Manam promises to revolutionalise the way a craft chocolate is perceived in India

With the help of farmers, chocolate makers and technology, this Hyderabad-based craft chocolate comes with a strong story and an irresistible flavour profile

September 8, 2023

Manam launches a retail and experiential store that not only offers a spectacular assortment of treats, but also turns chocolate into a spectator sport

From the farm and fermentary, we head over to front row seats for bean-to-bar chocolate theatrics.From bonbons to truffles to tablets and more, Indian cacao, if treated correctly can be used to make some of the world’s best confectionery

August 14, 2023

Beauty & The Bean: Manam Brings A Quiet Sophistication To Indian Craft Chocolate

You would not believe the number of ‘Willy Wonka’ quips I heard when I told my friends and colleagues that I’d be travelling toHyderabadto visit a chocolate factory. Truth be told, I genuinely had no idea what to expect. Were there going to be Oompa Loompas? Was I going to fall into a gigantic vat of something? Could there be impromptu singing and dancing? Perhaps even a sketchy grandfather who's conned his family into thinking he's an invalid for decades?

21 August,2023

Manam Chocolate is building a world of fine Indian cacao confections by starting right at the source.

There’s something in the air in Hyderabad. Stand on a sidewalk in the new part of the city for a few minutes and between the start-up India conversation at the corner cigarette shop, the steady buzz of construction drills and the 250-seater packed restaurants on a weekday, you’ll pick up on a palpable energy. One that is making young India look at the city with fresh eyes. At Banjara Hills, one of the city’s swish neighbourhoods, I find, that along with this energy, there’s the heady aroma of fine flavour chocolate in the air. I’m standing outside the tablet-shaped door of the flagship location of Manam Chocolate, an ambitious and large-hearted homegrown Indian brand that is bringing Hyderbad’s tech expertise to the world of Indian craft chocolate. At the centre of this unlikely Venn diagram is Hyderabad local Chaitanya Muppala, the 32-year-old founder of Manam, who is, in fact, no stranger to sugar and spreadsheets. “A standing joke I used to have is that Hyderabad has been the next big thing for the last 10 years. But now, I believe its time has finally come,” chuckles Muppala.

12 August 2023

Manam in Hyderabad is on a quest to craft India’s best chocolate.

The raw cacao fruit tastes a little like custard apple. You break the soft outer shell with gentle pressure and extract the individual pods, arranged in two rows inside, to bite into the flesh. It is a bit sweet and a bit tart and quite a bit sour with a distinctly fruity aroma; if you’re tasting it for the first time, it is hard to imagine that this is what ultimately yields rich, brown chocolate—the two seem to taste nothing alike. However, more experienced palates, like that of B. Venkateswara Rao, whose 12-acre cacao farm in Gangannagudem village in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district we are in, can apparently detect distinct flavour notes. “We grow banana, coconut, pepper on the same farm, so these flavours do get into the fruit and the seed,” he explains, plucking another cacao fruit from a tree and expertly breaking it open to offer us more of the pods.

25 August 2023

Farmers are at the heart of the Manam Karkhana. One can pick single farm bars where farmers like GVS Prasad and GP Rao have dedicated tablets made from cacao that they grow.

I zip down a highway in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh to reach a farm dotted with leafy cacao trees. I have eaten chocolates all my life, but today I am going to witness the entire process of how it is made from scratch. I am with Chaitanya Muppala, founder of Manam Chocolate, a craft chocolate brand whose ‘Karkhana’ at the posh Banjara Hills in Hyderabad is transforming these cacao beans into delectable flavours of a different kind. But before visiting the luxury space, I get a behind the scenes experience of each stage of craft chocolate making.

21 Aug 2023

Here's how progressive farmers are harvesting cacao at farms in West Godavari

At 7 am, 62-year-old Boyapati Venkateswara Rao heads to his farm at Tadikalapudi, West Godavari, on his bike. About an hour ahead of Vijaywada, Rao grows coconut, cacao, palm oil, areca nut, bush pepper, agarwood, mango, and jackfruit as the main crop, using organic manure and flood irrigation on 12 acres of land.

17 Aug 2023

The great Indian chocolate factory

When Chaitanya Muppala, 32, got to run the family-owned Almond House, a leading mithai store in Hyderabad, he was quick to notice the shift in gifting preferences from tradition to modernity in the Old City. That’s why he launched Manam Chocolate this August, artisanal, boutique and carefully curated as an uber-cool indulgence. Following a colonial legacy with factory-made settings, it took him a while to understand that a good chocolate was much like wine-making, growing and nurturing the beans with the right soil, climate and technique. Like the best Pinot Noir, it could have spicy and supple notes. And there was as much a mathematical method to the madness of swirling flavours.

30 Dec 2023