The 10 Craft Chocolate Brands Europe Can't Stop Talking About
Europe's love affair with chocolate is rich, with countries like Belgium and France laying claim to some of the globe's most celebrated chocolatiers.
But beneath this grand tradition lies an exciting subculture: craft chocolate. This movement pushes the boundaries of conventional chocolate-making, infusing it with innovative flavors, artisanal methods, and avant-garde packaging.
Since its surge in popularity during the late 2000s, craft chocolate has not just been the domain of seasoned chocolatiers. Enthusiasts, from complete novices to experienced culinary chefs, have embraced the allure of cacao, the hands-on joy of creating chocolate, and the ethical underpinnings of the craft approach.
Dive in as we unwrap the delectable world of the top 10 European craft chocolate brands.
It was in April of 1954 when the master chocolatier Francesc Agrás embarked on a long journey through the best patisseries and confectioneries in Europe. His passion for excellence in artisan confectionery was the seed that led to the founding of one of the most renowned Catalan chocolate factories: Bombons Blanxart. It all started in a modest workshop in the neighborhood of Les Corts (Barcelona) and feeding a dream: bringing the best cocoa beans from Ghana, Congo, and Guayaquil to chocolate.
Suggested bar to try: Blanxart Nicaragua Eco-Organic 85%
This is a bar of organic dark chocolate made with 85% Criollo and Trinitario cocoa from Nicaragua. It is one of the smoothest 85% chocolate bars we have tried. Definitely a bar for those who are new to high percentage bars.
Tasting notes: Lemon, Orange, Flowers & Nuts
OmNom Chocolate Reykjavík (Iceland)
Omnom is a small-batch, craft chocolate maker based in Reykjavík, Iceland. The chocolate maker was founded in 2013 by childhood friends Kjartan Gíslason and Óskar Þórðarson. Kjartan worked as a chef across Europe for two decades before discovering the amazing world of chocolate. Óskar worked in the fishing and start-up sector before launching Omnom. The company started as an experiment to see if the two friends could master how to make chocolate. From the start, they received positive tasting feedback. After-which, they set up a small chocolate-making lab inside a converted gas station and launched. Omnom's mission is to make the best chocolate possible using the highest quality of ingredients.
Suggested bar to try: OmNom Tanzania 70%
A pure dark single-origin bar from Tanzania cocoa. It features a dominance of stone fruits and roasted hazelnuts with hints of raisins and ripe apricots.
Tasting notes: Fruity & Nutty
Original Beans (Switzerland)
Since 2008, Original Beans has ventured into remote rainforests to source the world’s rarest cacao beans and transform the cultures of chocolate, food, and luxury. Original Beans founder, Philipp Kauffmann, represents the 7th generation in a family of recognized nature explorers and conservationists who coined the term “sustainability”. Philipp gave up his job at the United Nations in New York to grow Original Beans as a leading brand for a world in which we regenerate what we consume. For each bar purchased, Original Beans plants a tree with their initiative, One Bar One Tree.
Suggested bar to try: Original Beans Arhuaco Businchari 82%
Heights of sweet spice, licorice, and sesame rise gently in this ultra-rare chocolate made according to ancient Arhuaco tribal traditions that are designed to maintain the world's natural harmony.
Tasting notes: Sweet Spice, Licorice, and Sesame
Chocolate Naive (Lithuania)
Chocolate Naive makes chocolate in a little town on the Eastern side of Lithuania, where they make their chocolate from bean to bar. Naive makes chocolate in ways that help to reveal the character of a particular cacao bean. For some time already, their products have put Lithuania on the foodie map as a rising star of gourmet chocolate in the world.
Suggested bar to try: Naive Rough Ground Organic Chocolate 75%
Sub-tropical nights are so exceptionally dark! As you cannot see anything at all, other senses sharpen: you can hear more clearly and smell more intensely. A midnight orchestra of birds, insects and animals salute the darkness with their high-pitched tunes. Listen carefully as a cacophony turns into the best melody you have ever heard. Inhale so you can sense the aromas of all these exotic flowers and plants. Taste. Let the flavours of the jungle help you to understand the night.
Tasting notes: Earthy
Amedei Tuscany (Italy)
Amedei’s journey starts with foundress Cecilia Tessieri’s small artisanal laboratory and her commitment to excellence. A search that gradually developed through study, passion and the rediscovery of ancient processing techniques. The raw cocoa pods selected by Amedei from plantations are harvested and sent directly to Tuscany, to be turned into true art pieces by their chocolatiers, who masterfully dose and hand-process a small number of selected ingredients.
Suggested bar to try: Amedei Pistacchi Chocolate Bar 29%
The red, white, and green of the Italian flag come together in a bold chocolate statement: white chocolate, fine green pistachios from Bronte, and red passion poured into designing an unexpected flavor that develops as the nuts mature in the chocolate, reaching a crescendo of pleasure.
