To’ak was born out of a rainforest conservation project that began in 2007 in a province of Ecuador.
Jerry Toth, co-founder of the company, begins growing cocoa trees and making chocolate in a bamboo thatch house, without electricity, right in the middle of the Jama-Coaque reserve. Alone, he makes his first experiences of manufacturing and tasting. The production of his chocolate, as his trials in the heart of the wooded mountains, allows Jerry to identify that the Ecuadorian cocoa has an incomparable taste and unique in the world. A strongly floral aroma.
Jerry Toth, Carl Schweizer and fourth-generation producer Servio Pachard of Ecuador then join forces to create To’ak Chocolate and change the way people view dark chocolate.
A unique manufacturing process for the world’s most expensive chocolate
To’ak chocolate is produced from the oldest cocoa in the world, the “cocoa nacional”, endangered. The production of this exceptional chocolate is entirely done by hand.
The fermentation and drying of cocoa beans are the most delicate phases after harvest. The installation, inspired by the best Ecuadorian techniques and internal innovations, some of whose improvements have been patented by the company, takes place in the middle of the Servio Pachard farm, downstream from the Piedra de Plata valley.
As part of this post-harvest process, the beans are placed in fermentation boxes (made of Spanish Elm wood) for five to seven days. Fermentation breaks down unwanted tannins and other polyphenols. This ancestral technique allows to highlight the most subtle and fine flavors of cocoa while significantly reducing its bitterness. The drying is then done naturally thanks to the sun and the fresh air in a sort of greenhouse where the fermented beans are placed.