A celebration of flavor.
In the US, chocolate making is currently undergoing a small but powerful revolution that aims to provide a handmade solution to industrial-scale production. And brands like Dandelion Chocolate lead the way. In a similar way to other industries, slow manufacturing starts to gain a foothold in the world of chocolate. Yet even among small producers passionate about quality, this San Francisco company rises above the crowd with a quest to keep things as simple – and as real – as possible. The brand’s bean to bar chocolate philosophy is more minimalist than one would expect from an artisan chocolatier. Indeed, Dandelion only uses two ingredients to craft fine chocolate bars: responsibly sourced cacao beans and organic cane sugar.
Founded in 2010, the company has grown at a steady pace over the years. It has transformed from a small workshop into a factory in the Mission District in San Francisco. The brand now has two locations in the city (with a third coming soon), and four locations in Japan. Dandelion makes its bean to bar chocolate bars in small batches, with the aim to highlight the unique flavor profiles of various types of cacao beans. Sourcing the best beans is a crucial step, as local producers grow, ferment, and dry the beans before the roasting process can begin. The team often travels to these places of origin to cultivate strong relationships with local farmers. The beans hold huge potential within their shells. If roasted properly, they can even surpass the complex flavor profile of wine.
Back in the San Francisco factory, the beans go through several stages before they become shiny bars full of aroma. After roasting, cracking, winnowing, and conching the beans, the company then grinds and tempers small batches before molding and packaging the bars by hand. Each chocolate bar provides an array of intricate flavors and nuances. All created with only two ingredients, and without any cocoa butter or vanilla. The products range from 70% to 85%, but since this is Dandelion, chocolate fans can also buy the 100% bar.
Among the latest offerings, the Sierra Leone bar marks the first first time cacao beans from the country enter the US. And the Mokha Mocha beans bring together two of our favorite things: chocolate and coffee. The brand also stands out with a range of products one can’t find in an average online chocolate shop. These include unroasted beans from Madagascar, Belize, and Ecuador, as well as roasted beans. If this isn’t the perfect embodiment of the soul of artisan chocolate, we don’t know what is. Photographs© Dandelion Chocolate.