Good news for Fukuoka’s chocoholics! Green Bean to Bar opened their chocolate factory-meets-shop-meets-cafe on the first floor of Nishitetsu Tenjin Class on Apr. 1. This is Green Bean to Bar’s second shop in Japan (following the first in Nakameguro, Tokyo). At the opening event, Fukuoka Now spoke to bean to bar consultant Chloe Doutre-Rousse (France) about Fukuoka’s newest artisanal bean to bar chocolate shop.
The ongoing trend in artisan chocolate began in 2005. What started as amateurs experimenting with cocoa in their homes and garages has turned into a food fashion phenomenon. In stark contrast to chocolate manufacturers, who aim to produce chocolate as quickly and cheaply as possible whilst returning maximum profit, proponents of the “bean to bar” philosophy use the best quality, most expensive cocoa beans they can find, invest time in the production process, and concentrate their efforts into cooking up small, top-quality batches. The epitome of quality over quantity. The U.S. leads the trend, but it’s gaining steam in Japan, where artisanal chocolate only surfaced three years ago. But unfortunately, as with many trends, some brands just adopt the terminology of the bean to bar philosophy, without adhering to its main tenets. Green Bean to Bar works at the forefront of the bean to bar trend, by sharing their know-how and inspiring others to take practice bean to bar in the purest form possible.
Green Bean to Bar believes in the tried-and-tested aphorism “waste not want not”, so they use all parts of the cocoa bean. What’s more, almost all their beans are organic – it’s a mark of the company’s honest approach to chocolate-making that they don’t say 100%, as it is almost impossible to guarantee 100% organic cocoa.
At the shop itself, you can view all the stages of the chocolate-making process. First, the imported cocoa beans are sorted by hand according to size and other criteria. The chosen beans are roasted and crushed, and the skin is removed. Then the beans are ground down, and finally the chocolate is melted, reshaped and wrapped. Actually, there’s more to it than that! But don’t believe us – go see it for yourselves!
You can then reap the rewards of all the chocolatiers’ hard labor! Chocolate bars start from ¥1,500, or you can opt for just a little taste by buying a chocolate bonbon for ¥350. In the mood for something a little different? 60 g of cocoa nibs will set you back ¥700, and a pack of drink powder costs ¥1,000.
At the attached cafe, which seats 55, you can either eat the products you buy at the shop or order a Chocolate Drink (¥550) or Cocoa Tea (¥300).
So treat yourself to a little something sweet, organic and expertly crafted by detail-orientated chocolate artisans!
Green Bear to Bar
Address: 1-19-22 Imaizumi, Chuo-ku