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Simply Divine Chocolate Tasting

So I know this is a little late as this happened in February but we really wanted to share this experience with you all:

chocolate tasting

Despite the bitterly cold February chill, guests near and afar braced the biting winds of the quaint seaside town and gathered in the warm, bright premises of Whitstable’s Victoria’s Boutique to experience what can only be referred to a luxurious necessity: Divine Fairtrade Chocolate Tasting evening. A must-go to event for everybody interested in Fairtrade or with an obsessive love for all that is chocolate.

Divine Chocolate, a chocolate manufacturing company formed in 1998, decided to donate its shares to Kuapo Kokoo, a Fairtrade-certified cocoa farmer’s organisation in Ghana. Since then, it’s thrived as a company, fully invested in assisting global farmers, and to use the power of chocolate to delight and engage. They aim to bring people together to establish global trading relationships, empowering producers and consumers along the way. It sells a lavish range of chocolate including Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate with Chilli and Orange, Dark Chocolate with Raspberries, White Chocolate with Strawberries and Milk Chocolate with Almonds.

Victoria’s Boutique, a cosy little boutique on Whitstable High Street, showcasing a variety of vintage designer outfits, was jam-packed when we arrived. When we entered the store, we immediately noticed the ‘chocolate tasting table’, a table laid out with chocolate and wine galore. Shepherded over to receive our complimentary glass of wine and sample of chocolate, Divine Chocolatier Erik Houlihan-Jong was busy preparing for his talk on the ethics of Divine chocolate.

chocolate tasting 1

After we’d finished our wine and chocolate, and listened to Erik’s fascinating talk on the Bar to Bean chocolate making process, we finally arrived at the time in the evening we were most looking forward to: the chocolate tasting. Eric broke up a bar of Dark Chocolate, Chilli and Orange, for us to try. He instructed us to hold the piece of chocolate, but not eat it yet. Instead, we should observe the chocolate with all of our senses. First, we need to consider the appearance of the chocolate, as it varies in colour. Touching the chocolate, it should feel silky, and begin to melt with the warmth of our finger. Then holding the chocolate up to our ear, we should snap it. The snap should be clean. Finally, take time to smell it. Similar to wine tasting, there are many aromas associated with chocolate. When we finally came to eat it, we first put the chocolate on our tongue and left it there without eating. Finally, we let the chocolate melt on our tongue.

chocolate tasting 2

Eating what seemed like our 200th sample of chocolate (sssh, I didn’t say anything), Erik explained to us how Divine chocolate helps farmers in third world countries. Cocoa trading company Kuapa Kokoo aims to ‘empower farmers in their efforts to gain a dignified livelihood, to increase women’s participation in all of Kuapa’s activities, and to develop environmentally friendly cultivation of cocoa’. The company weighs, bags and transports the cocoa to the market in the most democratic way, not cheating the farmers, and passing savings onto members. Divine chocolate is made from the best of Kuapa’s cocoa beans. This has led to the development and farming communities farming skills are improvements on standards of living including water, health, education and sanitation, and increased awareness of child labour.

Upon leaving the Boutique, my first thoughts were ‘when is the next Divine Chocolate tasting?’ I came away with a few (or lot of) bars of chocolate and a desire to taste every single flavour of Divine chocolate in my life. It created a warm feeling in my heart to know that by buying Divine chocolate over a non-fair trade brand, I would be helping the livelihood of farmers on Ghanaian cocoa plantations.

chocolate tasting 3

Interested in hosting your own Divine Chocolate Tasting Evening? Click on this link http://www.divinechocolate.com/uk/sites/default/files/img/TastingGuide.pdf to download the official Divine Guide to Chocolate Tasting, containing information about the Divine chocolate story, the Bean to Bar process, chocolate flavours and flavour wheel, organising your very own Divine Chocolate Party, and using wine.

Can’t afford to host this tasting evening, but still want to shop ethically? Visit this page for top tips on ethical shopping: http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/food.aspx

Visit http://www.divinechocolate.com/uk/ to find out more about this truly Divine company.


Megan & The SGO
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The Graduation pledge of Social & Environmental Responsibility!

Hello CCCU Students!

graduation pledege imageI’m Alexis Galvan, a bilateral exchange student from Humboldt State University, a small university located in Northern California, nestled between some of the world’s tallest redwood trees, and wondrous beaches we refer to as The Lost Coast. It’s always been a goal of mine to travel back to the motherland of England, and explore the roots of America, and I’m delighted to spend this term at Christ Church, in the beautiful and historic city of Canterbury.

Since I’m only here for 3 months, I aspire to leave my mark and influence in the hearts and minds of students abroad. At my home institution, I am the Coordinator of a program called The Graduation Pledge Alliance. The Graduation Pledge Alliance is a symbolic pledge created by a group of students in 1987, it states:


I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.”


The idea of the pledge was brought up in a time where monetary acquirement was becoming the main focus of the professional world, with a growing disregard for the diminishment of Earth’s natural resources. These students recognized the danger of this idea seeping into the minds of impressionable college graduates, and sought to create a movement to remind them of values that should be kept in mind.

