Not all chocolate is made alike. The difference between a generic chocolate bar from the grocery store and an artisanal chocolate bar from a specialized producer may astound your taste buds. But how do you really know that you’re purchasing high-quality chocolate that’s worth a higher price tag? Here are the characteristics to look for when you want to indulge in chocolate that will truly treat your palate.

Bean-to-Bar Production

What exactly is bean-to-bar production? It means that every step of processing raw cocoa beans takes place in one location. In the case of Zotter Chocolate, that location is our Creative Centre for Chocolate that covers more than 5,200 square meters. There cocoa beans are cleaned, roasted, crushed, milled, and conched to create the final product that you’re familiar with: high-quality chocolate bars.

Bean-to-bar chocolate also encourages careful sourcing of cocoa beans as well as specialized processing for each variety. Much like coffee, chocolate expresses different flavor notes and characteristics depending on the region where it is grown, as well as the farming practices used to produce it. Roasting times and temperatures vary depending on the different types of cocoa beans, so their unique aromatic characteristics are enhanced through the roasting process.

Organic Secondary Ingredients

Most chocolate bars contain more than just chocolate—they may also feature milk, sugar, vanilla, and other flavoring agents. Each of these ingredients should be as carefully sourced and selected as the chocolate itself. Organic milk and sugar will ensure that the integrity of high-quality chocolate is preserved throughout processing, so you can enjoy the purest flavors possible in the finished product.

Zotter Chocolate is committed to providing the highest quality products available, from our unique hand scooped chocolates to our Labooko single-source chocolate bars. We only use organic, fair traded, sustainable cocoa beans for our bean-to-bar production. Taste the difference for yourself by ordering from our online shop, or look for our products in high-end grocers and specialty markets throughout the U.S.