BY PETER ALLEN
CLONAKILTY Chocolate, which is one of four bean-to-bar chocolate producers in the country, is branching out with a new product.
Called Exploding Tree, and made under the brand, Cocoa Husk Tea, it’s a Fair Trade loose-leaf tea.
The cocoa beans are sourced where they are grown, at the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative, in the West African nation of Ghana.
The beans are then shipped to the bar manufacturing factory in Clonakilty.
The factory processes the cocoa beans without the use of chemicals, meaning every part of the bean can be used, including the husk.
The husk tea tastes strongly of roasted chocolate with hints of honey and warming spices.
Allison Roberts, founder of Exploding Tree and Clonakilty Chocolate, has been making chocolate since she was 12 years old and living in Toronto, Canada. She made and sold chocolate at her local Canadian farmer’s market.
What was meant to be a short visit to West Cork a decade ago instead ended up as a more permanent stay, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of her arrival this year. Allison explains that Cocoa husk tea is best drank ‘first thing in the morning or after a big meal.’
The tea is also a source of many vital minerals such as iron, which is important for bone structure, and vitamin E, which is important for cell rejuvenation.
Importantly the tea tastes good, says Allison, with flavours of roasted chocolate, honey and warming spices coming through in every brew.
The future plans of Allison and Exploding Tree, include launching a new range of cane-sugar free cooking chocolate, as well as a vegan oat milk chocolate bar.
She is committed to sustainability, using entirely biodegradable packaging and continuing to support and encourage other small sustainable businesses.
For example she provides Blacks of Kinsale with cocoa husks for use in brewing their ‘End of the World Imperial Chocolate Stout.’
Exploding Tree and Clonakilty Chocolate products can be found in independent shops throughout Ireland, Scotland and are avilable online at www.explodingtree.com.