28 years later, the efforts of these students have not gone unnoticed. I am here today to spread this message of social and environmental responsibility. When you graduate from university, recognize that you now withhold a power in the world. You are, essentially the future; considering that you will be responsible for how the professional world is operating since you will be working in the midst of it all. The Graduation Pledge is not limited to majors ​geared towards environmental or social reform, rather it strives to appeal towards all academic majors. It is a call to action; a pursuit to activate environmental and social consciousness into our hearts and minds and being able to transfer that attitude into the workplace. It can start with something small, such as incorporating recycling in the office, or directing their energy towards improving human rights both in the workplace and towards clientele.

Since being founded, the Graduation Pledge Alliance has been adopted by 200 schools globally, in countries such as the United States, Canada, France, Australia, Singapore and Taiwan – with efforts being considered in the Philippines and India. Elite schools such as Stanford University and Harvard University stand whole-heartedly next to pledge. Every year thousands of graduates across the globe take part in this movement, simply by signing a pledge card that states the pledge and placing a green ribbon on their gown as a symbol of their commitment. Since it is a voluntary pledge, the university does not call to check up on you – it’s just an emblematic representation of your allegiance to the cause.




With population on the rise, environmental resources depleting at a constant, and corruption in the world, we as students must take matters into our own hands. We must not feel succumbed by society’s limitations. We must utilize our brain, speech, and actions and fight to create a more harmonious world, respectful of all life forms, biologically and anthropologically speaking.


Anything is this world is possible, we are living in a state of flux. Remember that you can make a difference, no matter what field you go into after leaving university. I hope this message reaches you in an inspiring and heart-warming manner. Thank you.

-Alexis Galvan

Graduation Pledge Coordinator 2013 – 2017


“Responsibility is the ability to respond. Inherently, to respond means to act, to create, to change. But responsibility also implies an awareness of the impacts of one’s actions, and it is this concept that is finally becoming part of the global community’s consciousness. The days of action without thought are obsolete in this increasingly closely knit world.” – 1997, Matt Nicodemus Graduation Pledge founder


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How to cure a hangover!

Hey All,

Now after trying some of those summer cocktail recipes below, or even after a big night out of drinking. A lot of us are cursed with that forever pounding, painful and irritating headache. We start feeling poorly and sorry for ourselves :(.

WELL! Have I got news for you, I have found the CURE! The cure, to that much hated hangover!

To insure it works you need to follow the below five steps:

  1. An hour before you know you’re going to stop drinking, drink water! This will hydrate you.
  2. Eat a slice of toast when you get in.
  3. Drink a glass of water, with Berroca (Vitamin supplement) when you get home.
  4. In the morning drink a glass of orange juice
  5. If you’re not feeling better by now, then take the last resort…….”Paracetamol”

Remember though, that hangovers are caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol, so if your hangover is unbearable, remember that for the future, and cut down on the booze 🙂


Michaela & SGO


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Beaches and BBQ’s


Everyone loves a summer BBQ and going to the beach and the SGO team is definitely one of them. I love everything about summer BBQs; enjoying food outdoors, in the company of friends and family. The smell of burgers cooking in the hot summer air!

You could enjoy this too, why not set up some spare time on a Friday evening or the weekend, meet up with a few friends or family, and create your own perfect little BBQ, it  does not need to burn a hole in your pocket. You can do it on a budget and spilt the cost.

See below my list of BBQ treats.

  • Disposable BBQ (Approx: £2:00)
  • Four birds eye beef burgers (Approx: £1.69)
  • Four burger buns (Approx: £0.60p)
  • 8 own brand sausages (Approx £1.04)
  • 6 chicken skewers in BBQ sauce (Approx: £2.00)
  • Slices of burger cheese (Approx: £1.00)
  • Mixed lettuce (Approx: £1.00)
  • Grilled Hallomi cheese (Approx: £2.00)

Total: £11.33

Spilt between 4 people, that is only £2.83 each

Local supermarkets also have a lot of vegetarian options; why not substitute your beef burgers and chicken for Quorn burgers, Approx: £1.89 for 6, and for those meat lovers, why not give Quorn a try! I did! And you will be surprised how delicious it is.

Quorn sausages and Quorn Chicken fillets are also available for only £1.89 at local supermarkets. (Prices may vary depending on your supermarket).



 If you are also local to Canterbury, why not enjoy a day out at the beach, I know there are some lovely beaches in:

  • Margate
  • Herne bay
  • Broadstirs
  • Whitstable

All of which are easily accessible by local transport such as “The triangle bus service”


or enter your destination at:


This will show you bus times and how to get to the beach. I went to the beach with my family only a couple of weeks ago at Whitstable, and I would recommend anyone to visit there, the beach is pebbly but it has fantastic views, lovely local shops and I got to try fresh oysters, which I found out that Whitstable is famous for! Why not visit and let SGO know what you thought.



Michaela and SGO