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Chocolate from the Middle East
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Mornay
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November 23, 2005 - 4:08 pm
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Recently I was introduced to the brand Aalst which is made in Singapore and whislt they seem to compete in the same industrial arena as callebaut and others, I was hoping someone else have might have sampled their product and could share their thoughts on this new entry into what seems to be a great new product.

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Masur
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November 23, 2005 - 6:59 pm
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[url]http://www.aalst-chocolate.com.sg/[/url]

This industrial company i new to me. Do they really source their own beans?

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
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Sebastian
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November 23, 2005 - 9:51 pm
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Yes, as well as hire companies such as mitsubishi sourcing to do it for them.

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Masur
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November 23, 2005 - 10:43 pm
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This should have a negative impact on the quality of the beans.

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Sebastian
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November 23, 2005 - 11:03 pm
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What should?

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Hans-Peter Rot
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November 24, 2005 - 12:40 am
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Having Mitsubishi source the beans.

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Sebastian
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November 24, 2005 - 3:14 am
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I can't imagine how...

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Masur
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November 24, 2005 - 7:48 pm
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Why do people travel around the world sourcing beans like John Sharffen Berger and Alessio Tessieri?

As a major supplier of cocoa beans Mitsubishi can deliver beans of different quality. How does the beans from Mitsubishi compare to the best from Barry Callebaut? Any comment on that Sebastian.

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

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chocolatero
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November 25, 2005 - 9:01 am
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I would suggest that if what I read above is correct
these people probably make from liquor, not from beans
Liquor is bought from big companies like Cargill etc
Same for Belcolade and quite a few others...
Chocolatero

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Sebastian
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November 25, 2005 - 12:36 pm
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I assume by quality you're speaking of flavor quality which is inherent to the beans genetic line, not physical paramters of the beans themeselves or physico/chemical changes that occur in the bean post harvest during transit - so i'll focus my comments on the former not the later. If I've guess incorrectly, let me know and i'll address that too..

Someone like barry callebaut doesn't source most of their beans (they have other companies source most of them, although BC does source some theirselves), as most large suppliers aren't equipped to source directly from the farmer, or the tretants or the pistuers. Large sourcing companies tend to focus on industrial grade beans that they can get in large quantities, which means that typically you're not going to see large quantities of fine flavor grade beans - my guess is that's where you were going with this. However - my choice of words such as 'typically' leaves some wiggle room, as the large sourcing companies - at least some of them, I can't speak for all as I've not had experience with them all - do deal in small quantities of fine flavor beans (that's a little repetitive, as the only option you have available to you when discussing quantities of fine grade flavor beans are small quantities...). People like JSB and AT know well that supply can drive demand - and vice versa - and they are working directly with the farmers to ensure that someone doesn't come along and offer $5/kg more than they do, hence destroying their very limited supply. And part of it's the marketing story as well (it's much more romantic to bulid a story around how we've worked hand in hand with a select 20 individuals hidden in the darkest regions of unexplored jungles...) But they are not the only ones doing that - their competition for the limited supply lies both with small, individual companies such as theirs as well as larger ones.

Many of the bar producers that are dicussed here that are fully integrated (ie bean to bar) that are consistently favorably rated aren't directly sourcing their beans themselves (as well as some of them that are popularly believed to be fully integrated but aren't). And for those that do say they source their own beans, it doesn't mean that they're sourcing *all* their own beans - in many cases it's only a small percentage of their total usage, and they'll purchase the rest from companies that do this much better than they (it's a very difficult undertaking). Conversely, I've seen a few companies discussed here that aren't very highly rated who are sourcing directly themselves. The point I'm trying to make is that a company''s ability to directly source themselves has no direct bearing on the hedonic perception of quality...

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Masur
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November 25, 2005 - 7:01 pm
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Thanks Sebastian!

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

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seneca
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November 26, 2005 - 11:05 pm
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Just as an aside, not all chocolate liquor is bought from/by/through large companies. There are some wonderful small cacao producers taking things to the liquor stage now (notably in Panama and Costa Rica), and in some respects this makes a lot of sense.

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
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Sebastian
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November 26, 2005 - 11:15 pm
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The Venezuelan gov't just announced recently that they're gonig to be funding a much higher level of grassroots cacao processing as well. 2 new factories are planned. ED&F Mann (Corigins) is doing a lot of work in central/s. america also.

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