Taiwan Is Growing Cocoa? Tree to Bar Chocolate All-In-One on Formosa Island

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#TAIWANCocoaBeans #BeanToBarChocolate #TreeToBarChocolate

Taiwan Is Growing Cocoa?
Tree to Bar Chocolate All-In-One on Formosa Island

• Cacao Plantations in Taiwan
• Taiwan Has A Lot of Farming Talent
• Tea-flavored Chocolate Stuns Judges in the Asia-Pacific Region
• Taiwan Winning Nine Gold, 30 Silver and 29 Bronze Medals
• Taiwan “double ferment” method that is unique in the world, fermenting the cocoa beans twice to make “Taiwan No. 9” chocolate, which won a Gold Medal for its strong rosé champagne flavor with red wine vinegar and berry notes
• Won a Gold Medal in the Asia-Pacific Region – The winning tea-flavored chocolate bar Taiwan No. 1 contains 62 percent cocoa grown in Pingtung County, with its Tie Guan Yin Tea-flavored dark chocolate bars. It carries notes of dried tropical fruits such as a slight guava flavor
• Won a Silver Medal in the Asia-Pacific Region – The winning tea-flavored Charcoal Oolong Tea 62% chocolate bar is the favorite of FIH Regent Group Chairman Steven Pan, charms the palate with ripe fruit notes and a smoky flavor
• Tree to Bar Chocolate All-In-One on Formosa Island
• Taiwan cocoa trees are young, at an average of just ten years. Beans from younger trees Do Not Contain Enough Sugar, which is reflected in the acidity of the resulting cocoa powder
• Taiwan cocoa beans has made a virtue of necessity by adjusting the fermentation and roasting process to bring out the local flavor

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A Beautiful Formosa Island of Cocoa Beans, Chocolate, Chocolate Lovers
We are not in Central or South America, where cocoa originally came from, but in Southern Taiwan’s Pingtung County, an emerging production area on the global confectionery map.

Cocoa trees, which thrive in hot, humid weather in shady spots with little wind, mainly grow in the region spanning about 20 degrees north and south of the Equator. In Taiwan, the Mt. Dawu mountain range, with its clear water, and the Wanluan and Neipu areas in Pingtung County offer good conditions for cocoa cultivation.

The International Chocolate Awards (ICA) are for chocolatiers what the Academy Awards are for the film industry. In last year’s competition, several Taiwanese chocolate brands, including Fu Wan Chocolate and Le Ruban Chocolat, shined with great results.

In September 2018, the ICA held its Asia-Pacific competition for the first time as an independent event in Asia, picking Taiwan as host. This year, more than 700 products from some 100 chocolate companies from 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region were entered. Taiwan’s chocolatiers came away with even better results than last year, winning nine gold, 30 silver and 29 bronze medals.

“Why did the ICA pick Taiwan as its first host in Asia? Martin Christy, judging director of the ICA, explains that most crucial for the decision was that Taiwan boasts cocoa production, chocolate-making facilities, and a market with purchasing power, all in one place.”

A look at the world map shows that the major cocoa production areas are in Africa and Latin America, whereas chocolate production and consumption takes place in countries located at higher latitudes.

Christy remarks that a place like Taiwan that can produce cocoa but also possesses quite mature chocolate-making technology is hard to find. Not hiding his surprise, he recounts a visit to a cocoa plantation in Pingtung, where he saw cocoa beans being dried in the sun in the front of the farm, while sorting, roasting and grinding was done in the back.

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“Here is probably the production area with the shortest processing mileage in the whole world,” Christy says.”

On top of that, Taiwan has a large consumer market. The Taiwanese are very open to different culinary cultures and savor the good things in life. It is very rare that a place provides all conditions from production to technology and consumption at the same time.

A complete gourmet environment requires cultivation and production capability, chocolate-making skills and the sensory skills to taste product on a professional level, which requires the devotion of human resources and efforts in each area. Taiwan’s craftspeople and artisans have been shining in various contests in the past. But this time, Taiwan provided the stage for high-quality confectionery, displaying its soft power.

