Explore the City with Malte: Tribal Cacao
One of the world’s best
We continue venturing deep into the secrets world of delicious beans. Tribal Cacao in the Akebono area of Kashiwa is a paradise for chocolate lovers. Their high cocoa content Bean to Bar chocolate will smoothly melt in your mouth while the natural flavors take your brain for a spin. Especially dark chocolate is rumored to have calming properties, but the most powerful property of chocolate is to put a smile on people’s faces. The one using his magic to bring out these best properties is Tribal Cacao’s owner, Hashimoto-san. His striving for high standards together with his fine entrepreneur-mind let us hope for a bright future.
The interior, as well as the interior, are very inviting, and the nice balanced color scheme lets you feel welcome as stepping into your living room would. Once you enter, the nice chocolate flavors engulf you and you would not want to leave ever again.
In the back of the workshop a staff member is wrapping new chocolate by hand. On the white countertop line a big number of chocolate samples in Petri dishes. My heart was captured by a warm feeling that we have as a child when we get presents on Christmas. The whole shop feels like Santa’s workshop, with over a dozen of delicious chocolates to try. Hashimoto-san kindly guides us through his chocolate selection, explaining all the differences in detail.
“Tribal Cacao” opened its door in October 2018, just about over a year ago. The main “menu” contains 11 different chocolates, but seasonal products are available as well. Go and buy your favorite chocolate fast, before it sells out.
All of Tribal Cacao’s chocolates are made in-house from cocoa beans. A lot of time and effort is put into every chocolate bar, beginning with roasting the beans and then peeling off their hull shells by hand. Then, by using a melange, cocoa mass is produced. At this point, the only other ingredients are added, sugar. At the next steps, the cocoa mass is formed into chocolate bars and wrapped. All of these processes are done in the workshop, hence Bean to Bar chocolate.
The flavors of nature
Talking about chocolate, most people will probably think about white, milk, and dark chocolate (lately in Japan also mint chocolate is very popular). But, real chocolate, of course, doesn’t stop there. Bringing out the original natural flavors of each different cocoa bean is what makes Tribal Cacao’s chocolate special.
We had the pleasure of trying chocolate from beans with origins from Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, and the Dominican Republic. Ghana has a natural caramel flavor, while Trinidad and Tobago have hints of orange and blue cheese. Belize chocolate tastes of strawberries and Dominican has a little sour note to it. All of their chocolates are just made from the cocoa beans and sugar, carefully roasted and tempered, so we can enjoy the taste of real chocolate.
Enjoy chocolate without guilt
Different from regular, heavily processed commercial chocolate, Tribal Cacao’s chocolate is high in natural polyphenols. With a high cocoa content and only a little sugar added, the caloric count is small as well. The flavors and taste of just one row of chocolate will unfold in your mouth. Endorphins set free in your brain will lighten up your mood. One could call Tribal Cacao’s chocolate a superfood.
A researchers mind
Of course, I want to present this delicious chocolate, but I also want to put the spotlight on the man who created the, the owner of Tribal Cacao, Hashimoto-san
Having a background in science, from a young age Hashimoto-san was sure he would not want to work as a normal employee in a company, but wanted to create something of his own. It was 4 years ago when he had his first encounter with chocolate. Traveling through 40 European countries in two months he realized there is chocolate wherever you go. One year of autodidactic studies and one more year working and training in a chocolate specialty store prepared him for opening his own business in Kashiwa.
In acquiring his roasting skills he used his scientific background as well. Utilizing an academic approach, he made faster progress than maybe a regular person would. In the future, he is looking to create his granola and use locally grown vegetables to combine with chocolate. I for once can’t wait to eat some Tribal Cacao granola.
Striving for the top
Still in his late twenties, Hashimoto-san has a strong spirit, not just looking for ways to improve his own skills as an artisan. He also tries to improve as an enterpreneur, widening his brand even outside of Japan.
Once of the first steps to carry Tribal Cacao into the world, in January 2020 he will participate in international food fair in Taiwan. Hoping to gather the attraction of many foreign customers and opening the door to the world.
Once the interview was over and Hashimoto-san got busy back in his workshop, I thought “he is going back to work.” Instead, he was preparing his famous hot chocolate. A taste like floating on clouds of chocolate, I have never had a creamier hot chocolate in my life. Adding some marshmallows from the jaw on the table for the special sweet tooth makes the experience even more special.
Bean brothers（Tribal Cacao＆Ame no hi no coffee）
Around 7 years ago, before opening Tribal Cacao, Hashimoto-san was a regular customer at Ame no hi no coffee (coffee specialty shop). Receiving a lot of advice from the owner Kubota-san, by chance the shop in the building next to Ame no hi no coffee was vacant. Hashimoto-san took the chance and opened Tribal Cacao. His logo and packaging design are both Kubota-san’s works of art. Both stores share the same mentality and attitude. Koffee and Cacao, a brotherhood through the power of beans.
I highly recommend Tribal Cacao as well as Ame no hi no coffee to anyone who wants to experience the world of high-class beans, the world of chocolate and coffee. Two stores fighting at the forefront of the boom of craft culture.
Then, let us take a look at Ame no hi no coffee’s article.
Date of coverage: 12th November 2019
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