Sleep Walk and La Rifa!

Sleep Walk is a collaboration spanning borders. Chicago meets Mexico City, coffee meets Cocoa. Introducing DMC’s partners, La Rifa!

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La Rifa is a project focused on the transformation of cocoa to chocolate. They started in 2012 with a list of questions based around Mexican Cacao and chocolate. They wondered where the chocolate came from, does the chocolate we eat actually contain cacao? and why was it so difficult to find genuine chocolate in CDMX? These questions sparked their curiosity and started them on their journey to create high quality chocolate. 

 Over the years they have put together a team of like minded individuals and opened up their Chocolateria/Taller in the Juarez neighborhood in CDMX. Here they carry out the production of La Rifa and give workshops to continue reaching more people interested in Mexican cocoa and artisanal chocolate. They have built strong relationships with cocoa producer families like Monica and Margarito, where they receive their cocoa beans that are harvested in agroforestry systems to preserve Mexico's biodiversity and traditional agricultural practices. 

Their chocolate has gotten them recognition, winning them Silver and Bronze in the Bean to Bar Plain Chocolate Bars division at the International Chocolate Awards in 2017. That same year, their chocolate was used by NOMA in their pop up NOMA Tulum and is now being used in Denmark. 

In 2018, they toured across the United States and were introduced to the team over at Dark Matter Coffee by their mutual friends S.A.C.R.E.D Agave. Over the last two years they have traveled back and forth from Mexico and Chicago to educate each other on coffee and cocoa. 

At the start of 2020, Caravanserai, DMC’s 7th location, started carrying La Rifa’s Mexican Drinking Chocolate. The baristas were trained in the craft of aerating cocoa to make the same delicious drinks they made in CDMX.  To bookend the year, La Rifa and DMC have partnered up to open up their Chocolateria in Pilsen. They will be working together to produce artisanal chocolate here in Chicago using all Mexican Ingredients. 

November 10, 2020 — Jake Kryshak

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