change. It is critical to make every effort to salvage as much of these crucial dark chocolate and cocoa varieties as possible by making them available as organic chocolate ingredients that are available to buy online and through chocolate suppliers. This will make these exotic chocolates more desirable and create a bigger demand which will help drive the fundamentals of preservation through economics. Failure to promote these origin dark chocolate ingredients will result in cocoa extinction over the longterm. Chocolate types could face shortages and chocolate brands as a result will lose the differentiations that make each one special. The solution as a chocolate shop and eco consumer is to buy dark chocolate that promotes this type of cocoa farming. Both processors and chocolate brands can devote more attention to ensuring long term survival of chocolate as demand and awareness grows.
A number of measures have been taken to preserve the endangered varieties of cocoa. A Global Seed Vault, created by the non-profit organization called The Crop Trust is located in a mountain on a remote island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. The seed vault has been fruitful in preserving various varieties of food crops. This vault, located between mainland Norway and the North Pole, helps preserve around 890,886 seed samples. The original cocoa seed types are stored here.
Unexplored cocoa Growing:
So far, the cocoa commonly in use has been derived from 12 types found in the Amazon region (our favorite source for cocoa). According to Lass, for the past 80 years, this very small number of varieties have been botanically cross bred for meeting the cocoa needs worldwide and these varieties can be found in places like Africa. Harsh climatic conditions, pests and potential cocoa plant diseases threaten the cocoa diversity. If climate change becomes significant, rising temperatures will push the suitable cocoa cultivation areas uphill. The IPCC reported that Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana’s optimal altitude for cocoa cultivation is expected to rise from 350–800 feet above sea level (100–250 meters) to 1,500–1,600 feet above sea level (450–500 meters).
These maps below show suitability for cocoa cultivation at present (left) and projected for 2050 (right). The area is reduced in both African nations Ivory Coast and Ghana by the year 2050. Image adapted from Läderach et al. 2013.
As the climate gets hotter, cocoa trees could start disappearing unless there are cocoa stewards and companies that care. According to Express News, the world may see a chocolate shortage by the year 2050. This has led experts to believe that by 2050 the cocoa plant will be difficult to grow – particularly in the Ivory Coast and Ghana where more than 50 per cent of the world’s cocoa is produced.
Among the various varieties of cocoa, the Criollo cocoa bean type is most desirable becomes of flavor delicacy. As a result Criollo is reserved for the finest of chocolates (it is mostly grown in South America). 5% of the total cocoa production comprises Criollo chocolate, while the rest is a Forastero cocoa bean variety. Demand for Criollo cocoa has increased magnanimously over the past few years, but unfortunately this genetic variety is becoming even more rare, said Lass. Unless customers seek dark chocolate varieties where Criollo is the main cocoa bean used there will not be the economic pressure of farmers to grow this type (Santa Barbara Chocolate uses significant amounts of Criollo Cocoa in dark chocolate production).
Dark Chocolate at its Best:
While there is a decline in cocoa resources, many companies around the world are endeavoring to refine the taste of cocoa based chocolates, for cocoa lovers, while maintaining dedicated efforts in sustainability. Santa Barbara Chocolate is focused on ensuring biodiversity and organic cocoa. The purest of organic dark chocolate that has been shade grown is our goal. Using eco safe Criollo cocoa as a vital ingredient can ensure chocolate for future generations. Dark chocolate is gluten free and most of our varieties have no soy lecithin, no vanilla and are Fair Trade certified. The darkest chocolates have the ingredients unsweetened cocoa mass, organic sugar and cocoa butter. Chocolate can be healthy and environmentally smart. Enjoy the flavor of real rainforest cocoa that is smooth and earthy with slightly fruity flavors. You are invited to go ahead and experience for yourself and savor the purest form of chocolate there is Santa Barbara Chocolate.