AS the man who brought specialty coffee roasting to South Africa, David Donde has a history of pioneering flavour profiles that win over South African palates. Realising the world of chocolate looks like coffee did before the rise of speciality coffee, a journey into chocolate began.
Now, Donde has transferred the expertise of Truth Coffee to cacao for a Minimalist chocolate that defies expectations with a focus on guilt-free, clean, ethical ingredients and a lot less sugar – well, no sugar at all. In fact, Donde’s secret is once again in the roasting processes; with this unique treatment, chocolate can reach its most flavourful form without sugar, additives, soy lecithin, fructose and all the other sugar alternatives usually found in chocolate.
“No one is brave enough to say ‘no sugar required’,” says Donde, referring to his bold approach to two of the world’s favourite little luxuries. “We did it with coffee in 2005 with the launch of Origin Coffee Roasting, and now we’re doing it with chocolate. The approach is simple: no bitterness in the chocolate to begin with, so no sugar needed to overcome it.”
This beautiful simplicity culminates from collaboration between a group of people passionate about coffee, chocolate and the possibilities of flavours. Donde and Minimalist co-founder Ken Walton have identified experts and those who share their passion to bring the project to life, and the team, from roasters and chocolatiers to chefs and cocktail bartenders, they’ve all become a part of the delicious result.
The cocoa beans used in the creation of Minimalist are fair trade, from bean to bar, and Donde’s ties to the project goes well beyond his affinity for the process. As a Jewish person in touch with his heritage, he found his personal and professional interests dovetailing as he learned the history of the region from which the beans were sourced. Centuries ago, 2000 Jewish children under the age of eight were tragically enslaved for Sao Tome’s sugar farming. By taking ownership of this production, Donde has been able to illuminate a little-known aspect of history.
Minimalist’s distinctive packaging features cut-outs that demonstrate that sometimes cutting out the unnecessary can yield beautiful results in the slab. Minimalist’s classic chocolate bars are crafted from just cacao and milk, making for an after-taste and creamy texture that are seriously more-ish. The finishing touches are being made to a dairy free oat milk bar that is the vegan flavour equal of the flagship chocolates.
The brand’s extended product selection also offers something for the sweet tooth. Bon Bons come in five irresistible flavours: hazelnut, salted caramel, Truth coffee, dulce de leche and Christmas cake, for some sugared decadence at its finest. Chocolate gift boxes are available in batches of 9 or 12 bon-bons.
“Chocolate without crap in it. That tastes good? That has a long lingering and pleasant aftertaste? Buy some, you decide,” concludes Donde.
Minimalist chocolate bars are available Truth Coffee and selected retail outlets still to be confirmed. Hot chocolate, Bon Bons and gift boxes are exclusive to Truth Coffee at 36 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town.
Minimalist 60% Dark Milk Chocolate Bar R80 | Dairy Free 60% Oat Milk Chocolate Bar | R90 | Bon Bons in gift boxes of 5 R80