Empowerment comes in many forms - ours just happens to be delicious.
Free shipping on all U.S. orders over $50! - USE CODE "FREESHIP50" AT CHECKOUT

Our Factory In Honesdale Is Open!

Posted by on

Jeff and Ishan with burlap sacks of cacao and coffee out front of Moka Origins HQ

We've Launched

The time has come - earlier this year we opened our factory in Honesdale, PA! While we continue to expand our farm in West Africa, we've taken the leap by opening our own chocolate factory and coffee roasting company.

No Ordinary Barn

The story of the space we chose begins in the 1940's with the construction of a dairy barn operated by a monk monastery. Later, the Himalayan Institute acquired the 400 acres campus and used the barn for its printing press and later its herbal medicine lab. Today, this renovated space is Moka Origins’ fully functioning coffee roastery and chocolate factory, located in Honesdale, PA, and serving a worldwide community.

Jeff and Ishan on a ladder out front of the factory
Jeff and Ishan hang the Moka Origins sign

We began our renovations with floor refinishing, upgrading electricity and constructing a separate production room. Then we repaired and repainted the walls to feature Moka Origins branding. 

Chocolate production room under construction
Chocolate production room construction

We built a space for roasting, a workstation for winnowing, tasting areas for our team of experts to test and compare chocolates and coffees, storage and refrigeration spaces, and a temperature controlled room for tempering and finishing our chocolate. And of course, we have a space set aside for the local community to taste and purchase our products.

Jeff roasting a batch of Moka Origins coffee
Jeff mid-coffee roast
Jeff, Ishan, and family enjoy Moka Origins Chocolate
Jeff, Ishan, and family enjoy Moka Origins Chocolate

In this 10-month renovation process, our equipment also got a serious upgrade. When we first started making our coffee and chocolate, we were using a simple one-pound sample roaster to make coffee, and the idea of being able to make mass quantities of chocolate was still a dream.

But as the renovations of our barn progressed and we were able to begin greater production, we upgraded to a brand new commercial roasting machine. We built a winnower by hand after a year of designing and experimenting. We initially did our refining with a traditional Indian dhal grinder fitted for chocolate production, but we’ve recently upgraded to a 600 pound commercial stone refiner.

Jeff and Sara pictured along side the first Moka Origins tempering machine
Jeff and Sara unveil the new chocolate tempering machine
Jeff standing next to the first Moka Origns commercial stone refiner
Jeff unboxes the highly-anticipated commercial stone refiner

It’s incredible how much we’ve learned from starting out on such basic and seemingly arcane equipment. Using small, cost-effective machines along with a meticulous and well-crafted process can produce incredible (and incredibly tasty) results if you work hard and absorb all you can about every method used in making your product. This avenue can lead to a strong foundation for greater commercial ventures. The care we have taken at every level of starting this business sees its fruits in how wonderfully our space has accommodated our needs. There can be innovation in the smallest or even the oldest of spaces! A living structure, with a history of its own, this old barn gave us new life, helping us to create a social venture in which we could give back to our community while making ethically sourced and insanely delicious coffee and chocolate.

Moka's first product line consisting of 4 chocolate bars and 5 coffee roasts
Ishan, Jeff, and Sara of Moka Origins
Ishan, Jeff, and Sara of Moka Origins
Read more →

How To Make Cold Brew At Home

Posted by on

All around the globe, people are going crazy over cold brew... and we don't blame them! Cold Brew Coffee is a refreshing new way to prepare your morning (or anytime) pick-me-up!

“Cold brew coffee” is coffee brewed with cold water. That cool water extraction reduces the acidity of the coffee by 60% and also produces a much less bitter flavor.

Here at Moka Origins, we value quality and flavor above all else. That is why we have meticulously labored over our recipe for more than two years to create the finest cold brew coffee on the market.

Now, you can re-create our killer brew right in your home kitchen using nothing but coffee beans, water, and a French press! Follow these simple steps to brew the same high-quality cold brew coffee that you find here at Moka Origins.

Brew At Home  //  5 Easy Steps

Step 1 - Coarsely grind one cup of coffee and add it into your French press.

Step 2 - Pour 7 cups of bottled or filtered water over the coffee. Stir and make sure that all of the coffee grounds are saturated.

Step 3 - Cover the mixture using the French press lid. We know you're excited, but don’t plunge the French press until you are ready to strain!

Step 4 - Have some patience. Let your mixture sit for 12-24 hours. Keep the coffee on your kitchen counter, it develops more flavor at room temperature.

Step 5 - Wait no more! Plunge your French press, refrigerate and enjoy over ice or with milk.

