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Apr 5, 2023 3:26:01 PM5 min read

What are the differences between single-country, single-region, and single-estate chocolate?

Refreshed and republished on April 5th, 2023
This post was originally published on June 2nd, 2022, and has been enhanced and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

What are we talking about when we refer to single-country or single-estate chocolate? What are the differences between a single country, single-region, and single estate? Join us to discover the particularities of these categories.

By Daniela Quintero Fernandez, Chief of Design & Product Development.

Like other food and beverages such as coffee, wine and spirits, chocolate has denominations of origin. This means that depending on the origin of its ingredients, it receives a specific classification.

If we want to talk about chocolate, we need to know the different categories to classify the product. So,  let’s start with the bigger picture.

The largest classification known in the market is that of ‘Single Origin’. This encompasses all the other classifications, referring to all the cocoa produced in a specific country.

However, at Luker, we have classified cocoa in such a way that we can take advantage of the specificity of each cocoa even more. This is in terms of taste, experience, impact, and traceability.

Single Origin Chocolate classifications

differences between single-country, single-region, and single-estate chocolate

What is Single Country chocolate?

When we talk about single-country chocolate, we refer to chocolate that is made with cocoa, and cocoa butter, grown and processed in a specific country. In other words, it does not contain cocoa that comes from other producing countries.

That said, it is important to highlight that when we talk about cocoa, more specifically Cacao Fino de Aroma, a wide variety of factors affect the sensory profile of this wonderful product.

A range of factors contributes to the flavour profile of single-country chocolates. These include genetics, land conditions – similar to how we reference the terroir of wine – plus post-harvest and benefits processes, like fermenting and drying.

That is why single-country chocolate perfectly expresses a country's flavour. Since it represents its base and its foundations.

We are truly fortunate, as Colombia's remarkable cultural and topographical diversity is a testament to the country's richness. Its favourable geographical position enables the cultivation and harvesting of high-quality cocoa throughout most of the nation.
Extending this appreciation to South America as a whole, the continent's vast and varied landscapes contribute to the exceptional fertility of its soils.

From the lush rainforests of the Amazon basin to the soaring peaks of the Andes, the incredible diversity of ecosystems fosters a wide range of cocoa cultivars. This wealth of variation allows for the production of unique and distinctive chocolate flavours that reflect the essence of South America's rich and diverse terrain.

Discover an exceptional fusion of flavors that transcend South America's diverse regions, lands, and cultures. This collection embodies the shared passion and commitment of chocolate manufacturers and artisan chocolatiers, celebrating the rich heritage of South American cacao, particularly the renowned Cacao Fino de Aroma.

Our Colombia 70% dark chocolate couverture boasts a bold cocoa profile, artfully balanced with bitter nuances and a hint of sweetness. In contrast, our Ecuador 72% dark chocolate couverture unveils a symphony of fruity notes, mild acidity, and citrus accents, creating a unique character. Both chocolates offer a luxurious, creamy, and smooth experience, ideally suited for the discerning palates of your customers.

Our Perú 72% dark chocolate couverture embodies a strong cocoa flavour, a perfect balance of bitter notes, and a subtle sweet tone. Fruity notes, slight acidity, and citric flavours contribute to the unmistakable character of this dark chocolate as it melts easily in the mouth, fostering an exquisite creamy mild sensation.

What is Single Region Chocolate?

single origin chocolate portfolio

Single-region chocolate is the next level of the pyramid. In this case, the chocolate is made exclusively with cocoa grown in a defined region or territory. Through a product, this allows us to express the wonders and characteristics of only that region, including its people,  culture,  land,  climate, and essence. In this type of chocolate, we will begin to feel and taste more defined sensory characteristics that vary significantly depending on the region from which they come.

Robust flavours, the intensity of acidity, floral or nutty notes, and vanilla or defined caramel notes are key to differentiating the profiles of each region. But this is what leads to a pure experience. An experience that leads to a true understanding of what each region is and tastes like through chocolate. 

These unique characteristics of each region create the expression of the Cacao Fino de Aroma in each territory. For example, the sensory profile of Huila-origin cocoa is unique. It is representative of the cocoa-growing tradition. Its aroma is reminiscent of the extensive cocoa crops, and its robust flavour is captivating with delicate citrus and fruit notes, exquisitely roasted nuts, and warm sweetness.

While the sensory profile of Tumaco-origin cocoa is characterized by its potent cocoa flavour, with defined nutty notes, followed by delicate tropical fruit tones and subtle acidity. Its flavour balances cocoa notes well and its typical bitter taste.

Our Luker 1906 portfolio includes Luker 1906 Luker 1906 – Extra Dark Tumaco with 85% Fine Flavor Cocoa content, which can be used for coating, moulding, decoration, and other baking applications such as ganache or fillings.

What is Single-Estate Chocolate?

At the top of the pyramid is single-estate chocolate, where the cultivation territory is reduced even more. What is sought through this type of product is to express the flavour of a specific farm. In other words, the chocolate is made with cocoa from a single farm, which, although it is located within a region, has its own essence and personality.

But, a single estate classification goes beyond the piece of land where the cocoa is grown. A single estate couverture represents what it is to be part of something. It is both the wonderful defined space of land in which it is grown and its incredible characteristics, including the effort and t love, which translates into flavour and its uniqueness.

It is difficult to describe, but this uniqueness is felt every time you enjoy chocolate of this type. A product that represents not only the earth it is is grown in, but the work culture and lifestyle that is fostered in it. It is the reflection of that farm, its land, its initiatives, its workers, and its leaders. Single-estate chocolate is the reflection of a family.

It should be noted that all these classifications make Luker’s original portfolio very varied. Both in flavour profile, specificity, particularities, and even impact on the community. Interested in knowing more? We invite you to learn more about the Selected Origins portfolio here.