Our raw cacao powder is made from organic cacao beans from the famous Kokoa Kamili cooperative. The beans are not roasted before grinding - they're fermented and sun-dried for a fruity, bright flavor.
It's a fruity and nutty cacao that's great for sweets but is particularly delicious as a savory ingredient as an alternative to paprika in stews, chilis, and tomato sauces, where it adds sweetness and depth similar to caramelized onions, barbecue or soy sauce.
The Kokoa Kamili cooperative is comprised of nearly 3,000 smallholder farmers in the Kilombero Valley. They provide training and support for their member farmers, as well as cocoa tree seedlings (over 140,000 so far) for free or well below cost.
Kokoa Kamili supply cocoa beans to a lot of well-respected chocolate makers here in the US, including Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco and Raaka in NYC.
With this spice, they've gone one step further and turned the cocoa beans into powder. Rather than relying on someone else to take this step, they're creating an opportunity to bring more money back to their member farmers.
Their cacao powder is minimally processed and unroasted: the beans are fermented using the cacao fruit sugars, and then heated gently to extract the fat (which is used to make cocoa butter.) The powder is the byproduct of the cocoa butter-making process, which is typically used for cosmetics.