Grand Cru Couvertures
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The secret of indulgence

Only the most exquisite cacao beans, many years of experience and passionate craftsmanship can produce the noble couverture from Felchlin. Each bean from the regions of the various countries of origin has unique, specific and intense aromas that fully develop during the traditional Swiss processing.

The "bubbles" sketches shown below the Grand Cru couvertures, visually illustrate the chronological sequence of flavours and the intensity on the palate.

Exclusive fine cacao

The cacao fruits are handled with the utmost care in the countries of origin, which ensures in turn that the beans are perfectly prepared for processing. The highest quality of raw materials, the ideal time of harvest and careful selection ensure the intense character of the fine cacao.

Arriba Bolivia Cacao Fruit Couverture Centenario Costa Rica Elvesia Dominican Republic Grenada Java Madagascar Opus Lait Maracaibo Rio Huimbi Sambirano

Arriba

The APROCANE cooperative from Ecuador has been supplying excellent quality cacao beans to Ibach-Schwyz for several years now. The association comprises over 650 farming families in more than 20 communities. Legend has it that the majority of these farmers are descendants of escaped African slaves. The cacao comes from different areas of Esmeraldas Province. Esmeraldas is the northernmost province of Ecuador and borders directly on Colombia.

Peak harvest season: December to March

Arriba 72% – 72hr

Grand Cru Couverture from ‘Nacional’ Edelcacao Arriba, Esmeraldas, Ecuador

The cacao flavour is enhanced by the intense coffee and liquorice notes, making the Arriba an unforgettable experience for the senses. The traditionally gentle process brings out the strong dried plum bouquet, which is complemented by a light, almost floral cassis note on the lingering finish.

Bolivia

The rare and unique wild ‘Beniano Silvestre‘ cacao comes from Beni Department in the lowlands of Bolivia. The collectors, mostly indigenous Chimans, seek out the widely scattered ‘cacao islands’, cut the ripe fruit from the trees and bring it to the collection point by horse or dugout canoe. They are carefully fermented there and then dried in the sun. For the rest of the year, they simply leave the trees in the hands of nature. They are neither fertilised nor pruned. Our local business partner is responsible for quality control, purchasing, drying and organising transport.

Peak harvest season: December to April

Bolivia 68% – 60 hr

Grand Cru couverture from wild cacao, Beni, Bolivia

The rich, harmonious cacao flavour is complemented by the freshness of lemon and the fruitiness of grapefruit. The traditional process teases out the exquisite bouquet of prunes and vanilla. The pleasantly fruity acidity and the lingering finish make this Grand Cru couverture an unforgettable experience.

Bolivia 38% – 48 hr

Grand Cru couverture from wild cacao, Beni, Bolivia

The mild cacao creates the sensory experience of this refined milk couverture. The subtle note of milk caramel is complemented by the light sweetness of marzipan. The traditionally gentle production process brings out the malty spruce honey in a delightful manner. A slightly spicy vanilla note accompanies the lingering finish.

Cacao Fruit Couverture

The Cacao Fruit Couverture is an entirely new couverture, made from 100% cacao fruit in its purest form. Boasting 75%, the ‘Bolivia’ cacao mass forms the basis of the new taste experience. The rare and unique wild cacao ‘Beniano Silvestre‘ comes from Beni Department in the lowlands of Bolivia. The collectors, mostly indigenous Chimans, seek out the widely scattered ‘cacao islands’, cut the ripe fruit from the trees and bring it to the collection point by horse or dugout canoe. They are carefully fermented there and then dried in the sun. For the rest of the year, they simply leave the trees in the hands of nature. They are neither fertilised nor pruned.
The cocoa fruit juice comes from Akrofuom, Ghana. The farmer presses the pulp of the caboose and pasteurises it directly. The cacao fruit juice is gently concentrated and passes the fruit’s own sweetness back into the couverture. As well as adding sweetness, the cocoa juice infuses the Cacao Fruit Couverture with new flavour elements. Together, the two raw ingredients are refined at Felchlin into a unique, pure couverture.

CACAO FRUIT COUVERTURE

One fruit – two raw ingredients – one couverture

The stylish, strong cacao is infused with bold and multi-layered fruity notes. The traditional process brings out the richly fruity bouquet of grapefruit, pineapple and blackberries, whilst enhancing the delicate roasted notes of espresso.

Accompanied by harmonious black tea, the long-lasting finish makes this quite exceptional and rather surprising Grand Cru couverture an unforgettable experience.

Centenario

Felchlin has selected the best cacaos for the production of its ‘Centenario’ anniversary chocolates: The wild ‘Beniano Silvestre‘ from the lowlands of Beni (Bolivia) and fine cocoa from the Maracaibo (Venezuela) and Esmeraldas (Ecuador) regions. The cacao beans are roasted separately according to their region of origin. The three cacao masses are made individually and then combined.

