On July 10th, 2021, we held our first virtual online tour, live from a cacao farm in Panama.
Our new distribution partners in Japan organized the tour, supported by the Panamanian Embassy in Japan, and hosted by our Team.
When they first requested that we host the tour live via Zoom, we were more than a little skeptical as to how it would work out. The cacao farms are in remote locations where cell service is patchy at times, nevermind a stable internet connection to stream live to our attendees in Japan.
The 14 hour time difference also made coordinating the event interesting!
Full credit to the Japan team and our team in Boquete, who made it happen, and we are proud to say that it went off without a hitch.
The tour is available now on YouTube, so you can check it out by clicking the links below.
The entire tour was hosted in Spanish and Japanese, with a few words in English from yours truly and David Sewell. So if your Japanese is as bad as mine, don’t worry. You can still follow the process, tour the farm, meet the ambassador and some of the new team members in Japan.
The tour begins with the ambassador introducing Panama, its history, the Panama Canal, tourism initiatives, leading up to two of our favorite things about Panama… specialty coffee and fine flavor cacao!
This is where we take over (around minute 46). First, we give a brief background on Mahogany Chocolate. Then we introduce Andres Lopez, our VP of Farming Operations, and Daniele Levorato, our Chief Operating Officer, who were both “boots on the ground” on the farm and our hosts for the tour. Which kicked off at 6 am Panama time.
Andres handled the “seed to bean” stage of the chocolate-making process, which began with a brief tour of the farm, demonstrating what a cacao pod looks like, how cacao is farmed, harvested, and processed into fermented and dried cacao.
Then we cut to a brief video of the “bean to bar” side of the chocolate-making process at one of our factories.
Then, Daniele took over with a live tasting event featuring 4 of our Panamanian chocolate bars. Each attendee in Japan had received bars in the mail when they signed up for the tour, so they could sample each bar in real-time, along with Daniele, and provide their feedback in the chat.
Here you can read some of their reactions and comments:
- It’s not too sweet and delicious!
- It smells like butter and is delicious
- White also smells like mint
- It also smells like a tropical flower
- 57% is my favorite taste. It also tastes like dried plums
- 57% have a strong chocolate taste and are delicious. It has a light acidity and a fruity aroma.
- I like 57% the best. But if you want to feel cacao, 80% may be good.
- 80% of the sourness and umami spread slowly.
So it’s safe to say that the tour was a hit, and our Japanese distribution partners were over the moon and delighted with how it went.
This event is just one small step in the road as we continue to introduce our chocolate and coffee into the Japanese market.
We hope you will continue to follow us on this exciting journey!