Raw cacao refers to cacao which has not been roasted during production. Cacao in this form boasts high levels of antioxidant-rich polyphenols, magnesium, calcium, and a number of other health benefits. While raw cacao isn’t roasted, it does undergo fermentation – a process essential to developing chocolate’s characteristic flavor. The cacao beans themselves aren’t fermented, rather, the white pulp encasing the cacao bean is. The beans withstand the heat, acid, and enzyme effects from the fermentation of the pulp and are transformed in turn. Raw cacao’s final flavor is intense and astringent, befitting the deep, creamy flavor of McKeags Lapsang souchong. The flavor is due to the beans used as well. The beans used to make this luscious dark chocolate are a unique hybrid of Criollo and Trinitario, courtesy of our chocolate atelier partner Belyzium. The hand-harvested beans are exported directly from the lush jungles of southern Belize to Belyzium’s Chocolaterie in Berlin where they’re turned into a small batch of rich, fresh chocolate. Upon their arrival, they’ve already been meticulously fermented and sun-dried. All that’s left to do is gently roast and refine the beans to maximize their luscious flavor. The final bar of chocolate is full of balance and depth, coupling notes of lingering chocolate with just a hint of black tea flavor.