COLD SHIPPING INFO
In warmer climates or warmer months, ordering chocolate online can be tricky!
Here are our recommendations and guidelines to work with the heat.
Chocolate, if tempered properly (long story, but an essential part of making good chocolate), does not need to be refrigerated, if kept in temperatures, preferably below 22C. Chocolate should also always be stored in dry, dark places- especially ours, as humidity can cause the cellulose wrappers to decompose. Not what you want when it still contains chocolate.
Chocolate is fairly safe at whatever temperature– especially ours, because it is vegan and we don’t have to worry about dairy products in it going bad! However, if you get chocolate that has been transported in warmer conditions and has not been kept at proper temperatures, you may find that it has bloomed.
What is blooming?
Well, guess you do have to learn about tempering! (Or not- skip to the bold...)
For chocolate to be in a glossy, fridge-free, form, and have a nice snap to it and smooth mouthfeel, it must be properly tempered. This is done during manufacturing, when the chocolate is heated and cooled to rather precise temperatures over time, with some agitation. Cocoa butter is the fat in chocolate that gives it it’s great mouthfeel, and it is a component of cocoa beans themselves. Cocoa butter is made of crystals that are changed throughout this tempering process- if done correctly, makes sure we get the right kind of crystal structure we want (beta crystals).
But, if the chocolate is heated up too much- even after it is tempered, the crystals will change into an unstable form- the chocolate will bloom. This looks like the chocolate has a grey coating on it- it is still totally safe to eat and delicious! But that grey coating is just the cocoa butter rising to the surface of our chocolate- giving it a grey appearance. This is one version of ‘fat bloom’.
(There is also ‘sugar bloom’, which is where the sugar in the chocolate absorbs moisture from the surrounding area. When the water evaporates, it leaves the sugars to form larger crystals, giving the chocolate a dusty appearance. Moving on.)
So. Because we work so hard to make your chocolate properly tempered, we want to keep it properly tempered during shipping.
If any of the following are an issue, we need to take extra special care while shipping:
- it is warm where you are getting the chocolate delivered
- the chocolate will be traveling through a warm part of the planet to get to you
We recommend 2-3 days of shipping with cold packs if either of these conditions are at play!
With exceptionally high temperatures, cold packs alone will not do the job. An insulated cooler box will increase the potency of cooling, but only adds as much as a day. It’s usually better to just be sure to choose a faster shipping option.
If you reeeeeally want your chocolate and it’s hot out, we can get quotes on refrigerated shipping carriers which can be expensive. The best is to select a form of air freight which should have your order to you within 2 days across Canada. Please watch the shipping estimate times listed on the Checkout page, and be sure to choose one that fits this timeframe.
We most often end up shipping with Purolator or CanPar instead of Canada Post- the rates are similar (may end up a little more expensive on our end) but the product gets to you way faster!
For USA & International: We usually ship via DHL- and they are pretty fast! We avoid using UPS and FedEx whenever possible as these organizations are supporters of ALEC and prison labour.
Be mindful of weekends as well; we generally only ship out on Mondays and occasionally on Wednesdays. This is because later days in the week may result in your package being stuck in a warm warehouse over the weekend! Not good. You can place an order after Monday afternoon, but we’ll hold it until the following Monday or Tuesday to ship (unless we are unusually organized one day- then we can ship that same day? No promises.). (If you absolutely must order immediately, please include a note in your order, or email email@example.com and let us know what’s up, or, reach out on our social media.)
'Wait, I didn't order______ (tea, powdered spices, pasta) from Zimt!'
It is true- you certainly did not. But we clean and re-use bags from dried goods, fill them with tap water, seal them and then freeze them to pop into your order boxes. We used to order eco friendly freezer packs, but to be honest, enough suitable bags already exist out there, and we prefer to re-purpose those instead.
We will include a cold pack in your order if ordering during warmer time periods, or to a warmer location, free of charge.
Reusing & Recycling Cold Packs
If not mistreated, they can be reused many times – keep them for camping trips, picnics or for icing injuries! They can also be given away, some places like food banks may welcome them.
If you wish to recycle them, that can get tricky as different cities have different recycling capabilities. Generally, soft plastics are accepted at certain London Drugs locations and select city recycling locations. Reduce, reuse, recycle- t is in that order for a reason!
Products that Ship Well in the Heat
If you really want some Zimt in your life and don’t want an ice pack, go ahead and order some Salted Vanilla Bean Caramel Macaroons and any type of Drinking Chocolate! They are safe to ship in warm weather without an ice pack.
If you have any suggestions on cold shipping methods (e.g. special reusable coolers or specialty freight companies) which may provide a better service to our customers, please connect with us via email or include a note in your order.
Confused? Just Contact Us!
If you’re not sure about this, don’t worry! Send us an email with your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org – and it’s fine if you leave the site, your cart should be saved for your next visit and you’re ready to process your order.