We're really excited to share this special handmade soap from our friends at treestar*, a artisan soap company in Queens, NY.
This is a natural, super-fatted bar of soap made by hand with culinary ingredients, including our organic Morogoro Cacao powder and coconut and olive oils. There are no added fragrances, colors, foaming agents or anything artificial. It has a rich brown color and feels truly extraordinary on your skin as a face, body or hand soap.
Although this soap does not have a strong chocolate aroma, the flavanols and polyphenols contained in cacao have been shown to have significant benefits for skin health. From Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health in the August 2014 issue of the academic journal Nutrients:
"Pertaining to skin health, cocoa components have been utilized in diseases, such as skin cancer, psoriasis, acne and wound healing. It is noteworthy that is has been shown that cocoa has great potential not only for the treatments of skin diseases, but also for their prevention. In particular, antioxidants found in cocoa protect the skin from the inside by neutralizing oxidative stress, a major factor of dermal structure deterioration and premature skin aging."
Some additional information on our Morogoro Cacao powder:
- Origin: Kilombero Valley, Tanzania (Kokoa Kamili Cooperative)
Process: Naturally fermented & sun-dried
Ingredients: 100% cacao bean solids, ground. (Theobroma cacao, v. Trinitario)
- Tasting notes: Dried Cherry • Tannins • Bittersweet Chocolate
The Kokoa Kamili cooperative is comprised of nearly 3,000 smallholder farmers in the Kilombero Valley. They provide training and support for their member farmers, as well as cocoa tree seedlings (over 140,000 so far) for free or well below cost.
Kokoa Kamili supply cocoa beans to well-respected chocolate makers here in the US, including Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco and Raaka in NYC.
With this spice, they've gone one step further and turned the cocoa beans into powder. Rather than relying on someone else to take this step, they're creating an opportunity to bring more money back to their member farmers.
Their cacao powder is minimally processed and unroasted: the beans are fermented using the cacao fruit sugars, and then heated gently to extract the fat (which is used to make cocoa butter.)