As India prepares to bring in the Festival of Lights amid the darkness cast by a raging pandemic, the focus this year has shifted to quieter, eco-friendly and sustainable family celebrations.
And what better way to complement the festivities than with Zero Waste Chocolates.
Kocoatrait is the world's first sustainable Zero Waste and Planet friendly Bean to Bar chocolate, and it is Made in India! Nitin Chordia, India’s first certified chocolate taster, set up his company Cocoatrait to promote knowledge, production and consumption of fine chocolates in India.
Nitin says, “We chose the name because each cacao bean (from which cocoa is extracted) has a trait and it is our endeavour to bring that out in our chocolates.” He simply replaced the ‘c’ with a ‘k’ to define his Zero Waste chocolate brand, Kocoatrait.
A Circular world
Zero Waste by definition indicates that the elements involved in making the product are sustainable, reusable and biodegradable.
“Even our wrappers are made from reclaimed cotton and Cacao shells that is generated during the roasting of the beans. After you have made use of the wrapper, simply place it in moist soil in your garden and in a few months, it biodegrades. We have prevented 50 kgs of plastic wrappers from polluting landfills. This is how we measure the impact of our Circular Economy Model effort on climate change,” adds Nitin.
Cocoatrait also operates the only one of its kind virtual chocolate tasting club in India with an aim to connect chocolate lovers with chocolatiers. Nitin opines that sustainability is a large effort area which starts at the source and needs to continue till the final product consumption. “The market in India for sustainable organic chocolates is at its very nascent stages. While chocolates available here do compare quite well with international offerings, from a sustainability standpoint we have a long way to go,” he observes.
Cocoatrait works with farmers and organisations that sell organically certified cocoa. As far as traceability is concerned, since there are no middlemen involved between the brand and the farmers or the organisation, it is not such a big issue.
As a sustainable chocolate brand, Kocoatrait has ensured that there is no use of flavour (essential) oils in its chocolates. Nitin explains, “We use the actual spices or fruits to lend the flavour. What this means is that the flavours are usually subtle in most of our chocolate experiences. Adding to this the flavour extraction process is highly debated and alcohol is commonly used in the process. In our opinion, flavour / oil extraction itself is not a sustainable process and hence it has no place in our scheme of things.”
Nitin purchases fine flavour cocoa at a premium of at least 50% over the regular bulk variety. This goes directly to the farmer or the organisation. In the bargain, the chocolate brand has access to fine flavoured beans and the cacao farmer is benefitted as well.
With an aim to be an eco-friendly and inclusive this Diwali, Nitin has curated a Planet friendly and inclusive gift box available on https://cocoatrait.com/product/zero-waste-gift/.
This gift box includes:
4,5,9 or 12 Kocoatrait Zero Waste chocolates made using organic Indian cacao beans with intriguing flavours (various sizes and price points available).
Chocolate wrappers are upcycled using reclaimed cotton and Cacao shells that is generated during roasting or beans.
Printing of chocolate wrappers done at V-Excel Educational Trust, Chennai which aims to support the inclusion of individuals with special needs.
Eco-friendly water based inks used in the printing. No additional branding/printing is done on the outer boxes.
Housed in a specially designed sustainable and reusable palm leaf box made by M.Rm.Rm Foundation, Chennai which helps traditional craftswomen in rural Tamil Nadu find their place in the economic mainstream.
Chocolates wrapped in recyclable paper bubble wrap
Delivered across India for the first time in a tree/paper free Bagasse (sugarcane) paper based outer box.
Planet friendly starch based ink used in the boxes. Metal clips are not used.
Eco friendly paper tapes used for packaging. No plastic tapes used!
Shipped across India.
Nitin has also introduced the unique Ceremonial Cacao this Diwali. According to both archaeologists and Mayan spiritual elders, the Mayans discovered the cacao tree and gave it a divine status. It was used in religious ceremonies, buried in the tombs of high priests and used to worship Ek Chuah, the Mayan god of merchants and patron saint of cacao. The Aztecs later believed that the cacao drink served as a life elixir for the wealthy elite of priests and other dignitaries and gave them supernatural strength and performance ability and hence its importance grew.
The raw and minimally processed version of cacao used for cacao ceremonies is called Ceremonial Cacao. In modern day, Ceremonial Cacao in India is consumed by practitioners who teach Yoga, Mindfulness, Chakra, Metta, Vipassana, Guided, Transcendental, Concentrative meditation and Sound healing.
Nitin says, “The response to our Ceremonial Cacao has been phenomenal from health and wellness conscious audiences. It took us by surprise how people want to adopt to a healthier lifestyle due to the pandemic.”
He has shared a simple Recipe for the same along with a video on how you can enjoy this unique and exotic cacao in your homes this Diwali.
Ingredients (for 2 servings):
1. Kocoatrait Ceremonial Cacao - 60 gms
2. Hot (not boiling) Natural Mineral Water - 450 ml
3. Cayenne or Black Pepper - Pinch
4. Sea Salt (optional) - Pinch
5. Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
1. Add all ingredients in the blender.
2. Blend for 30 seconds until frothy.
3. Pour in a mug and take small sips and enjoy it with the right intention and music.
* You can use Raw Honey, Maple Syrup, Coconut Sugar, Dates as sweeteners.
* Do not use boiling water.