Tea-flavored Chocolate Stuns Judges
Tea-flavored chocolate products from Taiwan did particularly well this year, becoming a hit with jurors.

Monica Meschini, a member of the European Permanent Jury, who is both a chocolate and a tea taster, notes, “This is the first time that I’ve tasted such great chocolate, such good tea.” Meschini fell in love with the great flavors of the tea series.

Fu Wan Chocolate CEO Warren Hsu (Photo by Chientong Wang) Fu Wan Chocolate CEO Warren Hsu (Photo by Chientong Wang)

Last year, Fu Wan Chocolate won a gold medal with its Tie Guan Yin Tea-flavored dark chocolate bars. Fu Wan Chocolate CEO Warren Hsu says he selected suitable tea flavors by taking a sip of tea and then taking a bite of chocolate. As a result, he found that partially or fully fermented teas with a stronger body and fuller flavor such as Tie Guan Yin and charcoal-roasted Oolong teas and Ruby (also known as Red Jade) black tea go particularly well with cocoa.

The gold medal-winning tea-flavored chocolate bar Taiwan No. 1 contains 62 percent cocoa grown in Pingtung County, married with Tie Guan Yin tea from the Muzha region in Taipei. It carries notes of dried tropical fruits such as a slight guava flavor.

As the chocolate slowly melts in the mouth, a subtle orchid flavor evolves in the finish. This wealth of changes in texture and flavor from the beginning to the end fascinates both the Taiwanese as habitual tea drinkers and foreigners who appreciate Eastern culture.

The Taiwan Charcoal Oolong Tea 62% chocolate bar, which won a silver medal and is the favorite of FIH Regent Group Chairman Steven Pan, charms the palate with ripe fruit notes and a smoky flavor.

Pan sings the praises of this chocolate bar, noting that it convinces with natural flower and fruit flavors, while its aftertaste carries a note of roasted charcoal. Pan calls it a “great taste that is unique in the whole world.”

Le Ruban Chocolat, a patisserie in Taipei, won a gold medal in another category with its white chocolate roasted oolong tea truffles, which deftly pair the creamy flavor of white chocolate with Oolong tea from Hualian on Taiwan’s east coast.

Fu Wan Chocolate: Tree to Bar, All in One
“Chocolate is a lingua franca in the whole world. And I want to find a path to the world stage,” remarks Hsu, who used to be a food consultant.”

A trip to Florence, Italy many years ago, where he tasted chocolates, developed a myriad of changing flavors in the mouth, inspiring Hsu to delve into researching the craft of chocolate making. He even flew to London with his wife Lin Wan-ting to gain a thorough understanding of chocolate flavors. They went on to become the first Taiwanese to obtain certificates in chocolate tasting from the International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting (IICT) in the British capital.

As a skilled chocolate taster, Hsu knows how to trigger chocolate eaters’ “taste memory”, which not only helps his products stand out in competitions but also enables them to stand the test of the market.

Hsu notes, “The chocolate-making skills must be flawless; that’s the basic requirement, and then you need to make people remember certain things about the taste.”

Most large chocolate manufacturers buy cocoa butter and cocoa powder directly and mix them based on their formulas. High-end chocolate makers emphasize their “bean to bar” processes, which means they buy cocoa beans and ferment, dry, roast and grind them themselves for their chocolate products. Fu Wan Chocolate controls the entire process from an even earlier stage, the cocoa bean production. Consequently, they call their all in one process “tree to bar.” Only a handful of Taiwanese chocolate brands use tree-to-bar chocolate making.

Hsu observes that Taiwanese farmers are good at taking care of their crops. As a result, the taste of Taiwanese cocoa is “particularly nice and energetic, like the Taiwanese people.” Noting that Taiwanese cocoa carries caramel or berry notes and a very balanced flavor, Hsu believes it is very suitable for seasoning or in combination with other foods.

