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Xocolatl Offers Dark Chocolate Decadence in Atlanta’s Krog Street Market

Xocolatl Offers Dark Chocolate Decadence in Atlanta’s Krog Street Market


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I recently toured and sampled chocolates at Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate in the Krog Street Market where I not only learned about the bean-to-bar chocolate creation process but witnessed the tremendous amount of labor and love that Xocolatl puts into its bars.

Xocolatl is a small-batch chocolatier that creates its chocolates inside a tiny stall in KSM. Husband-and-wife team Matt Weyandt and Elaine Read founded the company with the goal of providing a “sense of contentment and adventure” through indulgent, rich, flavorful dark chocolate.

The cacao beans that form the basis of the chocolate come from small farms throughout the Americas and East Africa, many of which Weyandt and Read have personally visited. After the dried beans arrive at KSM, the Xocolatl team sifts through each load by hand, removing flattened beans and any debris. This laborious process removes unwanted matter, ensuring that the finished chocolate consists of only the highest quality cacao.

In their tiny space, the team roasts the beans at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, cracks them in a grinder powered by a drill, winnows them through a makeshift sifting contraption, and stone-grinds them for three days, during which time imported organic cane sugar from Brazil is added in controlled amounts. This complicated process ultimately generates luxurious chocolate liquor with no superfluous ingredients like added cocoa butter. Weyandt and Read rely on natural flavors such as coffee, peppermint, sea salt, and coconut milk to create chocolates that complement the cacao perfectly.

Try the Kissed Mermaids bar, which is a dark chocolate coconut bar with vanilla-infused sea salt. The hint of salt and vanilla perfectly balances the coconut undertones in the chocolate. If the festive, seasonally featured “Americana” is in stock, try it! The bar features notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice – reminiscent of fall holiday celebrations.

Note: Xocolatl also has an ethical mission statement; the cacao base is sustainably and ethically grown and harvested.


The Best Cities For Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Like wines grown from different kinds of grapes, chocolates made from cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries offer deliciously different tastes. Visit any of these craft chocolatiers to sample their melt-in-your-mouth treats.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Learn about how chocolate is made and taste the wares at San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolates.

Photo by: Dandelion Chocolate

This jewel of Atlanta's chocolate scene was born in the steamy jungles of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, after founders Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved there with their children and began meeting local cacao growers and artisanal chocolate makers. Today, the company’s micro-factory, located in the city's Krog Street Market, grinds whole beans from small farms in the Americas and East Africa and turns them into chocolate liquor. You won’t find cocoa butter used at Xocolatl the makers craft their single-origin, dark chocolate with only cocoa and cane sugar, and add ingredients like dried apple, sea salt, and peppermint to make scrumptious flavored bars.

Xocalatl Chocolate Bars and Cacao Beans

Sample the tasty treats from this Atlanta-based chocolatier.

Photo by: Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Book a tour and tasting to learn about the bean-to-bar process a wine pairing is included. And don’t miss Xocolatl's Frozen Drinking Chocolate, a “slushy” beverage made with Nicaraguan chocolate in coconut milk, topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs (nibs are like the "chocolate chips" of chocolate). For the holidays, the makers will release a new 60 percent dark milk chocolate bar.

Xocoatl Chocolate Bars

This award-winning small batch chocolate hails from Atlanta.

Photo by: Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Visit San Francisco’s Mission District to experience Dandelion Chocolate, where beans are roasted, cracked, ground and otherwise prepared before being molded into bars by hand. Dandelion, which has won multiple awards for its chocolate, works directly with cacao producers to buy high-quality beans grown by sustainable methods. Each year, the company leads trips to visit some of its bean producers. They’ve taken groups to Hawaii Maya Mountain Cacao, in Belize Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Contact them for details, or just treat yourself to a Kokoa Kamili Bar from Tanzania, with flavors of ripe mango and caramelized red berries, or a bar made from Venezuelan beans that tastes of roasted almond, dulce de leche and chocolate fudge. Dandelion's Madagascar Chocolate Bar offers a punch of raspberry and Meyer lemonade flavors.

