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Chocolate production shares so much with coffee production. Both are fermented, roasted products imported to the West and both bring us pleasure. The sweet chocolate of our childhood has the ability to help us indulge in nostalgia, but chocolate can also be a healthy, complex, taste-filled experience that isn’t loaded with sugar and additives. The chocolate industry, like the coffee industry, is beset with difficulties for producers, from low commodity prices to the use of child labour. Here at Caffeine, we wanted to celebrate those craft chocolate makers who are mirroring the practices of the best speciality coffee roasters: working in small batches, using direct trade or at least working for a better deal for farmers, ensuring specificity of single origin, and using roasting and processing techniques that emphasise innate flavour and the minimum use of additives. Dom Ramsey of Damson attempts to define craft chocolate for us on page 16, while Aashifa Hussain and I journey into the world of fine hot chocolate on page 18. On page 28, we ask three leading London coffee shops to create the perfect mocha to show off how chocolate and coffee can work together. Also in this issue, we set ourselves the task of revolutionising the old-fashioned coffee cream, working with one of the UK’s leading chocolatiers, Paul A Young, and Catalyst Coffee Roasters. You can see the results on page 24 and try some of the chocolates for yourself at Paul A Young’s stores. As we head into autumn – a time of the year when we naturally seek the comfort chocolate brings – we hope we can open your eyes to some of the special delights craft chocolate can offer.
Caffeine is a magazine championing independent and speciality coffee in the UK and abroad. Riding the "third wave" of the coffee industry, we aim to entertain and inform our readers about their daily cup of Joe. Be it espresso, filter, V60, syphon or humble French press (aka the cafetière), we want to make your home coffee experience as good as the one in your favourite coffee shop, and to share news, views and developments on the coffee scene.