 

Read more →

Breaking Ground in Cameroon, Africa

Posted by on

Moka Origins co-founders Ishan Tigunait and Jeff Abella planted Moka Farms in 2015 after working with the Himalayan Institute Cameroon (a Not For Profit Organization) for over a decade to spearhead health and educational initiatives in West Africa. Our farmland was a collective gift from the Cameroonian government and the Region’s tribal kings and became the genesis of our commitment to cultivating and hand-sourcing high-quality cacao and coffee while growing food crops for the local market.

Co-founders Jeff and Ishan pictured next to the Moka Origins Headquarters in Honesdale, Pennsylvania
"Our goal in establishing our own farms and partnering with farmers is to generate sustainable employment. We chose bean-to-bar chocolate and specialty coffee as our vehicle to do this."—Jeff Abella
Aerial overhead drone image of the farmland
Aerial overhead drone image of the farmland plot.
Aerial side view of food crop rows
Aerial side view of food crop rows.
Moka Origins farmfield of plantain and cacao trees
We plant our plantain and cacao trees in a grid.
Pictured left to right: Jeff, regional King, and Ishan
Regional king shows his support of the mission.
An auspicious meeting for Moka - Local chief pictured with his support staff
Local traditional chiefs eager to welcome the project.

Nestled deep in the mountainous Northwest Region of Cameroon, our cacao, plantain, and food crop farm is a paradise on earth. The valley, tucked between the great peaks of the mountains, produces a climate perfect for both coffee and cacao.

Picturesque landscape surrounding the farmlands
The farm is located in the Mbo plains and surrounded by mountains.
Cacao tree with ripening pods growing up the trunk of the tree
Cacao trees are grown in this valley, however there is a lot of room to improve the growing practices.
A handfull of coffee cherries
Coffee cherries are hand picked in Cameroon, ensuring only ripe beans are selected.

Starting From Scratch

Our initial venture onto this land required lots of creative problem solving! The secluded location is cut off from running water, electricity, and paved roads, making it essential to invest in infrastructure-related utilities before anything else. Access roads are poor or nonexistent, and the mountainous terrain can be very dangerous, particularly during monsoon season.

Because we aim to create jobs and not become dependent on mechanization, we made this effort by hand, a rare undertaking in the majority of today’s agricultural community. This process is slower, but from our vantage point, the results--employment, community growth, and the a greater sense of communal self worth--were all worth the cost.

A row of eager community members beginning the planting process
The community was eager to start planting.
Moka staff members pictured on a large fallen tree trunk during wet season
Rainwater management is an essential, ongoing part of creating a healthy farm.
Moka staff members posing after a meeting
A competent team of farm staff, agriculturalists, and agronomists formed.

We continued down this road by creating infrastructure essential for sustainable farm operations: a staff camp, solar electric system, tree nursery, well, river irrigation system, and an internal road network. In addition to promoting cash crops like cacao and plantain, one of our farm’s primary objectives is to create food self-sufficiency for our local community. This dovetails with the local farmers’ main goal of increasing their crop yields to earn a better livelihood.

A Better Livelihood

From seed to soil, root to plant, our hope is to tend this land in ways that create economic prosperity and the burgeoning of greater life cycles for its future. This project is not about controlling an economy or the absolute greatest profit from our land’s products: it is about creating a living thing-that which grows and is ever-changing-that can be independently sustained long into the future after we’re gone. This intention guides all we do; it gives us hope, momentum, and promise for the future.

Lovely smiles from Moka staff husband and wife after a day in the farm nursery
Read more →

We Meet At Last

Posted by on

It’s here! The Moka Origins Blog! Your source for everything chocolate and coffee, in harmony with those who make it. It’s been a whirlwind journey from our humble beginnings on our farm in Cameroon to the final launch of our Moka Origins’ coffee roastery and chocolate workshop located in Honesdale PA.  We could not be thankful enough to everyone who has helped us make it this far.

From our team on the ground in Cameroon to those working right here in the Poconos, it is safe to say that we are all beyond excited to welcome Moka Origins’ handcrafted chocolate and coffee into our daily lives. For all of us here at Moka, it has been an incredible experience being part of such a glorious cultivation and imaginatively creative process!

What to expect from our blog

Here you’ll find updates on our cacao farm in Cameroon working to increase economic opportunity, as well as stories about other coffee and cacao growers who we partner with from around the world. We'll keep you up to date with tasting events happening in Honesdale, and of course, receive the latest info on new products and special offers you won’t be able to resist. This next year is going to be an exhausting and thrilling ride as our startup finds its footing, and we want to keep you included on all the journeys, creations, and services we’ll be delivering along the way.

Join us as we illuminate the people, places, and beans that make our products great. It’ll be nothing short of a wondrous journey for your heart, mind, and of course your taste buds.

Read more →