ChocoVivo, Los Angeles, California

Like the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, ChocoVivo grinds its beans with a mano and metate, tools that are used like a mortar and pestle. The only ingredients in ChocoVivo's products are whole cacao nibs and spices, so its dark chocolate – the only kind of chocolate the company makes—has a pure, stone-ground, traditional taste. “Chocolate is truly food, not a candy bar,” says owner and chocolatier Patricia Tsai. Look for bars made with 100 percent, 85 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent cacao, or try flavored chocolates like Cherries + Almonds + Black Peppercorns (crumble the bars to make a yummy trail mix).


The Best Cities For Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Like wines grown from different kinds of grapes, chocolates made from cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries offer deliciously different tastes. Visit any of these craft chocolatiers to sample their melt-in-your-mouth treats.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Learn about how chocolate is made and taste the wares at San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolates.

Photo by: Dandelion Chocolate

This jewel of Atlanta's chocolate scene was born in the steamy jungles of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, after founders Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved there with their children and began meeting local cacao growers and artisanal chocolate makers. Today, the company’s micro-factory, located in the city's Krog Street Market, grinds whole beans from small farms in the Americas and East Africa and turns them into chocolate liquor. You won’t find cocoa butter used at Xocolatl the makers craft their single-origin, dark chocolate with only cocoa and cane sugar, and add ingredients like dried apple, sea salt, and peppermint to make scrumptious flavored bars.

Xocalatl Chocolate Bars and Cacao Beans

Sample the tasty treats from this Atlanta-based chocolatier.

Photo by: Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Book a tour and tasting to learn about the bean-to-bar process a wine pairing is included. And don’t miss Xocolatl's Frozen Drinking Chocolate, a “slushy” beverage made with Nicaraguan chocolate in coconut milk, topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs (nibs are like the "chocolate chips" of chocolate). For the holidays, the makers will release a new 60 percent dark milk chocolate bar.

Xocoatl Chocolate Bars

This award-winning small batch chocolate hails from Atlanta.

Photo by: Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Visit San Francisco’s Mission District to experience Dandelion Chocolate, where beans are roasted, cracked, ground and otherwise prepared before being molded into bars by hand. Dandelion, which has won multiple awards for its chocolate, works directly with cacao producers to buy high-quality beans grown by sustainable methods. Each year, the company leads trips to visit some of its bean producers. They’ve taken groups to Hawaii Maya Mountain Cacao, in Belize Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Contact them for details, or just treat yourself to a Kokoa Kamili Bar from Tanzania, with flavors of ripe mango and caramelized red berries, or a bar made from Venezuelan beans that tastes of roasted almond, dulce de leche and chocolate fudge. Dandelion's Madagascar Chocolate Bar offers a punch of raspberry and Meyer lemonade flavors.

ChocoVivo, Los Angeles, California

Like the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, ChocoVivo grinds its beans with a mano and metate, tools that are used like a mortar and pestle. The only ingredients in ChocoVivo's products are whole cacao nibs and spices, so its dark chocolate – the only kind of chocolate the company makes—has a pure, stone-ground, traditional taste. “Chocolate is truly food, not a candy bar,” says owner and chocolatier Patricia Tsai. Look for bars made with 100 percent, 85 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent cacao, or try flavored chocolates like Cherries + Almonds + Black Peppercorns (crumble the bars to make a yummy trail mix).


The Best Cities For Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Like wines grown from different kinds of grapes, chocolates made from cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries offer deliciously different tastes. Visit any of these craft chocolatiers to sample their melt-in-your-mouth treats.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Learn about how chocolate is made and taste the wares at San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolates.

Photo by: Dandelion Chocolate

This jewel of Atlanta's chocolate scene was born in the steamy jungles of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, after founders Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved there with their children and began meeting local cacao growers and artisanal chocolate makers. Today, the company’s micro-factory, located in the city's Krog Street Market, grinds whole beans from small farms in the Americas and East Africa and turns them into chocolate liquor. You won’t find cocoa butter used at Xocolatl the makers craft their single-origin, dark chocolate with only cocoa and cane sugar, and add ingredients like dried apple, sea salt, and peppermint to make scrumptious flavored bars.

Xocalatl Chocolate Bars and Cacao Beans

Sample the tasty treats from this Atlanta-based chocolatier.

