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ABOUT ORIGINAL BEANS
Original Beans was founded with two guiding principles; making the finest chocolate and replenishing what we consume. Since 2008, Original Beans have followed this mission, inviting consumers ‘to taste the rare and preserve it’ – not only producing delicious tasting, additive free chocolate, but also delivering powerful social and environmental impact programs at the origin of the cacao itself. The whole sustainable journey encompasses the protection of endangered wildlife, tripling farmer incomes, building one of the world’s first climate-positive supply chains and planting or preserving one tree for every single bar sold.
Their highly experienced Bean Team ventures into the most remote rainforests to source some of the world’s rarest cacao varieties, working with and purchasing direct from local cacao growers at origin and then investing part of the proceeds from the sale of each bar sold to local conservation efforts, replenishing the biodiverse forests in the origins instead of harming them. Through its One Bar : One Tree program, Origin Beans plants a seedling for every chocolate bar sold, protecting the habitat of local flora and fauna, empowering cacao farmers and their families, and ensuring heritage cacao trees remain for future generations.
Thanks to these continuous reforestation efforts, as well as energy-efficient production, green logistics and 100% bio-compostable packaging, Original Beans chocolates are CO2-positive within their own supply chain. This means that with every bar of Original Beans chocolate you enjoy, you offset the environmental impact of your consumption – and change the world’s climate for the better.
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ORIGINAL BEANS AWARDS & CERTIFICATIONS
‘To make sure that cacao beans, and their rainforests of distinction, are safe from extinction we grow one tree for every bar sold. When you break off a piece of Original Beans chocolate, not only are you a moment away from enjoying the earth’s rarest cacao beans in their purest form—you are breaking ground for a tree. Through our One Bar: One Tree programme, our customers and farmers together have grown millions of trees in the cacao origins.
Philipp Kauffmann – Founder – Original Beans
The rare cacao varieties from Original Beans can be split into three categories; Wild cacao – a cacao that grows wild in the forest where the fruits are foraged without disturbing the landscape. Native cacao – a cacao that originates from a specific terroir, or a cacao that has been cultivated in a specific terroir for several centuries or millennia. Heritage cacao – A cacao that has been cultivated in a specific terroir for at least two generations within a specialty cacao tradition.
The flavours are never completely objective. Cacao is a product of nature so each harvest tastes a little different. Most bars produced by Original Beans are made from Latin American cacao, with only a few from African regions, since beans from rainforest areas are extremely hard to source in a sustainable way.
Real chocolate is made from a hyper-nutritious seed, roasted to bring out its flavours, ground to a fine paste, and finally sweetened with sugars. The nearly 200-year-old process of creating chocolate palatable for eating has mostly been replaced by more profitable techniques, losing the character of the cacao and often a result of an unsustainable mix of social exploitation of the cacao producing farmers and mindless degradation of tropical forests and soils, let alone the nutrient-poor cheap calories of processed chocolate bars.
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ORIGINAL BEANS PROVENANCE – WILD, TRIBAL, NATIVE, ALWAYS ORGANIC
Wild, tribal, native, always organic, Original Beans cacao beans present a growing range of the world’s rarest cacaos. Together with growers, Original Beans discover, select, plant, graft, grow, harvest, ferment, dry, store, ship, clean, roast, grind, conch and temper these beans. All the ingredients of these rare chocolates are from controlled organic farming and are traded directly at twice the Fairtrade price. They are 100% free from any additives, and in fact, only raw cane sugar and in some cases cocoa butter and milk powder to the rare pure Original Beans chocolates.
Cacao butter is the pressed and filtered fat from the cacao bean. The organic cacao butter used comes from Trinitario cacao beans grown in the Dominican Republic. This butter is only slightly deodorised to keep the original cacao flavours. It fits perfectly to Original Beans’ philosophy of preserving distinct original aromas.
Over 100 different flowers and herbs on the cow meadows and clear mountain water contribute to the unique quality of the Swiss organic milk used. Swiss organic standards are the world’s highest and the animals spend a lot of time in the open air.
The cane sugar comes from La Felsina, a leading organic and Fairtrade cane sugar mill. “Raw” means that this sugar has not been carbonated or de-colorized. Thus it still contains all the important minerals of sugar cane. Cane sugar has 40% less impact on the world’s climate than beet sugar which is mostly used in chocolates.
Just like fine wines, olive oils, and honey, Original Beans chocolates let you taste the terroir of where the ingredients are grown. The world’s rarest cacaos have unforgettable character and every bite is evocative of the forests where the beans are grown. Eight different regions, eight different flavour profiles.
