Raaka makes uncommonly delicious unroasted dark chocolate that captures the brighter, bolder and fruitier side of cacao. Every bar is made from bean-to-bar in Brooklyn, NY using Transparent Trade single origin cacao beans ethically sourced from growers we trust and admire. The unique flavor of our unroasted chocolate is part place, part process. We craft our bars in celebration of each cacao origin's unique character.
In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, chocolate is defined as “a food prepared from ground roasted cacao beans”. This nice and concise definition had us in a minor existential crisis when we first started making “chocolate” without roasting our cacao beans. We asked ourselves, “Are we actually making chocolate?”
Needless to say, we are making chocolate, but chocolate that is uncommon in both process and in flavor. Since most chocolate available is made with roasted cacao beans, we’ve defined ours as simply “unroasted chocolate”.
We love the bold, bright, and fruitier flavor of unroasted cacao beans. We couldn’t find these flavors in other chocolate since most of what is available is made with roasted cacao beans, so we decided to make our own.
Why Single Origin?
Cacao beans manifest all sorts of flavors, shaped by the soil, climate, genetics, and post-harvest processes unique to each region. We’re not just talking from country to country either: cacao beans can taste completely different within a single region depending on the unique characteristics of that area. The post-harvest process, specifically fermentation, brings out a bright and bold acidity. This is the profile we look to preserve.
To us, each cacao bean is a very special and we treat them as such. The unique flavor of our unroasted chocolate is part place, part process. Every bar we make is in celebration of each bean’s unique character.
Why Transparent Trade?
We created Raaka because we knew there was a better way to make chocolate: from scratch; with traceable, high quality, single origin cacao; transparently sourced; and crafted into something uncommonly delicious. This model doesn’t quite fit into any of the current certifications, so we built our own. We call this model Transparent Trade and we’ve based it on the following principles:
We purchase cacao directly from cooperatives and grower organizations that focus on quality, sustainability, field support, market access, and premium prices for farmers.
We will always purchase cacao at stable, premium prices that are higher than commodity market and Fair Trade prices and protected from market fluctuations.
We publish each transaction on our website for verification and accountability.
“Terroir’s important to chocolate in the same way that it’s important to wine, or apples, or grain,” Hodge told me in 2016. “A lot of the beans that we use, if you roast them—a light roast, which is what a lot of craft chocolate does—you get similar flavors. But for our chocolate, it’s just a lot more magnified. In traditional chocolate, the reason you roast is to roast out any variance.” Alicia Kennedy, Edible Brooklyn