A Sweet Tooth's Guide: The Best Chocolate Bars
If you have a sweet tooth and a love for chocolate, you're in the right place! Chocolate is one of the most beloved treats in the world, and with so many varieties and brands to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That's why we've put together this guide to help you navigate the world of chocolate bars and find the best options out there. From classic milk chocolate to dark chocolate with unique flavors and textures, we've taste-tested and researched the top contenders to bring you our picks for the best chocolate bars.
Blanxart Nicaragua Eco-Organic 85%
The Brand: Blanxart
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.
The Chocolate Bar: 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
Who is it For?
This chocolate bar would likely be enjoyed by individuals who are new to high percentage dark chocolate bars and looking to explore them. A high-quality chocolate with a deep and rich flavor, but the fact that it is one of the smoothest 85% chocolate bars suggests that it may be a more approachable option for those who are new to higher percentage bars. Overall, this chocolate bar would be a great choice for someone who is looking to explore the world of high percentage dark chocolate bars, but may be intimidated by the intensity of higher percentage bars. It provides a smooth and approachable introduction to high percentage bars, while still offering the rich and complex flavors associated with high-quality dark chocolate.
Akesson's Madagascar Criollo 100%
The Brand: Akesson's Organic Chocolate
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.
The Chocolate Bar: Akesson's Madagascar Criollo 100%
Expressive with naturally sweet, citrusy, red fruit notes. The Criollo beans for this bar are harvested in limited batches among other bountiful world-renowned cacao. Akesson's nearly 5,000 acres is located in the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar. Broken up into many smaller plantations, it produces cacao used by chefs and chocolate makers around the world. On the Ambolikapiky plantation, only 2 tons of Criollo beans are grown each year while the rest of the plantation produces 300 tons of Trinitario per year. Certified organic.
Tasting notes: Citrusy, Aromatic, Sweet and Tart Red Fruits
Who is it For?
This chocolate bar would likely be enjoyed by individuals who appreciate the complexity and uniqueness of high-quality single-origin chocolate. The limited batch harvesting of Criollo beans in the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar is a rare and sought-after flavor profile, making it a great choice for chocolate connoisseurs and enthusiasts. The naturally sweet, citrusy, and red fruit notes in the chocolate bar would appeal to those who enjoy the interplay of sweet and sour flavors. Overall, this chocolate bar would be a great choice for someone looking for a unique and nuanced chocolate experience that is both high in quality and ethically sourced.
OmNom Tanzania 70%
The Brand: Omnom Reykjavik
Omnom is a small-batch, craft chocolate maker based in Reykjavík, Iceland. 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 receiving positive feedback, 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.
The Chocolate Bar: 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
Who is it For?
This chocolate bar would likely be enjoyed by individuals who prefer a rich and robust chocolate flavor profile. The use of pure dark single-origin Tanzania cocoa adds a deep and intense chocolate flavor. The dominance of stone fruits and roasted hazelnuts, along with hints of raisins and ripe apricots, adds a complex flavor profile that would appeal to those who enjoy exploring the nuances of different chocolate flavors. Overall, this chocolate bar would be a great choice for someone looking for a high-quality and sophisticated chocolate experience that is both rich in flavor and texture.
Dick Taylor Black Fig Chocolate 72%
The Brand: Dick Taylor
Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor have always loved crafting. With a background in woodworking and boat building, they have always worked with their hands. Craft is a guiding principle in their lives. After hearing about the craft chocolate movement in the late '00s, they saw similarities in woodworking and craft chocolate making. They became fascinated with the idea of the chocolate experience and in 2010 bought their first chocolate-making equipment. Their chocolate captures and highlights the subtle flavour nuances in the cacao they source from around the world, with the goal to make an enjoyable chocolate experience for us.
The Chocolate Bar: Dick Taylor Black Fig Chocolate 72%
Starting with their fruity 72% Malagasy origin chocolate, Dick Taylor adds in chewy bits of dark, rich California black mission figs. The combination makes for unforgettably bright chocolate, rife with notes of dried fruit and deep cacao, and textured with locally-sourced figs.
Tasting notes: Dried Fruit, Deep Cacao, Fig
Who is it For?