Centenario Concha 70% – 48hr

Grand Cru couverture, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia

The Grand Cru Couverture is finely rolled and then gently processed and aerated for 48 hours in the traditional longitudinal conche. Correct handling of this conche requires considerable experience, knowledge and intuition.

An intense black tea swirls around this robust cacao. Traditional refining in the conche produces a mélange of fruity, dried plums, a mildly sweet, still slightly green banana and a refreshing orange. The spicy touch of dried vanilla bean brings the combination of these three fine cacaos to a long-lasting conclusion.

CENTENARIO CRUDO 70%

Grand Cru couverture, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia

This Grand Cru couverture is not rolled, which is why the structure of the cacao and raw cane sugar remains noticeable. The taste is intense, untamed and full of power – a secret that has lain slumbering for centuries.
A strong bouquet of Ristretto heralds a rustic experience of pure pleasure featuring the diverse and highly characterful cacaos. The intriguing, crumbly feel on the palate is shaped by the crystalline raw cane sugar, which ignites an interplay of blackberries and the sweetness of a dark, rich forest honey. The persistent, bold cacao notes are accompanied by a mild spiciness of nutmeg and the woody notes of a vanilla bean. A true taste experience of pure cacao.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is considered one of the world’s leading countries in the conservation of natural habitats and has a very high level of biodiversity. Perfect conditions then for the cultivation of sustainable, sophisticated cocoa. The cocoa for the Grand Cru Costa Rica comes from the Finca La Amistad in the north of the country. It covers 95 hectares, with around 20% of the area consisting of original rainforest. The farm is owned by Ruth and Ernst Brugger from Switzerland. For years, they have championed first-class quality and the sustainable cultivation of fine cacao.

Peak harvest season: December to February

Costa Rica 70% – 72hr

Grand Cru Couverture, finca la amistad, Costa Rica

The Costa Rica couverture is gently processed on the longitudinal conche for 72 hours. Its aroma spectrum opens with a balanced, mild cacao flavour and, thanks to traditional processing, has a subtle fruit acidity: The result is the benevolent resonance between a naturally fruity blackberry and the sweet, yellow-green banana. Vigorously roasted hazelnuts usher in the languorous finish, which is rounded off by a spicy, woody green coffee.

Costa Rica 40% – 36hr

Grand Cru Couverture, Finca la amistad, Costa Rica

The balanced milk chocolate with a harmonious cacao is surrounded by a pleasant milk note. The traditional, gentle process yields delicate flavours: The taste of roasted almonds is rounded off with mild honey. A sweet, ripe banana is noticeable in the finish, which brings the sensory experience of this milk chocolate to a finale.

Elvesia Dominican Republic

Swiss emigrants settled on the Samaná peninsula in the Dominican Republic around 200 years ago. They founded the Helvetia estate and set about growing Criollo and Trinitario cacao. The Spanish name of the estate remains ‘Hacienda Elvesia’ to this day. The entire farm is run in harmony with nature, adhering to the principles of sustainable agriculture. The hacienda is managed by Jo Locandro and provides work for around 60 people.

Peak harvest season: October to March

The Elvesia couvertures are certified organic.
Elvesia 74% – 72 hr Organic bud
Elvesia 42% – 30 hr Organic Swiss

Elvesia dom. rep. 74% – 72hr

Grand Cru Couverture from sophisticated Cacao, Hacienda Elvesia, Dominican Republic

The stylish, bold cacao is surrounded by the delicate tones of black tea and enhanced by a mild tobacco note. The traditionally gentle processing provides the couverture with a fruity finish, which, heralded by refreshing orange aromas, is rounded off by a grapefruit finale. This couverture is certified by the Bio Suisse organic farmers’ association.

Elvesia dom. rep. 42% – 30hr

Grand Cru Couverture made of premium Cacao from the Hacienda Elvesia, Dominican Republic

A harmonious cream caramel swirls around the mild chocolate flavour with the slightly tart note of Elvesia Cacao. A hint of ripe bananas subtly emerges from the traditionally gentle process. The lingering finish is underpinned by hints of spicy vanilla and malt. This couverture is certified by the Bio Suisse organic farmers’ association.

Grenada

Grenada is an island in the Lesser Antilles. Situated between the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean and 200 km northeast of Venezuela, it has a population of about 100,000 in an area of around 344 km2. There are more than 8,500 farmers who grow cocoa on around 2,360 hectares of land.


