Bahen & Co. is one of our fabulous pantry brands here at Father Rabbit, treating us all with a glorious variety of chocolate. Not only are these bars delicious, they also are packaged beautifully, with each unique print inspired by the journey the chocolate makers took in order to source the finest quality ingredients. We decided to delve a little deeper into the Bahen & Co. brand and the origins of their cacao to find out why we can’t put this chocolate down!
Bahen & Co. care about each step that their chocolate takes from bean to bar. Their beans are sourced from all over the world and made into chocolate at the beautiful Margaret River in Western Australia. Founder Josh Bahen has a history in winemaking that has equipped him with a passion for fine craftsmanship and patience when creating goodies. Bahen and his team produce their wonderful blocks of chocolate using ancient machinery and harvesting techniques. They recovered their over 100 year old winnower from an abandoned chocolate factory in Latin America, and use this still today to break the beans and harvest the cacao nibs. Then to combine these cacao nibs with raw sugar, they use a Guitard Melangeur dating back to 1910 to grind down the ingredients into a rich chocolate paste.
At Bahen & Co, they believe that the quality of their chocolate comes down to sourcing the best of the best cacao. Because of this belief, they spend most of their spare time scouring the world for the rarest and most heritage rich sources of cacao that in turn offer the most beautiful and rich flavours. Each of Bahen & Co.’s chocolates are unique and this calls for the use of a variety of cacao sourced from different areas of the world that each produce different tastes.
Papua New Guinea is one of the places Bahen & Co. have found to produce gorgeous cacao. The beans are harvested from a plantation near Medang in the Morobe Province that sits deep in a valley surrounded by mountain ranges. The original cacao planted here was derived from flavour varieties that originate from heritage Trinitario beans that were said to be first introduced by the colonial Germans from Samoa in the early 20th century. Bahen & Co. pins the high quality of their Papua New Guinea cacao down to the heirloom genetics, plentiful rainfall combined with hot and dry weather and fabulous farming standards and practices. This all mixed together creates the perfect recipe for chocolate that is described by Bahen & Co. as bright and luscious with hints of strawberry cream, red fruit and sweet pipe tobacco.
To find some of the most aromatic cacao on the planet today, you’ll have to travel to a small farm in Madagascar where Bahen & Co. source another one of their beans. The farm has been producing cacao since 1920 and is located on rich fertile soil in the Sambirano Valley. You know these beans are special when locals refer to them as ‘green gold.’ The cacao at this particular farm originated from Venezuela and Mexico, and the genetics of the crop travelled across the Pacific and Indian Ocean in the late 17th century. The beans Bahen & Co. use from this farm are processed and dried using a modern box fermentation technique allowing the beans flavours to intensify. This chocolate is filled with citrusy flavours, and hints of ripe raisins and red berries.
Once lost in the jungles of the Mata Atlantica, Bahen & Co.’s cacao source in Brazil was planted in the late 1950’s and after being abandoned for years, it was reopened in 2009. There is now a small village next to the plantation that houses the twenty farmers that work on the farm and refer to the village as paradise. The flavourful bloodlines of this bean contributed the the glory Bahia held in the early 20th century when it was known as one of the world’s greatest cacao regions. The beans Bahen & Co. harvest from Brazil are turned into a bold chocolate that bursts of mulled wine and fruit cake.
We love Bahen & Co. more and more with each delivery we get. From the beautifully vibrant packaging to the aromatic tastes derived from Madagascar, Brazil and Papua New Guinea, these little blocks of chocolate are hard to beat. Pop into one of our Father Rabbit stores or shop our Bahen & Co. range online now to give the perfect gift every time, even if it’s all for you!