Photo by: Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Book a tour and tasting to learn about the bean-to-bar process a wine pairing is included. And don’t miss Xocolatl's Frozen Drinking Chocolate, a “slushy” beverage made with Nicaraguan chocolate in coconut milk, topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs (nibs are like the "chocolate chips" of chocolate). For the holidays, the makers will release a new 60 percent dark milk chocolate bar.

Xocoatl Chocolate Bars

This award-winning small batch chocolate hails from Atlanta.

Photo by: Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Visit San Francisco’s Mission District to experience Dandelion Chocolate, where beans are roasted, cracked, ground and otherwise prepared before being molded into bars by hand. Dandelion, which has won multiple awards for its chocolate, works directly with cacao producers to buy high-quality beans grown by sustainable methods. Each year, the company leads trips to visit some of its bean producers. They’ve taken groups to Hawaii Maya Mountain Cacao, in Belize Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Contact them for details, or just treat yourself to a Kokoa Kamili Bar from Tanzania, with flavors of ripe mango and caramelized red berries, or a bar made from Venezuelan beans that tastes of roasted almond, dulce de leche and chocolate fudge. Dandelion's Madagascar Chocolate Bar offers a punch of raspberry and Meyer lemonade flavors.

ChocoVivo, Los Angeles, California

Like the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, ChocoVivo grinds its beans with a mano and metate, tools that are used like a mortar and pestle. The only ingredients in ChocoVivo's products are whole cacao nibs and spices, so its dark chocolate – the only kind of chocolate the company makes—has a pure, stone-ground, traditional taste. “Chocolate is truly food, not a candy bar,” says owner and chocolatier Patricia Tsai. Look for bars made with 100 percent, 85 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent cacao, or try flavored chocolates like Cherries + Almonds + Black Peppercorns (crumble the bars to make a yummy trail mix).


The Best Cities For Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Like wines grown from different kinds of grapes, chocolates made from cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries offer deliciously different tastes. Visit any of these craft chocolatiers to sample their melt-in-your-mouth treats.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Learn about how chocolate is made and taste the wares at San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolates.

Photo by: Dandelion Chocolate

This jewel of Atlanta's chocolate scene was born in the steamy jungles of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, after founders Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved there with their children and began meeting local cacao growers and artisanal chocolate makers. Today, the company’s micro-factory, located in the city's Krog Street Market, grinds whole beans from small farms in the Americas and East Africa and turns them into chocolate liquor. You won’t find cocoa butter used at Xocolatl the makers craft their single-origin, dark chocolate with only cocoa and cane sugar, and add ingredients like dried apple, sea salt, and peppermint to make scrumptious flavored bars.

Xocalatl Chocolate Bars and Cacao Beans

Sample the tasty treats from this Atlanta-based chocolatier.

Photo by: Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Book a tour and tasting to learn about the bean-to-bar process a wine pairing is included. And don’t miss Xocolatl's Frozen Drinking Chocolate, a “slushy” beverage made with Nicaraguan chocolate in coconut milk, topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs (nibs are like the "chocolate chips" of chocolate). For the holidays, the makers will release a new 60 percent dark milk chocolate bar.

Xocoatl Chocolate Bars

This award-winning small batch chocolate hails from Atlanta.

Photo by: Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Visit San Francisco’s Mission District to experience Dandelion Chocolate, where beans are roasted, cracked, ground and otherwise prepared before being molded into bars by hand. Dandelion, which has won multiple awards for its chocolate, works directly with cacao producers to buy high-quality beans grown by sustainable methods. Each year, the company leads trips to visit some of its bean producers. They’ve taken groups to Hawaii Maya Mountain Cacao, in Belize Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Contact them for details, or just treat yourself to a Kokoa Kamili Bar from Tanzania, with flavors of ripe mango and caramelized red berries, or a bar made from Venezuelan beans that tastes of roasted almond, dulce de leche and chocolate fudge. Dandelion's Madagascar Chocolate Bar offers a punch of raspberry and Meyer lemonade flavors.

ChocoVivo, Los Angeles, California

Like the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, ChocoVivo grinds its beans with a mano and metate, tools that are used like a mortar and pestle. The only ingredients in ChocoVivo's products are whole cacao nibs and spices, so its dark chocolate – the only kind of chocolate the company makes—has a pure, stone-ground, traditional taste. “Chocolate is truly food, not a candy bar,” says owner and chocolatier Patricia Tsai. Look for bars made with 100 percent, 85 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent cacao, or try flavored chocolates like Cherries + Almonds + Black Peppercorns (crumble the bars to make a yummy trail mix).


