Cyan is our founder and CEO. Here she tells us how she worked with our amazing chocolatiers to develop our delicious range of flavours.
When I first sat around the table with our amazing Hey Tiger Chocolatiers, their jaws practically dropped when I told them we were going to develop a range of 22 bars and that we would launch an additional bar each month thereafter. They thought I was crazy! And perhaps I was.. Chocolatiers are generally grounded in European tradition - there are things you pair with chocolate and things you don’t. While a chef might play with chocolate to see how far they can take it as an ingredient, a chocolatier will often go with recognisable and classic pairings. Which is why usually when you go to a chocolate shop, you will find the tried and tested chocolate pairings; nuts, coconut, mint oil and if they’re really edgy, coffee.
I was asking our chocolatiers to think like chefs. To not rely on the inclusions that chocolatiers usually use and experiment to create new chocolate experiences. I told them that while most chocolate companies make chocolate that can last for a year on the shelf, I thought we should make bars with fresh ingredients. A wondrous journey of testing, trial and error, flavours that blew us away and… sometimes turned our noses began.
“I was asking our chocolatiers to think like chefs.”
I knew there were chocolate brands in the US who were making really exciting chocolate. So, like a good little researcher, I decided to go on a reconnaissance trip and see what I could learn. I watched Raaka simmer red wine under cocoa beans and Mast Brothers mix sheep milk into their dark chocolate. I tried Compartes cereal bowl bar and lined up for two hours to try New York’s first scoopable cookie dough. Every experience helped me identify what we wanted to be doing with this brand; what type of flavours we wanted to experiment with and what we wanted the experience to be like and bringing back all our findings inspired our amazing team of chocolatiers to think big and go wild!
We had an open field to go crazy and make the bars we’d dreamed of, and we soon narrowed it down to a list of 80 flavour ideas. We talked about the flavours of New York (we got excited about pretzel praline and peanut butter), amazing dessert experiences in Spain (orange, cinnamon and vanilla Catalans), and what would happen if we put butterfly pea and spirulina into a white chocolate bar (it goes a beautiful blue colour - WIN)!. We wondered if you could smoke dark chocolate with woodsmoke and add whisky to make a bar the menfolk would go silly over (you can and they do). We loved coffee and chocolate but hated how most coffee chocolate has gritty coffee bean pieces. We tried a few techniques and worked with our neighbours, Square One Roastery, to find a coffee bean that we could infuse into our chocolate over a few days. The result was a magically coffee flavoured smooth milk chocolate that we mixed with almond butter to make a coffee and almond croissant bar that screams Melbourne.
After a year of thousands of iterations to nail the flavour, texture and experience of each bar, our 22 bar range is ready to go out into the world. But we won’t stop there - we will keep experimenting to bring you a new limited edition bar each month. Here’s to lots of fun in the Hey Tiger test kitchen and lots of amazing chocolate in your future!