Hiraya: Local Bean-to-Bar Dark Chocolate

Hiraya is a locally established bean-to-bar chocolate company that supports fair, sustainable, and socially-conscious practices. The single-origin chocolate bars and products are made from finest cacao beans sourced around the Philippines.

The word “Hiraya” means the “fruit of one’s hopes, dreams, and aspirations.”

The brand and company name comes from the ancient Filipino phrase “Hiraya Manawari” which means deep and sincere wish for the desires of your heart to be granted. This chocolate is intended to bring happiness to people since love, care, and passion are involved in the creation process.

Which one is your favorite?

The company founder, Arvin Peralta, graduated last March 2010 as Professional Chocolate Maker and Professional Chocolatier from Ecole Chocolat. In April 2014, he had an invitation to join the Social Entrepreneurship Business Camp. This seminar ignited his passion to start his own company. By February 2015, he was able to secure his business registration. An opportunity struck last December 2015 through BPI Sinag Business Challenge / Crowdfunding campaign where he is one of the contestants in the aforementioned event. On May 2016, the company was able to secure their first retailer.

Coconut was my favorite. What’s yours?

The company’s mission is to improve the lives of cacao farmers through direct and fair trade. They ensure that each cacao farmers they support earn more from the labor that they give.  Their vision is to produce a strong brand of fine quality chocolate and chocolate products. To date, the company has one community composed of 58 cacao farmers in Brgy. Malabog, Davao. The Trinitario cacao beans are currently sourced only from Malabog, Paquibato District, Davao for the 72% Single-Origin Dark Chocolate Bar.

During the product launch last 8 September 2017, three new flavors were introduced as part of the aggressive marketing strategy of the company. It was Coconut, Queso De Bola and Chicharon. Here are my honest assessment on each variant:

Hiraya Chocolate Variants

72% Single-Origin Dark Chocolate Bar – HIT
This was a bit fruity and bitter. The chocolate was fine in texture and dark brown in color. It was aromatic. I graded this as HIT since it has the right balance of flavor between bitter and sweet. There’s only 28% sugar so it’s really guilt free.

100% Dark Chocolate – HIT
When I tried it as it is, I didn’t like it since it was too bitter. It is best consumed as additive to champorado or as hot chocolate drink. I tried it as a chocolate drink. It was good but best with warm milk.

Coconut – ACE
This has to be my favorite variant. It was aromatic and tasty. Each bite contains dried coconut strips which melts in your melt along with the dark chocolate. I know some friends who wouldn’t appreciate coconut in their chocolates. I had them tried Hiraya’s version and they approved the palatable taste. This is definitely an ACE for me.

Queso De Bola – ACE
This was an initial favorite mainly because it has real Queso De Bola bits on each rectangular cuts. The cheese gave a kick to it and it was very unique. I gave this one an ACE.

Chicharon – HIT
This was a very intriguing flavor. I tried it and initially I did not recognized the spicy flavor until few minutes. It was very crunchy because of the chicharon or pork rind bits on each bite. Definitely worth trying!

Hiraya x Kalsada Chocolate Bar with Coffee Nibs – HIT
If you’re a coffee lover like me, you’ll definitely appreciated this variant with coffee nibs. Definitely a good breakfast or afternoon snack to sustain your energy.

For me, Coconut was my ultimate favorite. How about yours?

Hiraya Chocolates can be purchased at Roots Katipunan, Unit 106 FBR Arcade Bldg., 317 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. You may contact them at 09178511685. The official email address of the company is hirayachocolates@gmail.com

Let Hiraya Chocolates give you ultimate joy at each bite.

Alternatively, you may contact them at their official social media accounts:

Facebook: HirayaChocolates
Instagram: hirayachocolates
Website: http://www.hirayachocolates.com/

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