The Best Cities For Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Like wines grown from different kinds of grapes, chocolates made from cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries offer deliciously different tastes. Visit any of these craft chocolatiers to sample their melt-in-your-mouth treats.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Learn about how chocolate is made and taste the wares at San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolates.

Photo by: Dandelion Chocolate

This jewel of Atlanta's chocolate scene was born in the steamy jungles of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, after founders Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved there with their children and began meeting local cacao growers and artisanal chocolate makers. Today, the company’s micro-factory, located in the city's Krog Street Market, grinds whole beans from small farms in the Americas and East Africa and turns them into chocolate liquor. You won’t find cocoa butter used at Xocolatl the makers craft their single-origin, dark chocolate with only cocoa and cane sugar, and add ingredients like dried apple, sea salt, and peppermint to make scrumptious flavored bars.

Xocalatl Chocolate Bars and Cacao Beans

Sample the tasty treats from this Atlanta-based chocolatier.

Photo by: Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Book a tour and tasting to learn about the bean-to-bar process a wine pairing is included. And don’t miss Xocolatl's Frozen Drinking Chocolate, a “slushy” beverage made with Nicaraguan chocolate in coconut milk, topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs (nibs are like the "chocolate chips" of chocolate). For the holidays, the makers will release a new 60 percent dark milk chocolate bar.

Xocoatl Chocolate Bars

This award-winning small batch chocolate hails from Atlanta.

Photo by: Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Visit San Francisco’s Mission District to experience Dandelion Chocolate, where beans are roasted, cracked, ground and otherwise prepared before being molded into bars by hand. Dandelion, which has won multiple awards for its chocolate, works directly with cacao producers to buy high-quality beans grown by sustainable methods. Each year, the company leads trips to visit some of its bean producers. They’ve taken groups to Hawaii Maya Mountain Cacao, in Belize Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Contact them for details, or just treat yourself to a Kokoa Kamili Bar from Tanzania, with flavors of ripe mango and caramelized red berries, or a bar made from Venezuelan beans that tastes of roasted almond, dulce de leche and chocolate fudge. Dandelion's Madagascar Chocolate Bar offers a punch of raspberry and Meyer lemonade flavors.

ChocoVivo, Los Angeles, California

Like the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, ChocoVivo grinds its beans with a mano and metate, tools that are used like a mortar and pestle. The only ingredients in ChocoVivo's products are whole cacao nibs and spices, so its dark chocolate – the only kind of chocolate the company makes—has a pure, stone-ground, traditional taste. “Chocolate is truly food, not a candy bar,” says owner and chocolatier Patricia Tsai. Look for bars made with 100 percent, 85 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent cacao, or try flavored chocolates like Cherries + Almonds + Black Peppercorns (crumble the bars to make a yummy trail mix).


The Best Cities For Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Like wines grown from different kinds of grapes, chocolates made from cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries offer deliciously different tastes. Visit any of these craft chocolatiers to sample their melt-in-your-mouth treats.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Learn about how chocolate is made and taste the wares at San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolates.

Photo by: Dandelion Chocolate

This jewel of Atlanta's chocolate scene was born in the steamy jungles of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, after founders Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved there with their children and began meeting local cacao growers and artisanal chocolate makers. Today, the company’s micro-factory, located in the city's Krog Street Market, grinds whole beans from small farms in the Americas and East Africa and turns them into chocolate liquor. You won’t find cocoa butter used at Xocolatl the makers craft their single-origin, dark chocolate with only cocoa and cane sugar, and add ingredients like dried apple, sea salt, and peppermint to make scrumptious flavored bars.

Xocalatl Chocolate Bars and Cacao Beans

Sample the tasty treats from this Atlanta-based chocolatier.

Photo by: Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Book a tour and tasting to learn about the bean-to-bar process a wine pairing is included. And don’t miss Xocolatl's Frozen Drinking Chocolate, a “slushy” beverage made with Nicaraguan chocolate in coconut milk, topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs (nibs are like the "chocolate chips" of chocolate). For the holidays, the makers will release a new 60 percent dark milk chocolate bar.