The Cacao ‘Grenada Sélection’ consists of a selection of 16 mother trees of Criollo and Trinitario Cacaos, selected for their intense flavour, and which are well suited to the different soil types in Grenada. The cultivation is quite laborious. It takes about six months until the seedlings are strong enough to be planted on the farmers’ land. An important benefit of this unique process: the Grenada Cocoa Association allocates the trees to the farmers according to the soil conditions of their land and therefore directly controls the quality of cacao on the whole island.

Peak harvest season: December to March

Grenada 65%

Grand Cru Couverture from Edelcacao, Grenada

A strong, intense cacao introduces the sensory experience of Couverture Grenada 65%. The traditionally gentle processing yields an overwhelming fruit bouquet with the variety of wild berries and the natural freshness of orange. A balanced dried pear note ushers in a long-lasting finish, rounded off with a subtle hint of nutmeg.

Grenada 38%

Grand Cru Couverture from Edelcacao, Grenada

A well balanced cacao note is combined with a sweet fruity blossom honey in this sophisticated milk couverture. The flavour is rounded off with a harmonious milk caramel, accompanied by a mild, slightly spicy, sweet vanilla note in the finish.

Java

The cacao from Indonesia comes from the eastern highlands of Java. It is not possible to buy cocoa directly from a cooperative in this country. The state buys the cacao in its own country and acts as a seller to the buyers. It is shipped from Surabaya, a port city in the northeast of Java.

Peak harvest season: March to June

Java 64% – 72hr

Grand Cru Couverture from Edelcacao, east highland, jember plantation, Java

The harmonious combination of a full-bodied cacao with a distinct coffee note and a hint of tobacco. The traditionally gentle process brings out the intense fruit acidity and aroma of blackberries to the full. The long finish is characterised by sweet dried figs and is brought to a conclusion by a strong, very pleasant peat note.

Madagascar

Madagascar cacao is considered one of the most premium varieties in the world.

This high-quality cacao comes from the nutrient-rich soils of Ambanja beyond the Sambirano River, where more than 800 farmers from sixteen villages in the Ambanja region work with the Sambirano Mateza cooperative to supply Felchlin with the delightfully fine cacao.

The Mateza cooperative grows cacao on around 900 hectares according to the strictest quality and sustainability criteria, thus securing an important source of income. The government will invest in roads and infrastructure over the next few years to promote cacao exports in Madagascar. This makes it easier for the farmers to transport the produce from more inaccessible regions to the storage facilities. At present, the cacao beans are transported by ox-drawn carts.

Peak harvest season: November to December

Madagascar 64% – 72h

Grand Cru Couverture from noble cacao, sambirano, Madagascar

The balanced, fruity cacao, combined with a light hazelnut roast aroma, is captivating with its fresh note of wild berries. The traditionally gentle process harmoniously brings out the subtle fruit acidity, complemented with hints of cloves and cedar, over a long finish.

Opus Lait

In cooperation with the UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch, we source the high-quality hay milk from the Biosphere area, solely for the production of these fine mountain pasture milk couvertures. The UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch is located in the canton of Lucerne. This region, with an area of 394 km2, is rich in conserved landscapes and at the same time remains unique with over 100 moors as well as the large karst landscape. Hay-milk farming is the most original form of milk production. These dairy cows enjoy fresh air, clear water and a variety of almost a thousand different lush grasses and herbs all summer long. The cows get hay in the wintertime as well. Fermented feedstuffs such as silage do not feature at all. This richness of species is clearly discernible in the quality and aroma of the milk and ultimately in the couverture.

Opus Lait – Lait de Terroir 38%

Grand Cru mountain meadow milk Couverture

Grand Cru couverture with mountain meadow milk from the Entlebuch Biosphere and finest cacao from Sambirano, Madagascar.

The mountain pasture milk couverture opens with a rich taste of fresh milk. The creamy, delicate melt reveals a well-balanced cacao accompanied by warm notes of forest honeysuckle. A hint of ripe, sweet pear introduces the lingering finish, which luxuriously fades into fine cream caramel.

Opus blanc lait de Terroir 35%

Grand Cru mountain meadow milk Couverture. white

Grand Cru Couverture with mountain meadow milk from the Entlebuch Biosphere and cacao butter from the Dominican Republic.

Fresh milk and the finest cream have pointed the way from the very beginning. The pure milk flavours are accompanied by fine meadow blossom honey thanks to the creamy smoothness of the white hay milk chocolate. Unobtrusive, mild notes of marzipan herald the finish, which lingers in the mouth with a characteristic flavour of mild vanilla.

Maracaibo

In Venezuela, near Lake Maracaibo, lies the cacao plantation ‘Sur del Lago’. Cacao is cultivated on an area of about 5,000 hectares of land, mainly in the hilly region at the foot of the Andes. There is no tradition of cooperative structures in Venezuela. That’s why we work with a partner in the region: the Franceschi family, which has been involved in cacao cultivation for several generations and also has its own cultures. Besides that, they buy more premium cacao, monitor the quality and drying of the raw material and ship the cacao to Europe.

