A unique chocolate coffee powder drink has been developed by Refuge Chocolate, a Food NI member and an award winning chocolatier in Belfast.
The new chocolate drink has been developed by Tara Mullan, who founded Refuge Chocolate to raise funds for survivors of human trafficking. The coffee was one of a number of original products developed during the lockdown to help generate cash for the small artisan business.
Tara Mullan explains: “I’ve been working on a number of new product ideas including the coffee, a development of our successful hot chocolate drink which has attracted interest from leading retailers such as Lidl and has won a range of awards for taste.
“The coffee beans used in our new product are sourced via direct trade and roasted by survivors of modern slavery in Brazil, which is in keeping with the reason behind my formation of the business. The beans are Rainforest Alliance certified. UTZ certified for sustainable farming and Alta Mogiana Speciality Coffee Association in Brazil.
“Once the beans arrive with us at Refuge in Belfast we grind them carefully with the finest Belgian chocolate. This encourages the extra chocolatey taste note. The coffee has a rich flavour of chocolate, tangerine and mild spice,” she adds. The chocolate coffee is free from dairy, gluten, wheat, eggs and nuts. It is also suitable for vegans. The RRP is £7.95 for 224g packet.
The recipe was created by Ms Mullan as also was her original one for a luxurious hot chocolate, a handmade beverage using premium ingredients from eco-conscious, traffic-free and fair trade sources.
“It’s immensely important to me that the ingredients are sourced ethically. It would be totally wrong for a company founded to support survivors of human trafficking to use unethical ingredients. I believe in practicing what I preach,” she says.
The company, in addition, produces a popular vegan hot chocolate and a chocolate and peanut spread. Other products include brownie recipe kits for home cooks, salted caramel chocolate fudge, chocolate chip cookie kit.