Xocoatl Chocolate Bars

This award-winning small batch chocolate hails from Atlanta.

Photo by: Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Visit San Francisco’s Mission District to experience Dandelion Chocolate, where beans are roasted, cracked, ground and otherwise prepared before being molded into bars by hand. Dandelion, which has won multiple awards for its chocolate, works directly with cacao producers to buy high-quality beans grown by sustainable methods. Each year, the company leads trips to visit some of its bean producers. They’ve taken groups to Hawaii Maya Mountain Cacao, in Belize Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Contact them for details, or just treat yourself to a Kokoa Kamili Bar from Tanzania, with flavors of ripe mango and caramelized red berries, or a bar made from Venezuelan beans that tastes of roasted almond, dulce de leche and chocolate fudge. Dandelion's Madagascar Chocolate Bar offers a punch of raspberry and Meyer lemonade flavors.

ChocoVivo, Los Angeles, California

Like the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, ChocoVivo grinds its beans with a mano and metate, tools that are used like a mortar and pestle. The only ingredients in ChocoVivo's products are whole cacao nibs and spices, so its dark chocolate – the only kind of chocolate the company makes—has a pure, stone-ground, traditional taste. “Chocolate is truly food, not a candy bar,” says owner and chocolatier Patricia Tsai. Look for bars made with 100 percent, 85 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent cacao, or try flavored chocolates like Cherries + Almonds + Black Peppercorns (crumble the bars to make a yummy trail mix).


The Best Cities For Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Like wines grown from different kinds of grapes, chocolates made from cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries offer deliciously different tastes. Visit any of these craft chocolatiers to sample their melt-in-your-mouth treats.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Learn about how chocolate is made and taste the wares at San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolates.

Photo by: Dandelion Chocolate

This jewel of Atlanta's chocolate scene was born in the steamy jungles of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, after founders Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved there with their children and began meeting local cacao growers and artisanal chocolate makers. Today, the company’s micro-factory, located in the city's Krog Street Market, grinds whole beans from small farms in the Americas and East Africa and turns them into chocolate liquor. You won’t find cocoa butter used at Xocolatl the makers craft their single-origin, dark chocolate with only cocoa and cane sugar, and add ingredients like dried apple, sea salt, and peppermint to make scrumptious flavored bars.

Xocalatl Chocolate Bars and Cacao Beans

Sample the tasty treats from this Atlanta-based chocolatier.

Photo by: Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Book a tour and tasting to learn about the bean-to-bar process a wine pairing is included. And don’t miss Xocolatl's Frozen Drinking Chocolate, a “slushy” beverage made with Nicaraguan chocolate in coconut milk, topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs (nibs are like the "chocolate chips" of chocolate). For the holidays, the makers will release a new 60 percent dark milk chocolate bar.

Xocoatl Chocolate Bars

This award-winning small batch chocolate hails from Atlanta.

Photo by: Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Visit San Francisco’s Mission District to experience Dandelion Chocolate, where beans are roasted, cracked, ground and otherwise prepared before being molded into bars by hand. Dandelion, which has won multiple awards for its chocolate, works directly with cacao producers to buy high-quality beans grown by sustainable methods. Each year, the company leads trips to visit some of its bean producers. They’ve taken groups to Hawaii Maya Mountain Cacao, in Belize Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Contact them for details, or just treat yourself to a Kokoa Kamili Bar from Tanzania, with flavors of ripe mango and caramelized red berries, or a bar made from Venezuelan beans that tastes of roasted almond, dulce de leche and chocolate fudge. Dandelion's Madagascar Chocolate Bar offers a punch of raspberry and Meyer lemonade flavors.

ChocoVivo, Los Angeles, California

Like the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, ChocoVivo grinds its beans with a mano and metate, tools that are used like a mortar and pestle. The only ingredients in ChocoVivo's products are whole cacao nibs and spices, so its dark chocolate – the only kind of chocolate the company makes—has a pure, stone-ground, traditional taste. “Chocolate is truly food, not a candy bar,” says owner and chocolatier Patricia Tsai. Look for bars made with 100 percent, 85 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent cacao, or try flavored chocolates like Cherries + Almonds + Black Peppercorns (crumble the bars to make a yummy trail mix).