Sacred Cusco Valley, Peru
Heirloom Chuncho cacaos, overlooked by the astonaishing Machu Piccu citadel, have survived millennia in the Urubamba Valley. The old and sturdy Chuncho trees grow at an altitude once thought impossible to farm cacao, and are from a range of different varieties rather than a homogenous group. Aromatically the cacao is one of the richest in the world, and though the fruits are small they are very solid.
Selva Zoque, Southern Mexico
Considered the birthplace of chocolate, cacao cultivation in the deep green ranges of the Selva Zoquehas been taking place here for over 4,000 years. The forefathers of the Zoque tribe, the Olmecs, invented a powerful sacred drink from forest fruit known as ‘kakaw.’ Today, Zoque and Tzotzil farmers are helping revive the world’s original cacao tradition and the sustainable guardianship of the rainforests.
Arhuaco Lands, Colombia
The Arhuaco ancestral lands have ecosystems ranging from coral reefs to rainforests to snow-capped mountains. At the sacred sites at the Caribbean shores of La Lengüete they have initiated the revival of a select tribal cacao culture, the ancient criollo blanco. It is here that Arhuaco farmers harvest and preserve the rare ancient white cacaos through their harmonious relationship with nature and the land.
Piura Valley, Peru
Born from the dry, desert valleys in Piura, Northern Peru, the ultra-rare Piura Porcelana white cacao was nearly extinct before it was rediscovered in 2007. Limited seasonal rainfall provides habitats for puma and an astonishing diversity of birds and butterflies. With the support from Original Beans and due to its lively fruit flavours, Piura cacao has become one of the highest awarded beans worldwide.
Virunga Park, Congo
Virunga is one of the most beautiful and naturally richest regions in the world, but through centuries of exploitation for its resources it has become an emblem for the struggle to defend the beauty of nature against powerful interests. Original Beans supports Virunga farmers to rebuild sustainable livelihoods from cacao around Africa’s oldest park, protect the world’s last mountain gorillas and defend against fossil fuel development.
Udzungwa Park, Tanzania
An area of incredible beauty and a natural wonderland where elephants roam the forests and like to nibble on the delicious cacao groves planted by local farmers. Farming families have been growing the regions rare cacao here for generations. Recently conservationists have initiated the use local bee cultures to help intimidate the elephants and protect the cacao, part of programme of sustainable coexistence.
Beni Amazon, Bolivia
In the Southwestern Amazon basin the region is made up of savannah, rainforest and waterways, giving rise to almost 40 forest islands in an archipelago of ‘chocolateles’ – chocolate islands. 100% wild cacao grows here, helped to propagate by the last of the vivid blue-throated Macaw. Indigenous collectors have sustainably harvested this ultra-rare Beniano cacao for generations.
At the southernmost tip of the Chocó, Esmeraldas is one of the world’s most threatened and least-known rainforest ecosystems. The last coast cloud forest in Ecuador, Mache Chindul replenishes all the major rivers in the region and is where the cacao is sourced. Heirloom Arriba Nacional cacao while unaffected by Ecuador’s boom in hybrid cacao, faces the continual threat of deforestation.
ORIGINAL BEANS PEOPLE
Original Beans Founder and Chief Grower Philipp Kauffmann is from a family of nature explorers and conservationists. Philipp trained as a development economist, then worked for the World Wildlife Fund for a number of years before joining the UN development programme in the environmental department. At the nexus between the market and conservation efforts, he started to ask questions of how our ecology and consumer society sit together. As a funding specialist, he found that the governmental style of organisation was not having the desired impact on the ground, and thought about alternative methods to fund natural conservation initiatives in the regions he was working in.
One of the most valuable exports form these regions was chocolate – or cacao beans – and whose farmers could benefit from better initiatives that helped them grow and sell their produce. Spending considerable time in these rainforest regions, speaking to growers and understanding their needs, Philipp left his job at the UN to grow Original Beans into a leading brand for a world in which we regenerate what we consume.
Original Beans has its HQ in Amsterdam, the largest port for importing cacao in the world. Some of the team are based there, with other members of the Bean Team around the world at the origins of the cacao. They go to extraordinary lengths – and distances – to source previously undiscovered, forgotten and tucked away cacao beans for Original Beans chocolates. They experience exciting adventures, meet indigenous tribes, and are sometimes cut-off from the outside world for weeks. The Bean Team is responsible for the sourcing and direct trade with the cacao growers and the implementation of the One Bar : One Tree programme.
ORIGINAL BEANS HQ
|Mauritskade 64, 1092 AD Amsterdam, Netherlands|