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1527 Queen Anne Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 282-0776

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Mondays - CLOSED
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Artisan Chocolate
What is artisan chocolate?
Artisan chocolate is like a good bottle of wine. It is made by master chocolate makers who use the finest cacao beans to create a delectable symphony of flavors.  It may come from a specific bean, from a single origin or even from a single estate. It may have hints of cashew, raisin or cherry. It may taste grassy or earthy. It may be simple or complex, with flavors that linger on the palate.  Chocolopolis offers you the chance to try and compare hundreds of bars of chocolate made with some of the finest cacao in the world by artisans who are passionate about creating flavorful chocolate.

Why is this chocolate so special?
Excellent cacao bean quality
Artisan chocolate starts with well-farmed, quality cacao beans that have been fermented and roasted to bring out the best in their flavor profiles. Our collection of chocolate is made by artisans who appreciate the importance of quality cacao and who treat it with the respect and the individual attention it deserves.

Minimal ingredients
The finest chocolate has the simplest ingredients, relying on the flavor of the chocolate to shine.  There should be no more than “cocoa mass” or “cocoa liquor”, cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla and soy lecithin in a quality bar of dark chocolate. Many artisan chocolate makers include even fewer ingredients. While dark chocolate should not include milk as an ingredient, milk chocolate will also include milk powder.

Does the % of chocolate on the label matter?
You may hear a lot in the press about high-percentage chocolate being quality chocolate. The percentage of chocolate is not an indicator of the quality of the cacao beans or the ingredients used to make the chocolate, so it is not fair to assume that high-percentage chocolate is good chocolate.

While comparing the % on the labels of chocolate from the same maker will help you distinguish the bittersweet from the semisweet, comparing this information across different chocolate makers can be misleading. These numbers are calculated differently by different chocolate makers, resulting in comparisons that are not apples-to-apples.

Where do I start?
If you’re new to artisan chocolate and you find our selection overwhelming, we’ve organized our site to make it easier for you to begin to discover a world of chocolate.
In our Flights of Chocolate section, you’ll find assortments of different chocolate bars from different regions that we’ve personally selected for your enjoyment. You can choose from assortments of dark, milk or white chocolate, both in full size bars and in minis. This is a great place to start if you’re new to artisan chocolate.

If you’re ready to choose some of your own chocolate selections, check out our Regional Collections, where you can choose individual bars and create your own flights of chocolate.

If you’re ready to satisfy your sweet tooth, or if you’re looking for a gift, check out our Truffles & Treats and Gift menus.

We also have different styles of Drinking Chocolate and Hot Cocoa in our Hot Chocolate section.

The Geography of Chocolate

Why did we organize our bars by geography?
Chocolate made with fine cacao beans has a great diversity of flavor profiles that depend on many different factors, geography being a very important factor.  While there are many ways we could have organized our chocolate, we feel one of the clearest and most interesting ways is by geography.

Geography evokes discussions of regional similarities and differences in flavor profiles. It enables discussions around the historical and cultural role of cacao in each region. And we hope it sparks interest in learning more about the geo-political issues regarding the farming and production of cacao.

Chocolate by Region

We have provided a key to help you begin your world journey of chocolate tasting. While the  descriptions include flavor profiles that may be common to a region, each bar of artisan chocolate is different and may not hold to a stereotype. Keep an open mind and have fun!

Chocolate Blend Blend
Using cacao beans from multiple regions, artisan chocolate makers put care and attention into the proper roasting times and temperatures of each bean type so that the sum of the beans is greater than the parts. Blends are often well-balanced and serve as a delicious introduction to artisan chocolate.

Chocolate from Venezuela   Venezuela
Home to some of the most prized cacao in the world, Venezuela offers a diversity of bean types and flavor profiles that vary among its many cacao-growing regions. Venezuelan cacao is a must for any guided chocolate tasting.

Chocolate from Ecuador   Ecuador
Known for the delicate Arriba strain of the Forastero cacao bean, chocolate made with Ecuadorian cacao is prized for its often flowery and fruity notes. A milk chocolate-lover interested in trying dark chocolate might enjoy a bar from Ecuador.

Chocolate from Central & South America   Central & South America
Native to Central and South America, cacao was used as currency by the Aztecs who stored the beans in vast royal treasuries. Warriors and the wealthy drank cacao as an unsweetened, spicy beverage.  Today Central and South America represent a diverse range of beans and flavor profiles. You can't go wrong with a bar from the cradle of cacao.

Chocolate from Carribean & North America   Caribbean & North America
Trinidad is the birthplace of the trinitario strain of cacao, a cross between the flavorful criollo and the productive forastero.  The trinitario can be found throughout the Caribbean, presenting a range of diverse flavor profiles that vary by island.

Chocolate from Madagascar   Madagascar
Intense red fruit and cherry notes provide a unique and identifiable flavor to the trinitario cacao from Madagascar. If you’re new to artisan chocolate and you’re looking to “wow” your palate, this is a great place to start!

Chocolate from Africa   Africa
Africa produces 70% of the world’s cacao, much of it used to make mass-market chocolate. A handful of artisans are creating flavorful chocolate from quality African forastero beans. There is also excellent cacao coming from the islands of Sao Tome and Principe, where chocolate maker Claudio Corallo has revived a dormant cacao-growing industry.

Chocolate from Southeast Asia   Southeast Asia
Cacao hailing from Southeast Asia often has smoky and earthy flavors that result from drying the beans by fire during the rainy season.  Milk chocolate lovers with a sense of adventure will enjoy the flavors of milk chocolate made with cacao from this region.

Inclusion Chocolate   Inclusion
Inclusions are where the fun begins! These bars of chocolate include herbs, spices, dried fruits, nuts and fillings. If you have a sense of adventure, try out some of our more unique combinations.