What do you get when one of the world’s best pastry chefs turns his passion towards bean-to-bar chocolate making? The answer is Casa Cacao, an ambitious chocolatier by Jordi Roca of Spain’s legendary El Celler De Can Roca restaurant. And now, Hongkongers will be able to sample the highly sought after chocolates as the chef announces a collaboration with Cupping Room in Harbour City to run a pop-up launching on 31 January.
Opened in 2020, the original concept of Casa Cacao combines a chocolate factory, shop and cafe along with the Hotel Casa Cacao on the upper floor. Roca and his team source cacao beans from Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Perus, the Dominican Republic and India which are then delivered to their workshop in Girona where they are carefully sorted by hand before being roasted to create the highest quality chocolate through sustainable processes. To minimise waste, for example, the shells once roasted and cracked are processed into a cacao paper that are used to wrap the chocolates—making use of a by-product that would normally be discarded.
At the Cupping Room Harbour City pop-up, shoppers can find both individual chocolate bars and boxes of bombones for purchase, as well as Casa Cacao’s signature hot chocolate made using 72 per cent single origin cacao sourced from the Kaithpara Forest in Kerala, India; the chocolate is described as having notes of papaya, coconut and mango as well as spices such as black pepper and cardamom. Of course, being located within a coffee shops means that guests can also try a special mocha that combines chocolate and coffee from Casa Cacao and The Cupping Room.
The range of 80g chocolate bars covers all bases, from five dark chocolate varieties (66 per cent to 80 per cent cacao, depending on how bitter you love your bars) to four milk chocolates as well as flavoured bars that combine Ethiopian coffee, or liquorice and tangerine. Several bars feature sheep’s and goat’s milk for an alternative flavour profile.