A hot brew with a sweet piece of chocolate, it doesn't get much better than that does it? Especially when an incredible amount of care and research goes into sourcing those cocoa beans, that's why our Saint x Land, bean to bar chocolate collaboration made perfect sense. Land celebrate the world's finest cacao with the whole process of chocolate making taking place from their workshop on the backstreets of E8, local to our roastery in Hackney.
We combined forces to bring you a delicious Guatemalan milk chocolate bar, perfect for that afternoon brew. We caught up with Chief chocolate maker, Phil, to explore what some would describe as the 'best job in the world'...
Where does the story of land chocolate begin?
The story of Land probably began when I first saw my first cacao tree, which was back in 2013 in Nicaragua. I was just a tourist at the time but it was that moment which ignited my initial interest and fascination with how a cacao bean could evolve into the chocolate bar that we all know and love. I came back from that trip and quit my career in Radio and started in the Chocolate industry.
What chocolate would you recommend with a freshly brewed coffee?
This is quite a personal thing and quite simplistic, but if you have a dark coffee (filter/espresso etc) then a milky/sweeter chocolate always seems to compliment nicely for me. If you have a milky coffee then the contrast of dark chocolate can enhance your tasting experience. There are nuisances with all these things but this is generally a good starting point.
What was the most exciting part of working on this collab project?
It’s not everyday you get chance to sit down and have 6 or so different batches of coffee from varying parts of the world. Throw in the fact I get to learn how to properly taste the coffee from the guy who roasted it and I can’t help but enjoy that. There is a lot of similarities with Chocolate and Coffee and how its produced but it was learning the differences that I enjoyed the most.
What’s your go-to brewing method/coffee of choice?
I’m quite lazy when it comes to preparing coffee so I’m normally at the coffee shop ordering ‘whatever’s on the filter’. The Ethiopian beans I tried during my tasting with Saint were incredible and have been my favourite of recent memory. I normally enjoy fruiter notes in my chocolate and it seems that transfers across to my coffee preference as well. Give me that Ethiopian coffee with a bit of the Guatemalan milk chocolate and I’m sorted.