Raw. Unrefined. Sugar the way it was meant to be.
All of the sugars we source are "Unrefined Sugars", which means they've never been put through the complex series of refining steps that are involved in crafting the crystallized sugars you see on the market today. Since they lack this processing, the final sugar retains all of the natural molasses content found in the sugar cane or palm blossom. The bottom line? They taste way better than any sugar you've had before.
Much like coffee, chocolate, and wine, unrefined sugars display subtle flavor differences depending on the region and climate they were grown in, and the source plant used to make the sugar. Check out our current line of sugars below and see the difference yourself.
COLOMBIAN WHOLE CANE - "Panela"
Possibly the most widely-used unrefined cane sugar, Colombian Panela is a brightly sweet, subtly toffee-flavored sugar made in the foothills of the Valle de Cauca, outside of Cali. The sugar cane is crushed to extract the cane juice, which is then boiled in a large kettle over an open fire - fueled by crushed cane stalks. As water evaporates out, a rich syrup forms, which is funneled through a series of kettles until it's ready to cool. As the syrup cools, it's stirred by hand with long wooden paddles, forming light golden brown granules of sugar.
FLAVOR: bright caramel + toffee.
COSTA RICAN WHOLE CANE - "Tapa de Dulce"
These dark golden brown granules of sugar are produced using a similar method as the Colombian Panela. In the central valley of the Cartaga Provence of Costa Rica harvested sugar cane is crushed and reduced over an open fire. As the reduced syrup cools, it is transferred to large wooden boxes, where its stirred by hand using long wooden paddles. The resulting unrefined sugar is one of the larger grain size sugars we have, but still dissolves better than regular crystallized sugars. Tapa de Dulce is used to sweeten almost anything in its native Costa Rica, incluing coffee, tea, or even mixed in with a little warm milk.
FLAVOR: fruity + wildflower honey
HATERUMA ISLAND WHOLE CANE - "Kokuto" or "Black Sugar"
One of the most difficult to acquire unrefined sugars we carry also happens to be the most nuanced and interestingly flavored. Though produced in a similar handcrafted fashion as the other unrefined cane sugars, the effect of the climate of the island is maybe the most pronounced. You can almost taste the sea breeze that flows through the tiny island of Hateruma, located in the numerable stretch of islands that makes up Japan's Okinawa Perfuncture. Only inhabited by around 500 people, most of whom work to produce this sugar, Hateruma Island is just one of seven islands in Okinawa that produce an unrefined sugar, though theirs is considered the highest quality.
FLAVOR: browned butter + sea mineral
JAVA COCONUT BLOSSOM - "Coconut Sugar"
The only exposure many Americans have had to unrefined sugars before is through coconut sugars, though we're particularly into this one. Coconut Palm Trees are a seriously underrated source of sugar, as they require just a fraction of the water and soil nutrients to bear fruit, giving them the potential to be the most sustainable source of sugar on the market. Though the source plant may differ, once the juice from the coconut blossoms is harvested and reduced into a syrup (referred to as coconut caramel), the handcrafted cooling and drying process is similar to other sugars. The resulting dark brown sugar is molassesy (is that a word?) and fragrant. Origin Sugar is partnered with a cooperative that puts a firm emphasis on maintaining a sustainable coconut palm environment, and is committed to serious reforestation efforts.
FLAVOR: toasted coconut + molasses
INDIAN PALMYRA PALM - "Jaggery"
Though "jaggery" also often refers to an unrefined sugar made using sugarcane, the jaggery we source currently is made from the fruit of the Palmyra Palm, one of the most unique and useful plants around. Though it may be related to the Coconut Palm, it has a completely unique appearance and flavor. The Palmyra Palm is like the "exclusive" version of the palm tree: it takes over 15 years to bear fruit, and must be harvested completely by hand in a very specific manner. During the harvest season, climbers scale the 30 meter high trees and make cuts with a blade into the flower blossom, letting the nectar slowly flow down the tree in funnels into special baskets. These cuts must be made twice a day, very carefully, to ensure the blossom's sap continues to flow and isn't damaged. The extra effort definitely comes through, as the resulting light colored, finely granular sugar has a fragrant flavor all its own.
FLAVOR: malty + floral