Chocolate. COFFEE. Simple, essential, daily pleasures. Snapping off a square of chocolate and letting it melt in your mouth. STEAM LIFTING FROM A HOT MUG. It’s pure delicious wonder. A break from the mundane. Sinking into the curious. That flutter of flavor like falling in love.
Flavor is at the core of everything we do. Coffee and chocolate have the most complex flavors of any foods on the planet. Both contain thousands of aromatic compounds which are released in roasting, processing, brewing and tasting.
That being said, we're all about respecting the spectacular magic lying dormant in each lot of virgin cacao and green coffee beans. Our aim is to nurture those hidden flavors into being. It requires finesse. And plenty of science. Batch testing ad infinitum. And hours that turn into days of dedicated roasting. Not to mention blending, winnowing, grinding, conching, tasting, moulding, hand-packaging, and shipping.
We craft our coffee and chocolate with a cocktail of hustle, dedication, research, and passion. Maybe a muse or two. Plus a little bit of madness.
What else but the most flavorful foods on the planet could drive us to such lengths?
We craft our chocolate from bean to bar over 36 hours or more. We start with carefully sorting each lot of raw cacao. We remove detritus and malformed cacao. Then we gently roast our cacao in our fluid-bed air roaster for a long, low temperature roast to best "release" the nuanced flavors. Each lot of cacao is unique and requires a keen touch when roasting to release the best flavor. After that, we crack the beans and “winnow” to remove the papery husks around the beans, isolating the cacao “nibs." Then we add our nibs to our stone grinding melangeur, where the cacao nibs break down into a liquid called chocolate liquor. We grind our chocolate for 12-24 hours. Then in goes the sugar for another round of grinding, up to 12 hours more. After that we “conche” the bars — a process of mixing the chocolate liquor constantly to release unwanted volatile acids and tannins. Then we set our chocolate aside for two to four weeks to allow the flavors to settle. We then temper the chocolate, pour it into moulds, and allow it to set. Then we package everything by hand!
Our coffee is also roasted in small batches with the "fluid-bed" air roaster. The beans are lofted on a bed of air as the heat passes over them. This results in a pure, even roast, which allows us to focus on different origins. Each coffee origin has its own needs. We set up alongside the roaster to care for each individual batch, listening and watching. It requires constant vigilance. Obviously we have tons of fresh brewed coffee to keep us focused! After each batch-roast the coffee either gets packaged up immediately or set aside to be turned into cold brew.
We couldn’t find a good coffee blend specifically for cold brew on the market, so we made one ourselves! Through numerous trials involving many different origins and roast profiles, we discovered the perfect blend and roasting profile for our cold brew coffee.
Our ready-to-drink cold brew is creamy and smooth with notes of chocolate, cinnamon, and almond. It’s perfect for adventures. Our concentrate is a powerhouse, smooth and flavorful. Keep it in the fridge and dole out your perfect strength for weeks. And if you're the DIY type, make your own cold brew at home with our roasted-to-order whole bean cold brew blend.
Why craft chocolate?
At Frolic, we make really good real chocolate. Intentionally processed, pure, and fun to eat. Our whole purpose is to respect the chocolate. Because chocolate is a special, expensive, flavorful food. And it's also incredibly healthful. In fact, it's not candy at all. Cacao is a superfood with a rich cultural heritage. And it also happens to be one of the most delicious things on the planet. For too long it's been dutch processed and marginalized as hyper-sweet sugary treats. We think that disrespects cacao's potential and history. We're here to help change how people view and eat chocolate, one bar at a time.
Also, we just REALLY like good chocolate.
Why craft coffee?
It's another one of life's simple pleasures. We like our everyday cup of joe to exceed the norm. Ideally that cup is a moment of pure joy. Coffee is ritual, sustenance, inspiration. So, being the food and research nerds that we are, we jumped head first into the rabbit hole that is coffee. Once we started roasting our own we became quickly and wonderfully acclimated to being total coffee snobs. Life is good in the rabbit hole.
Also, life's too short to drink bad coffee.
And what's up with cold brew?
We love drinking cold coffee all year round, but especially in the heat of Summer. Our cold brew coffee is the most flavorful chilled coffee you can get. Not to mention that it's low-acid, which makes it mild enough to drink black. It doesn't need a drop of cream. We got really nerdy about finding the perfect coffee roast and blend to make our own cold brew the best coffee we drink, period. As of right now, our whole bean cold brew blend #1 is the only blend on the market roasted specifically with cold brew drinkers in mind. We consider it our mission to bring it to the people.