This chocolate bar would likely be enjoyed by individuals who appreciate the combination of fruity and rich flavors. The 72% Malagasy origin chocolate provides a deep, dark cacao taste, while the addition of chewy bits of dark, rich California black mission figs adds a sweet, fruity note that complements the chocolate well. This chocolate bar would also appeal to those who enjoy texture in their chocolate, as the locally-sourced figs provide a unique and interesting crunch. Overall, this chocolate bar would be a great choice for someone looking for a high-quality, artisanal chocolate experience that is both rich in flavor and texture.
Raaka Bananas Foster 66%
The Brand: Raaka
Raaka is devoted to making uncommonly delicious chocolate that captures the brighter, bolder, and fruitier side of cacao. They make every bar from scratch with unroasted cacao beans, sourced from growers they trust and admire. The unique flavour of their unroasted chocolate is part place, part process. They craft their bars in celebration of each cacao origin's unique character. Their chocolate making process values the community of growers, producers, and makers whose livelihoods depend on cacao and chocolate. All of their chocolate is made from scratch, bean-to-bar, in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
The Chocolate Bar: Raaka Bananas Foster 66%
Raaka crafts this bar with perfectly ripe bananas, fruity Peruvian cacao, house caramelized sugar, and vanilla bean. Our tribute to the iconic New Orleans dessert.
Tasting notes: Ripe Banana & Fruity
Who is it For?
This chocolate bar would likely be enjoyed by individuals who appreciate the combination of sweet and fruity flavors. The use of ripe bananas, fruity Peruvian cacao, house caramelized sugar, and vanilla bean suggests a well-balanced sweetness that is not too overpowering, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a milder sweetness in their chocolate. The reference to the iconic New Orleans dessert, bananas foster, may also appeal to individuals who enjoy exploring different cultural flavors and food pairings. The use of vanilla bean adds a touch of sophistication to the chocolate bar, appealing to those who appreciate the finer details of chocolate making. Overall, this chocolate bar would be a great choice for someone looking for a unique and delicious chocolate experience that is both sweet and complex in flavor.
Ranger Espresso 74% Large
The Brand: Ranger Chocolate
Based on family recipes and named for founder George Domurot’s niece, a National Park Service Forest Ranger, Ranger Chocolate Company carefully handles each cacao bean to unlock nuance, regionality, and terroir-driven flavors in their chocolate.
The Chocolate Bar: Ranger Espresso 74% Large
Ranger's Espresso Chocolate Bar strikes a balance between two of our most beloved items on the planet, chocolate, and espresso. They collaborated with some of the best coffee roasters in Portland to produce a warm and welcoming bar. They work with Trailhead Coffee Roasters to pair their Classic Espresso Blend with a 50/50 blend of their cacao from the Tumaco region in Colombia and a new bean they've been working with from forest edge communities surrounding the Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone.
Tasting notes: Cream & Carmel
Who is it For?
This chocolate bar would be enjoyed by individuals who appreciate the combination of coffee and chocolate flavors. The use of espresso in the chocolate offers a bold and robust coffee flavor that would be appealing to coffee lovers. The 74% cocoa content also offers a high-quality dark chocolate with a deep and rich flavor, making it a great choice for chocolate connoisseurs and enthusiasts. Overall, this chocolate bar would be a great choice for someone looking for a unique and flavorful chocolate experience that combines the bold flavors of coffee and dark chocolate. It would be particularly appealing to coffee lovers and those who appreciate the finer details of chocolate making.
Amano Cardamom Black Pepper 60%
The Brand: Amano Chocolate
Amano Artisan Chocolate is a small-batch craft chocolate maker based in Orem, Utah. Amano is an award-winning maker, they make all their chocolate on vintage equipment. Their small batch process allows Amano to control and observe flavor development, making each batch of chocolate not only delicious but unique.
The Chocolate Bar: Amano Cardamom Black Pepper 60%
With the Amano Cardamom Black Pepper bar, you will encounter not just the famous flavors of their Guayas dark chocolate made with beans from the Dominican Republic. You'll also find the finest single estate black pepper with ground cardamom. Small bits of sugar crystals give a satisfying crunch in your mouth.
Tasting notes: Spice & Floral
Who is it For?