The Best Cities For Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Like wines grown from different kinds of grapes, chocolates made from cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries offer deliciously different tastes. Visit any of these craft chocolatiers to sample their melt-in-your-mouth treats.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Learn about how chocolate is made and taste the wares at San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolates.

Photo by: Dandelion Chocolate

This jewel of Atlanta's chocolate scene was born in the steamy jungles of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, after founders Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved there with their children and began meeting local cacao growers and artisanal chocolate makers. Today, the company’s micro-factory, located in the city's Krog Street Market, grinds whole beans from small farms in the Americas and East Africa and turns them into chocolate liquor. You won’t find cocoa butter used at Xocolatl the makers craft their single-origin, dark chocolate with only cocoa and cane sugar, and add ingredients like dried apple, sea salt, and peppermint to make scrumptious flavored bars.

Xocalatl Chocolate Bars and Cacao Beans

Sample the tasty treats from this Atlanta-based chocolatier.

Photo by: Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Book a tour and tasting to learn about the bean-to-bar process a wine pairing is included. And don’t miss Xocolatl's Frozen Drinking Chocolate, a “slushy” beverage made with Nicaraguan chocolate in coconut milk, topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs (nibs are like the "chocolate chips" of chocolate). For the holidays, the makers will release a new 60 percent dark milk chocolate bar.

Xocoatl Chocolate Bars

This award-winning small batch chocolate hails from Atlanta.

Photo by: Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Visit San Francisco’s Mission District to experience Dandelion Chocolate, where beans are roasted, cracked, ground and otherwise prepared before being molded into bars by hand. Dandelion, which has won multiple awards for its chocolate, works directly with cacao producers to buy high-quality beans grown by sustainable methods. Each year, the company leads trips to visit some of its bean producers. They’ve taken groups to Hawaii Maya Mountain Cacao, in Belize Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Contact them for details, or just treat yourself to a Kokoa Kamili Bar from Tanzania, with flavors of ripe mango and caramelized red berries, or a bar made from Venezuelan beans that tastes of roasted almond, dulce de leche and chocolate fudge. Dandelion's Madagascar Chocolate Bar offers a punch of raspberry and Meyer lemonade flavors.

ChocoVivo, Los Angeles, California

Like the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, ChocoVivo grinds its beans with a mano and metate, tools that are used like a mortar and pestle. The only ingredients in ChocoVivo's products are whole cacao nibs and spices, so its dark chocolate – the only kind of chocolate the company makes—has a pure, stone-ground, traditional taste. “Chocolate is truly food, not a candy bar,” says owner and chocolatier Patricia Tsai. Look for bars made with 100 percent, 85 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent cacao, or try flavored chocolates like Cherries + Almonds + Black Peppercorns (crumble the bars to make a yummy trail mix).


The Best Cities For Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Like wines grown from different kinds of grapes, chocolates made from cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries offer deliciously different tastes. Visit any of these craft chocolatiers to sample their melt-in-your-mouth treats.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Learn about how chocolate is made and taste the wares at San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolates.

Photo by: Dandelion Chocolate

This jewel of Atlanta's chocolate scene was born in the steamy jungles of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, after founders Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved there with their children and began meeting local cacao growers and artisanal chocolate makers. Today, the company’s micro-factory, located in the city's Krog Street Market, grinds whole beans from small farms in the Americas and East Africa and turns them into chocolate liquor. You won’t find cocoa butter used at Xocolatl the makers craft their single-origin, dark chocolate with only cocoa and cane sugar, and add ingredients like dried apple, sea salt, and peppermint to make scrumptious flavored bars.

Xocalatl Chocolate Bars and Cacao Beans

Sample the tasty treats from this Atlanta-based chocolatier.

Photo by: Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Book a tour and tasting to learn about the bean-to-bar process a wine pairing is included. And don’t miss Xocolatl's Frozen Drinking Chocolate, a “slushy” beverage made with Nicaraguan chocolate in coconut milk, topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs (nibs are like the "chocolate chips" of chocolate). For the holidays, the makers will release a new 60 percent dark milk chocolate bar.

Xocoatl Chocolate Bars

This award-winning small batch chocolate hails from Atlanta.

