Special Report

The Best Chocolate Brands on the Market

Courtesy of Stone Grindz via Facebook

There is chocolate, and then there is bean-to-bar chocolate. While many reputable chocolate companies use a standardized blend of cacao from numerous countries, bean-to-bar chocolates tend to contain cacao from a single bioregion. As with wine, this allows the unique flavors of rare and specialty cacao strains to shine in the finished product.  

To determine the companies making the best bean-to-bar chocolates in the Americas, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from the International Chocolate Awards 2020-2021 Americas bean-to-bar competition (the most recent one that’s been held), which rated hundreds of chocolate bars from producers in the Western Hemisphere. The bars were judged by an international panel of experts including chocolatiers, sommeliers, food journalists, and pastry chefs. We created a weighted index considering gold and silver winners as well as companies that won multiple awards in various categories.

Aside from showcasing the terroir of single origin cacao, another advantage of bean-to-bar chocolates is sustainability. A large number of the companies that produce these chocolates pay their cacao farmers a living wage and source from farms that utilize sustainable growing practices including diverse interplanting. Many industrial cacao farms, on the other hand, clearcut large swaths of rainforest, making chocolate one of the foods with the worst environmental impact.

Click here to see the best bean-to-bar chocolates from the Americas

Pacari Chocolate – a company that won 20 awards in the competition – is a certified organic and biodynamic producer in Ecuador, that sources its beans from local farmers who grow and preserve an array of heirloom cacao varieties using sustainable forestry practices. One variety that Pacari utilizes is Ecuador’s rare Arribia Nacional cacao bean, which is known for its floral aroma and complex flavor profile, helping to make Pacari’s chocolate bars some of the best in the world. (If you prefer your chocolate in frozen form, here’s a list of the best ice cream parlor in every state.)

Source: Courtesy of Chaleur B Chocolat via Facebook

26. Chaleur B Chocolat (tied)
> Country: Canada
> Bar to try: Vietnam Dak Lak Dark Milk 51% Cacao


25. TCHO (tied)
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: 39% Classic Milk

Source: Courtesy of Palato by Chef Moni via Facebook

24. Palato Hand Crafted Chocolate (tied)
> Country: Honduras
> Bar to try: 65% Dark Chocolate Bhutlah Pepper

Source: Courtesy of Palette de Bine via Facebook

23. Palette de Bine (tied)
> Country: Canada
> Bar to try: Milk + Maple Wild Harvest Bolivia 55%


Source: Courtesy of White Label Chocolate via Facebook

22. White Label Chocolate (tied)
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: 48% Brown Butter Milk

Source: Courtesy of Danaus via Facebook

21. DANAUS bean-to-bar
> Country: Peru
> Bar to try: Chocolate 68 % Cacao VRAE99 Cusco


Source: Courtesy of Cielo Dentro Chocolate de Origen via Facebook

20. Cielo Dentro Chocolate
> Country: Mexico
> Bar to try: Pixan 45%

Source: Courtesy of Bar & Cocoa

19. Luisa Abram
> Country: Brazil
> Bar to try: White Chocolate with Açai Berry

Source: Courtesy of Hummingbird Chocolate Maker via Facebook

18. Hummingbird Chocolate Maker
> Country: Canada
> Bar to try: Toffee Nib


Source: Courtesy of Argencove via Facebook

17. Argencove
> Country: Nicaragua
> Bar to try: Banana, Cinnamon & Cloves

Source: Courtesy of Maraná via Facebook

16. Maraná
> Country: Peru
> Bar to try: Cusco Dark 70%


Source: Courtesy of Tesoro Amazonico via Facebook

15. Tesoro Amazonico
> Country: Peru
> Bar to try: Chuncho Dark 88

Source: Courtesy of Goodnow Farms Chocolate via Facebook

14. Goodnow Farms Chocolate
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: Asochivite with Maple Sugar

13. Pacari Chocolate
> Country: Ecuador
> Bar to try: Guayas 75%


Source: Courtesy of Negro Doce via Facebook

12. Negro Doce
> Country: Brazil
> Bar to try: Caramel Crush

Source: Courtesy of Danta Chocolate

11. Danta Chocolate
> Country: Guatemala
> Bar to try: Kampura White Limited Edition


Source: Courtesy of Wild Blue Chocolate

10. Wild Blue Chocolate
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: 70% Dark Chocolate, Maya Mountain Belize

Source: Courtesy of Bar & Cocoa

9. Mission Chocolate
> Country: Brazil
> Bar to try: Three Theos

Source: Courtesy of Chequessett Chocolate via Facebook

8. Chequessett Chocolate
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: White Lemon Thyme Chocolate Bar


Source: Courtesy of Nina Chocolates Peru via Facebook

7. Nina Fine Chocolates
> Country: Peru
> Bar to try: Nina 73% Theobroma Golden Bar

Source: Courtesy of Stone Grindz via Facebook

6. Stone Grindz Chocolate
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: Cappuccino


Source: Courtesy of Qantu, cacao et chocolat via Facebook

5. Qantu
> Country: Canada
> Bar to try: Oh la vache! Morropón Milk 60%

Source: Courtesy of Kahkow USA via Facebook

4. Kahkow
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: Tireo 68% Single Estate

Source: Courtesy of Kasama Chocolate via Facebook

3. Kasama Chocolate
> Country: Canada
> Bar to try: Strawberry White


Source: Courtesy of Bar & Cocoa

2. Cacao Hunters
> Country: Colombia
> Bar to try: Tumaco Leche 53%

Source: Courtesy of Bar & Cocoa

1. Cacaosuyo
> Country: Peru
> Bar to try: Cuzco 80

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