Tasting notes: Nutty
Akesson's Organic Chocolate is the first "Tree-to-Bar" chocolate maker. The Akesson family started with a single plantation in Madagascar. Today, Bertil Akesson has expanded the company's cacao network with plantations in Madagascar, Brazil, and Indonesia. If you tried craft chocolate or world-famous chocolatier chocolate, it is likely that it came from one of Akesson's cacao plantations. Akesson's Organic Chocolate bars have won a multitude of awards and is regarded as one of the best craft chocolate bars on the market.
Suggested bar to try: Akesson's Brazil Forastero 75%
Grown on a historical Brazilian plantation, Forastero cacao's astonishing warm aroma is balanced with tart notes of the native pitanga fruit in 75% dark chocolate. The Pitanga fruit, also known as the 'Brazilian cherry', looks like a small pumpkin and has a sharp and sweet taste. Parasinho's Forestero cacao is the only variety grown on this Fazenda Sempre Firme plantation. Grown amid a forest with the highest biodiversity on earth, this exceptional cacao is distinctly Brazilian.
Tasting notes: Earthy, Tobacco, Brazilian Pitanga Fruit, Tart, Autumn Spices
Cacao Sampaka (Spain)
Cacao Sampaka was created to propagate the culture of cocoa, to revive chocolate tasting as a social custom, and to convey their passion for this legendary food of the gods. They handcraft chocolate from start to finish. They use real chocolate with no preservatives or coloring to create an evocative language of shapes and flavors.
Suggested bar to try: Cacao Sampaka Roses and Strawberries White Chocolate
Creamy white chocolate dances with crisp dried strawberries and rose petals. The rose aroma enhances the bright berries with a pleasant crunch and lingering sweetness. Reminiscent of childhood fruity cereals with dried strawberries soaked in milk. The addition of rose comes through as an aroma and plays a supporting role in crispy strawberries and sweet white chocolate.
Tasting notes: Strawberry & Floral
Founded in 2015, Goodio is a food pioneer with a big heart. The story started with a question: “What if there was a food brand you could trust?”. Goodio was created on the principles of sustainability, well-being, and transparency. It's a vision to bring Nordic-inspired flavors to a chocolate brand for the global consumer.
Suggested bar to try: Goodio Wild Blueberry 61%
The unique combination of raw chocolate and wild blueberries gathered from the Finnish wilderness.
Tasting notes: Dark Fruit
Sabadi Chocolate (Italy)
Modica style chocolate, born in the elaborate and eponymous city in southeastern Sicily, has long suffered in reputation due to cheap cacao from dubious sources. Enter Simone Sabiani, Modica restaurateur with a restorative eye for food, natural wine, and chocolate. His Sabadì chocolate taps the potential of Modica style, known for cold processing, lack of added cocoa butter, and rough texture, to highlight the raw materials that go into its creation. Sabadì showcases how ethical sourcing, attention to detail, and thoughtful inclusions can match this unique style to the baroque beauty of its rich history.
Suggested bar to try: Sabadi Rajah Organic Traditional Modica Chocolate w/ White Peppercorns 64%
The extraordinary aroma of the excellent cocoa Nacional Fino de Aroma from Ecuador in pleasant contrast with the spicy and balsamic notes of Sarawak white pepper.
Tasting notes: Spicy, Balsamic & Pepper
Valrhona is a French chocolate company founded in 1922. The company produces a wide range of high-quality chocolates, including dark, milk, and white chocolate, as well as chocolate bars, pastries, and other confections. Valrhona's chocolate is known for its rich, intense flavor and is used by many professional pastry chefs and chocolatiers around the world. The company is based in the small town of Tain l'Hermitage in the Rhône-Alpes region of France.
Suggested bar to try: Valrhona Grand Cru Guanaja 70%
This bar develops extraordinary bitterness, revealing a whole aromatic range of warm notes while unveiling flowery notes and an intense flavor that is exceptionally long-lingering.
Tasting Notes: Flowery
The European affair with chocolate – it's more than just a treat, it's an art form. From the cozy corners of Reykjavík to the sun-kissed courtyards of Tuscany, each chocolate bar is a passport stamp, a tale of tradition, and a bite of innovation. With every piece of Blanxart's smooth Criollo or the zesty kick of Sabadi’s peppercorn infusion, we're taken on a rich journey of flavors and stories. You're not just indulging in a piece of chocolate; you're becoming a part of Europe's age-old cocoa narrative, reimagined. So, go ahead, unwrap these masterpieces, and let your taste buds travel. We believe every bite has its own story, and what better way to tell it than through the magic of craft chocolate?