However, in comparison with traditional cocoa producers in Africa and Central and Latin America, whose plantations are around 30 years old, Taiwanese cocoa trees are young, at an average of just ten years. Beans from younger trees do not contain enough sugar, which is reflected in the acidity of the resulting cocoa powder. Hsu, however, has made a virtue of necessity by adjusting the fermentation and roasting process to bring out the local flavor.

He invented a “double ferment” method that is unique in the world, fermenting the cocoa beans twice to make “Taiwan No. 9” chocolate, which won a gold medal for its strong rosé champagne flavor with red wine vinegar and berry notes.

“Taiwan has a lot of farming talent, and our next step will be to sign production contracts with [cocoa] farmers, while we concentrate on technology development,” explains Hsu.

Hsu has already been experimenting with a host of unusual chocolate flavors such as sakura shrimp from Donggang or chili pepper. He notes, somewhat tongue in cheek, that he will also try adding traditional Chinese medical herbs such as angelica sinensis (danggui) or ligusticum striatum (chuanxiong).

“Who knows? We might see [chocolates with] typical Taiwanese flavors such as pig intestines herbal soup or pig’s blood rice cakes!”

Le Ruban Chocolat: Using Floral Flavors to Interpret the Taste of Taiwan
“What language can we use to communicate with the whole world?” is the question Le Ruban Chocolat chef Hugo Lee, who looks back on 26 years of patisserie experience, has been asking himself all his professional life.

“French confectionery customarily combines hazelnut, raspberries and almonds. In the case of Japan, matcha and yuzu have already become a common language in the international food and beverage scene. But what about Taiwan? I want to use local food ingredients to try to make a chocolate that represents Taiwan, to catch up to the rest of the world,” remarks Lee.

Therefore, Lee uses floral flavors to interpret the taste of Taiwan. Last year, he chose chrysanthemums from Mt. Chike in Hualien County. This year, he tried longan flowers in combination with honey from Taitung County to make dark “longan flower” truffles.
Under the cocoa coating, the smooth and rich floral flavor of the ganache comes across as much more elegant than fresh and sweet longan fruit. So, it should not come as a surprise that the new creation fetched a gold medal.

Read and watch more via:
Bean-To-Bar and Tree-To-Bar Chocolates
https://www.fuwanshop.com

Fu Wan Chocolate

Originally published at english.cw.com.tw on September 27, 2018.

Exclusively Interview With Jim Breyer the Founder and CEO of Breyer Capital on LIVE Davos 2019 – The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

 

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MOQIPEOPLE INSIDER:

Exclusively Interview With Jim Breyer the Founder and CEO of Breyer Capital on LIVE Davos 2019 – The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Sara: Welcome back to Squawk on the street live CNBC from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Sara: Joining me now is Jim Breyer the founder and CEO of Breyer Capital, he was also an early investor and Facebook sat on the company board for a decade wears many hats talking about AI and much more.

Sara: Welcome Jim, nice to have you.

Jim: Sara, a pleasure…thank you!

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Sara: I actually wanted to start up of David was talking with Viacom. Earlier they made a deal today to buy a streaming service TV you’re on the board of 21st Century Fox. How can all of these companies have their own streaming services? How many streaming services can we have?

Jim: We have dozens of streaming services but there will be dozens that are highly unprofitable there’s no doubt Netflix and Amazon were very much at the forefront of my 21st-century, Fox and Disney decided that grade scale matters and whether it’s Comcast the parent company that course reported nice numbers today like your parent company. Absolutely, 21st-century, fox and Disney there will be a couple other major studios and it’s not unlike the technology business.

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Jim: My view is there are 3 to 5 very important worldwide media companies going forward. There are 3 to 5 technology companies that are going to be truly important. And it’s also great time to be a TV script writer, television producer, independent software AI developer building on the cloud services and some very optimistic about not only entrepreneurship and innovation, which is represented in today’s Viacom transaction but the opportunity to use a lot of the new technologies around cloud services to build wonderful businesses or nonprofit.

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Sara: But you said you see the big players really owning the world is streaming so what does that mean is there’s room for new fox to start streaming services?