Peak harvest season: December to March

Maracaibo 88%

Grand Cru Couverture from Edelcacao, sur del lago, Venezuela

Tasting the highly concentrated Maracaibo 88% is an intensely flavoursome experience. A powerful cacao is complemented by a liquorice note that fades into a roasted coffee note. The taste is rounded off with a hint of prune. The long-lasting finish is accompanied by a well-balanced black tea aroma.

Maracaibo Clasificado 65%

Grand Cru Couverture from Edelcacao, sur del Lago, Venezuela

The perfectly balanced combination of coffee and plum aroma complements the distinctive cocoa flavour. The traditional process brings out the scent of orange blossom and cinnamon. This gives the Maracaibo Clasificado 65% a festive touch, which is underpinned by the slightly sweet sultana bouquet and end with the long finale.

Maracaibo Créole 49%

Grand Cru Couverture from Edelcacao, sur del Lago, Venezuela

Maracaibo Créole is truly captivating with its creaminess, paired with a delicate creamy caramel note. The traditionally gentle process brings out the light bourbon vanilla aroma with hints of honey. The fruity-fresh raspberry note flows into the long-lasting and melt-in-the-mouth finish.

Maracaibo Criolait 38%

Grand Cru Couverture from Edelcacao, sur del Lago, Venezuela

The delectable taste of milk and cream is supported by a subtle note of honey and caramel. Thanks to the traditionally gentle method, the cacao is perceptible from the start and then fades away with a discreet taste of roasting and vanilla.

Maracaibo Crème 33%

Grand Cru Couverture from Edelcacao, sur del Lago, Venezuela

Maracaibo Crème shows its true colours, namely a creamy milk couverture. Accompanying the distinctive whole milk flavours is an enveloping flavour of harmonious vanilla, combined with a wonderful creamy caramel note. The creamy finish reveals hints of lightly roasted almonds.

Rio Huimbi

The APROCANE cooperative from Ecuador has been supplying excellent quality cacao beans to Ibach for several years now. The association comprises over 650 farming families in more than 20 communities. Legend has it that the majority of these farmers are descendants of escaped African slaves. The cacao comes from Esmeraldas Province, located in the area around several rivers, in particular in the hinterland of the Wimbi (Huimbi) river.

Peak harvest season: December to March

Rio Huimbi 62%

Grand Cru Couverture from noble ‘Nacional’ rio huimbi, esmeraldas, ecuador

The balanced and finely fruity cacao flavour leaves its first impression on the palate. Ripe pink grapefruit and blood orange notes elegantly convey freshness and fruitiness until they are overtaken by the unmistakable aromas of dried pears. The long finish is characterised by the delicate pepper tones, which end gently and silkily.

Rio Huimbi 42%

Grand Cru Couverture from noble ‘Nacional’ rio huimbi, esmeraldas, ecuador

The initial flavour of this milk couverture is heavily influenced by the cacao, which is followed and complemented by pleasent full milk notes. This concludes in turn with an interplay and overarching taste of caramel and discreet malt flavours. The lingering finish reveals a delicate, nutty butter aroma with a barely perceptible and complimentary sweetness.

Sambirano

Madagascar cacao is considered one of the most premium varieties in the world.

This high-quality cacao comes from the nutrient-rich soils of Ambanja beyond the Sambirano River, where more than 800 farmers from sixteen villages in the Ambanja region work with the Sambirano Mateza cooperative to supply Felchlin with the delightfully fine cacao.

The Mateza cooperative grows cacao on around 900 hectares according to the strictest quality and sustainability criteria, thus securing an important source of income. The government will invest in roads and infrastructure over the next few years to promote cacao exports in Madagascar. This makes it easier for the farmers to transport the produce from more inaccessible regions to the storage facilities. At present, the cacao beans are transported by ox-drawn carts.

Peak harvest season: November to December

Sambirano 68%

Grand Cru Couverture from noble cacao, Sambirano, Madagascar

The intense, rich cacao flavour is characterised by a unique fruit bouquet of blonde orange, cassis, lime and a hint of grapefruit. The refreshing and multi-layered fruit acidity sets this Grand Cru couverture apart from others.

Sambirano 38%

Grand Cru Couverture from fine Cacao, Sambirano, Madagascar

An intense marzipan note reveals the spectrum of flavour of this sweet milk couverture, followed by flavours of whole milk and cacao. The lingering finish is ushered in by a harmonious cream caramel and is characterised by gentle orange blossom honey.