Photo by: Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Visit San Francisco’s Mission District to experience Dandelion Chocolate, where beans are roasted, cracked, ground and otherwise prepared before being molded into bars by hand. Dandelion, which has won multiple awards for its chocolate, works directly with cacao producers to buy high-quality beans grown by sustainable methods. Each year, the company leads trips to visit some of its bean producers. They’ve taken groups to Hawaii Maya Mountain Cacao, in Belize Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Contact them for details, or just treat yourself to a Kokoa Kamili Bar from Tanzania, with flavors of ripe mango and caramelized red berries, or a bar made from Venezuelan beans that tastes of roasted almond, dulce de leche and chocolate fudge. Dandelion's Madagascar Chocolate Bar offers a punch of raspberry and Meyer lemonade flavors.

ChocoVivo, Los Angeles, California

Like the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, ChocoVivo grinds its beans with a mano and metate, tools that are used like a mortar and pestle. The only ingredients in ChocoVivo's products are whole cacao nibs and spices, so its dark chocolate – the only kind of chocolate the company makes—has a pure, stone-ground, traditional taste. “Chocolate is truly food, not a candy bar,” says owner and chocolatier Patricia Tsai. Look for bars made with 100 percent, 85 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent cacao, or try flavored chocolates like Cherries + Almonds + Black Peppercorns (crumble the bars to make a yummy trail mix).


The Best Cities For Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Like wines grown from different kinds of grapes, chocolates made from cacao beans sourced from Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries offer deliciously different tastes. Visit any of these craft chocolatiers to sample their melt-in-your-mouth treats.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Learn about how chocolate is made and taste the wares at San Francisco's Dandelion Chocolates.

Photo by: Dandelion Chocolate

This jewel of Atlanta's chocolate scene was born in the steamy jungles of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, after founders Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt moved there with their children and began meeting local cacao growers and artisanal chocolate makers. Today, the company’s micro-factory, located in the city's Krog Street Market, grinds whole beans from small farms in the Americas and East Africa and turns them into chocolate liquor. You won’t find cocoa butter used at Xocolatl the makers craft their single-origin, dark chocolate with only cocoa and cane sugar, and add ingredients like dried apple, sea salt, and peppermint to make scrumptious flavored bars.

Xocalatl Chocolate Bars and Cacao Beans

Sample the tasty treats from this Atlanta-based chocolatier.

Photo by: Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Ann Packwood/Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate

Book a tour and tasting to learn about the bean-to-bar process a wine pairing is included. And don’t miss Xocolatl's Frozen Drinking Chocolate, a “slushy” beverage made with Nicaraguan chocolate in coconut milk, topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao nibs (nibs are like the "chocolate chips" of chocolate). For the holidays, the makers will release a new 60 percent dark milk chocolate bar.

Xocoatl Chocolate Bars

This award-winning small batch chocolate hails from Atlanta.

Photo by: Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Xocoatl Small Batch Chocolate

Visit San Francisco’s Mission District to experience Dandelion Chocolate, where beans are roasted, cracked, ground and otherwise prepared before being molded into bars by hand. Dandelion, which has won multiple awards for its chocolate, works directly with cacao producers to buy high-quality beans grown by sustainable methods. Each year, the company leads trips to visit some of its bean producers. They’ve taken groups to Hawaii Maya Mountain Cacao, in Belize Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Contact them for details, or just treat yourself to a Kokoa Kamili Bar from Tanzania, with flavors of ripe mango and caramelized red berries, or a bar made from Venezuelan beans that tastes of roasted almond, dulce de leche and chocolate fudge. Dandelion's Madagascar Chocolate Bar offers a punch of raspberry and Meyer lemonade flavors.

ChocoVivo, Los Angeles, California

Like the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, ChocoVivo grinds its beans with a mano and metate, tools that are used like a mortar and pestle. The only ingredients in ChocoVivo's products are whole cacao nibs and spices, so its dark chocolate – the only kind of chocolate the company makes—has a pure, stone-ground, traditional taste. “Chocolate is truly food, not a candy bar,” says owner and chocolatier Patricia Tsai. Look for bars made with 100 percent, 85 percent, 75 percent or 65 percent cacao, or try flavored chocolates like Cherries + Almonds + Black Peppercorns (crumble the bars to make a yummy trail mix).


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