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Jim: My view though is 10 years from now as an investor. The top 20 companies in the world by market cap will be in the US and China, 18 of the 20 will be technology oriented, but that also means AI first or technology first whether it’s Comcast or Disney or Facebook, Netflix, Google, Tencent others what really matters is building a great customer and enterprise software experiences and I do believe I am two years in to an AI 10 year investment strategy. I made six investments AI last year after receiving approximately 10,000 AI business plans and they run the game from cancer research to helping police forces do a better job to helping our troops all around the world have better information.

Sara: Who’s winning? The US or China on AI it’s running that race?

Jim: It’s never a soundbite but it makes the space race look tame in certain areas like facial recognition China is far ahead, in security solutions sold into governments, the US is catching up but we need to move faster, in areas like devices are of those Korea and Japan on the display devices but in semiconductors, the US has at least a five-year lead which is why I love Nvidia and Intel so many of the semiconductor stocks long-term. There will be slowdowns but the US far away has at least a five-year lead when it comes to semiconductor technologies.

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Sara: How you played out in the public market as explosion of growth of AI?

Jim: I like it with some of the great software companies Salesforce, Microsoft many of the enterprise software companies that are selling into businesses and commercial accounts. I would buy Microsoft again and again and hold it and I do really like what would be the FAANG stocks, forgetting about valuations for a moment because I’d like to spend 2 to 3 years on public equity holdings. And then for private companies that I’m investing in many of them partnering with salesforce and Microsoft Oracle and others it’s a 7 to 10-year bet.

Jim: Facebook in 2005 Mark was 20 and I was there, and I helped navigate very treacherous public offering as we all remember that piece fundamental business is long-term are so important and Instagram may be even with all the accolades the most underrated application in the world.

Sara: Well, 2018 was another turbulent period for Facebook, loosing public trust, what does 2019 hold tight?

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Jim: I’ve heard. I just hate to throw darts and pile on when a lot of people are, but Facebook and I sent this to Sheryl, and I said this to Sheryl and Mark and others we as Facebook should’ve been much more transparent much more out front and I hope, and I believe 2019.

Sara: So, do they get it?

Jim: I believe Mark really gets it, but I have a long-term buyer. I feel Mark Zuckerberg is a genius.

Sara: Does he deserve to be CEO and Chairman, or should they split that?

Jim: He deserves to be CEO and chairman and Sheryl Sandberg deserves president and they’re terrific and they’re a great team and this is one of the idiosyncrasies of the world we live in. I really believe in chairman and CEO for founders and young companies being in charge and whether it’s media companies whether it’s the best technology companies whether it was of the emerging AI companies where I’m spending a lot of time very often with Chairman and CEO.

Sara: Even when that company is going through the turmoil that Facebook is going for what’s the real execution and leadership questions?

Jim: There been terrible decisions in many cases and I really believe that it’s not a function of the chairman CEO being in the same position up but then again, it’s a venture capitalist my big successes and is a technology investor the biggest successes is open the chairman and CEO in the same spot.

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Sara: Very quickly want to ask about China because you have been in China for more than a decade and very bullish on it cross-border deals and dried up completely can you invest in China right now during this trade war?

Jim: And the answer is yes, and I’ve been investing in China for 15 years. The team I’ve worked with investors series A Tencent and Baidu another we continue to make significant investments in China and will continue to do it. But the Internet and a lot of the opportunities in China and US diverged. But I’ll remain very active.

Sara: They don’t get approval to work together.

Jim: They do not get any approvals to work together cross-border investing for now is dead. But 3 to 5 years from now, I’m still very optimistic up. It’s really helpful for US companies in Chinese companies to build often together in different parts of the world. India will be the next show then for the market.

Sara: We can talk to you for hours about all these big topics. Thank you for sharing some of your time here.

Jim: Thank you.

Sara: Thank you so much for Jim Breyer, Breyer capital.

Originally published at www.iqmediacorp.com on Aired: January 23, 2019 at 10 am EST.