Bean-to-bar chocolate specialists in Wellington, New Zealand

The Chocolate Bar is an importer and distributor of artisan chocolate, with a particular focus on the bean-to-bar movement. You'll notice that our shop's menu is not just divided by brand but also by the cacao bean location. This is because we think it's very important to be aware of where your food is coming from, both in terms of flavour and the routes of trade. We hope you enjoy exploring what our little store has to offer – the collection is always growing so do pop back occasionally to see what's new. There's a whole world of bean-to-bar chocolate for us all to explore!

From the blog

  • Flavour vs Percentage

    Often when I ask people what kind of chocolate they like, they tell me the percentage that they tend to go for. I understand why this is the case; most of us have grown up eating chocolate made with the same type of cacao - usually Forastero from West Africa - so the biggest difference from one bar to the next has mainly been the percentage of cacao, as well as any other added ingredients.

    What a lot of our customers have now discovered is that the chocolate we sell is made with very different varieties of cacao, and each has its own unique flavour. Some of these cacaos are naturally light and sweet, whereas others are deeper and darker, so the percentage of cacao doesn’t always represent how intense, dark or bitter the chocolate will be. If somebody asked you what kind of wine you like, you probably wouldn’t tell them a percentage, you’d say ‘Pinot’ or ‘Riesling’, ‘dry’ or ‘sweet’, ‘Marlborough’ or ‘Central Otago’, etc. This is how it should be with chocolate. Although we’re all still learning about this new world of craft chocolate and the amazing varieties of cacao that exist, I hope there will be a day when I ask somebody what type of chocolate they like and they reply with something like ‘fruity’ or ‘earthy’, ‘Peruvian’ or ‘Madagascan’. I believe this will start to happen over the next few years.

    In the meantime, I’ve added some useful flavour icons to each chocolate on the website, like this...

    I hope this will help people to learn which type of chocolate they enjoy, and to pick things that are suitable for their palate. Chocolate with added flavour ingredients will display the ‘flavoured’ icon, but otherwise all the icons you’ll see represent notes you can taste in the cacao, just like the different flavours you would find in your favourite wine, beer or coffee.

    If you ever want advice choosing chocolate, please feel free to contact me at luke@thechocolatebar.nz, or pop down to one of our markets and have a little taste.

    Thanks,

    Luke

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