This chocolate bar would likely be enjoyed by individuals who enjoy unique and spicy flavor combinations. The use of cardamom and black pepper in the chocolate offers a bold and spicy flavor profile that would be appealing to those who enjoy experimenting with different flavor combinations. The 60% cocoa content provides a high-quality dark chocolate with a balanced and nuanced flavor profile, making it a great choice for chocolate connoisseurs and enthusiasts. Overall, this chocolate bar would be a great choice for someone looking for a bold and unique chocolate experience that is both spicy and sweet. It would be particularly appealing to those who enjoy experimenting with different flavor combinations and appreciate the finer details of chocolate making.
Original Beans Arhuaco Businchari 82%
The Brand: Original Beans
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.
The Chocolate Bar: 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
Who is it For?
This chocolate bar would likely be enjoyed by individuals who appreciate the complex and nuanced flavors of high percentage dark chocolate. This chocolate bar is of very high-quality dark chocolate with a deep and intense flavor profile, making it a great choice for chocolate connoisseurs and enthusiasts. Overall, this chocolate bar would be a great choice for someone who is looking for an intense and flavorful chocolate experience. It would be particularly appealing to those who appreciate high percentage dark chocolate and are interested in trying unique and ethically-sourced chocolate varieties.
Manoa Mai'a Banana & Nibs 70%
The Brand: Manoa Chocolate Hawaii
Manoa Chocolate Hawaii is a bean-to-bar chocolate company based in Hawaii that focuses on producing high-quality, small-batch chocolate bars. The company is committed to using only the best ingredients and sourcing cocoa beans directly from small farmers and cooperatives around the world.
The Chocolate Bar: Mai'a Banana Nibs 70%
Tasting notes: Banana, Passion Fruit & Coconut
Who is it For?
This chocolate bar would be ideal for anyone who enjoys unique and flavorful chocolate combinations. The use of roasted banana nibs in the chocolate provides a sweet and slightly fruity flavor that is sure to appeal to those with a sweet tooth. The 70% cocoa content also offers a high-quality dark chocolate that will be appreciated by chocolate connoisseurs and enthusiasts. Overall, this bar is great for anyone who enjoys a fruity chocolate bar.
Cacaosuyo Cuzco 80%
The Brand: Cacaosuyo
“The best-kept secret of the Incas,” made at origin in Peru. Cacaosuyo are chocolate geeks’ elite rockstars. Minimally processed chocolate bars express each Peruvian cacao strain’s genetics in crystal clear surround sound. Their unrivaled attention to detail and direct trade practices are key in improving the lives of producers and preserving rare varietals that would otherwise be lost to more industrial, “productive” strains.
The Chocolate Bar: Cacaosuyo Cuzco 80%
Mild and flavorful cacao native to Cuzco yields an 80% bar naturally sweeter than most. Slight fruitiness slowly fades into a lingering fresh, herbal finish. This Criollo cacao is harvested in a jungle located in the lower parts of the Cuzco region, an area that houses many native cacao varieties.
Tasting notes: Fruity, Naturally Sweet, Fresh-Tasting & Lingering Herbal Finish
Who is it For?
This chocolate bar would be a great choice for anyone who appreciates high-quality, intense dark chocolate with a complex flavor profile. The 80% cocoa content provides a rich and flavorful chocolate that will be appreciated by those who enjoy the deeper, more complex flavors of high-percentage dark chocolate. The fact that the chocolate is made with single-origin cacao from the Cuzco region of Peru also makes it an excellent choice for chocolate connoisseurs and enthusiasts who are interested in trying unique and ethically sourced chocolate varieties. Overall, the Cuzco 80% chocolate bar from Cacaosuyo is a delicious and sophisticated chocolate that is sure to please any chocolate lover.
You can shop our entire collection of chocolate bars here.
To get started with craft chocolate, start with our Kekao Box. We search the world for the finest chocolate bars and bring them right to your doorstep monthly. From rich dark Peruvian chocolate bars to new start-up chocolate bars on the come-up, you never know what you'll get inside the box! Each month we will curate 4 to 5 premium specialty crafted chocolate bars.
If you want to just try a couple of bars, check out our online chocolate store.
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