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Chocolate Guide. Join me on my quest to taste, review, and share the extraordinary chocolate bars of the world!

Read my chocolate bar reviews at ChocoFiles .

Founder of the Chocolate Aficionados' Guild.

Read about my review methods and review philosophy at " Flavors of Cacao" .

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Caffeine and theobromine in cacao

Please post links to any scientific...
@ChocoFiles 10 years ago - Comments: 4

Western Australia bean-to-bar

Can you please tell me the names of...
@ChocoFiles 11 years ago - Comments: 6

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Danta 3- 2014
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Divine Dark with Raspberry
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Fruition Dark



06/25/15 09:58:27 @talamanca-organica-cacao-fine-chocolate:

We have an annual chocolate festival:  Consider yourself invited. 

06/25/15 09:55:08 @talamanca-organica-cacao-fine-chocolate:

Oh do come and visit us Talamanca Organica Cacao and Fine Chocolate located on the delicious coastal slopes of Caribbean Costa Rica. We invite you for a farm tour! 

Ggirl Bldr
07/07/14 10:35:52 @ggirl-bldr:


I have tried Ritual! A friend sent me a bar, and then got me hooked. It's available here in Boulder. I have not tried Solstice, though. I will definitely put it on my list! Thank you so much for the suggestion. :) I will check out your reviews too. Very cool.

Lisabeth Flanagan
04/29/14 13:33:26 @lisabeth-flanagan:

Thanks for being my first 'friend' on The Chocolate Life! I just finally got myself signed up...don't know why I haven't done that before now! Looking forward to chatting with you more in future.

01/11/14 08:59:33 @lee2:

Thanks, could be a while since the trees are still very young... I'll start with imported beans first, hopefully within 6 months if things go well with our current plan.

Dave Huston
10/21/13 13:55:13 @dave-huston:

Hi Choco Files,

I currently do not sell my chocolate. Although, that is my eventual plan. Right now I'm just improving my craft and having friends and family as my guinea pig tasters, which they love! :) Right now, I'm making 2 - 10 lbs nano-batches. They're usually gone within three weeks as I share most of it.

As for my favorite origin...hmmm...that's tough. Of what I've made so far, I really enjoyed my Dominican Republic Conacado COOP, Ambanja Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea bars, which are very different in flavors. Primarily, these bars were a function of getting access to higher quality beans. If I had access to any beans out there, I'd love to make some Xoconusco or Porcelana bars. I did have the opportunity to make some Chuao bars, but the beans themselves were of a lower grade and so the bars turned out very astringent. I can't recall if that means the beans were under- or over-fermented. I'm still learning. I thought I did very well on the roast too. So, I'm learning that roasting is the main function that I can control in regard to flavor of the final product, whereas cacao genetics and fermentation are in the farmer's direct control. My hope is find better quality beans. Currently, the Dandelion guys in San Francisco are gracious enough to let me buy some of their imported beans.

I'm sure that's probably more than you wanted to hear, but I do like talking chocolate. Thanks for asking!! If you'd like, I'll be making a new batch of bars in the next three weeks using beans from Maya Mountain in Belize (again Dandelion imported), I can send you a bar or two just because. I'm also going to send Ben Rasmussen (Potomac Chocolate) a couple bars as he's been really awesome at giving me hints, tips, and ideas.

Anyway, Cheers,


Renee Shuman2
01/30/13 14:23:03 @renee-shuman2:
I'm planning on having production set up a running by October of this year. Yeah, a consultation would be excellent. Next time you're in town message me and we can meet at Shenandoah Joe's or something. I'm checking out your site right now :)
Renee Shuman2
01/30/13 11:27:21 @renee-shuman2:
Hey Lowe, I'm a student of chocolate, right now. My plan is to start a bean to bar chocolate company in Charlottesville this year. Thanks for friending!
Andy Ciordia
06/20/12 14:15:05 @andy-ciordia:

So much fun meeting you today Lowe! Thanks for stopping in and enjoying a bit of discourse. Made my day. :D

Barbie Van Horn
11/09/11 08:31:34 @barbie-van-horn:

Thank youLowe! You just made my day! I saw your comment on my blog too. I'm going to track down that Pralus bar and give it a try. I've been nibbling on a Pralus Colombie bar recently.

Vera Hofman
08/24/11 10:52:34 @vera-hofman:
Hi Lowe, Thanks for your comment. The feather mold is the OB Piura. Marcel has used this mold only for a few test bars. The left mold is the one we use. You are right aboutthe different colors. I don't no yet what causes this, it might be thetempering.
Bong Willy
12/10/10 19:07:43 @bong-willy:

Hi Lowe,

Nice to know you. I've read your ChocoFile before I join TCL, it's a great work, sometimes I compared my tasting note with your (and others as well). I like your scoring for the chocolate you've eaten.

But,recently, I'm out of stock of fine chocolate. It's really hard to find fine chocolate in my home country, the finest I can get is Valrhona Grand Cru line (they are rare though).

Matt Caputo
08/18/10 22:44:46 @matt-caputo:
Lowe,I do ship chocolate all over the U.S., but I do love Domori. It has certainly got some wacky plant based and even distilled spirit aromas and is definitely not for everyone. I love it for how different and vibrant the flavors are despite the 8 micron particle size.If you would like to email me directly: matt at caputosdeli dot comThanks,Matt
Matt Caputo
06/07/10 14:22:34 @matt-caputo:
Lowe,Awesome list of chocolate ratings on your site. I agree with many in your rating system. I just got a box of samples from Coppeneur but they did not send any Java!!! I still need to try that one. I did not see Domori's Javablond on your list. Have you tried it?Thanks,Matt
Rob Gardiner
06/07/10 13:50:26 @rob-gardiner:
Hello Lowe,The business card does say "Chocolopolis" but it is not mine. It is where I bought all the chocolate in that tasting. You can check out their website at . They are the best chocolate shop in the state of Washington. I discovered them six months ago when I moved to the Queen Anne neighborhood (up the hill from the Space Needle). I have been exploring single-origin chocolates ever since.This was the first and only tasting I've done. I have many chocolate loving friends (I prefer the term "chocolytes") but only a few of them are brave enough to try 100%. It was the astonishingly sweet nature of the Pralus bar that prompted me to do the tasting. Pralus and Domori were the favorites. Claudio Corallo was considered challenging. There was not much love for the Bonnat or the Valrhona (admittedly this one was for baking, not eating). The surprise hit was the Coppeneur -- surprisingly not bitter, despite the lack of any added cocoa butter (which Domori and Pralus have quite a bit of).I plan to do another tasting in the near future, probably with 5 different single-origin bars from Cluizel, or perhaps Valrhona or Pralus.
05/27/10 15:00:15 @sebastian:
Sorry, i didn't realize there were comments on my page (i'm new here!), and didn't see it until just now! I've been making chocolate for many, many years. I have the good fortune to have access to beans and materials that most don't, and as such I can make pretty much whatever i want, whenever i want. As a project with my daughter to help the homeless, we built a small chocolate factory together at home and i taught her all the theory and practise behind making chocolate. She learned a lot, we made some good chocolate, and she auctioned it off and donated all the money to the local homeless shelter (thousands of dollars). Not bad for a 10 year old girl! Those chocolates are probably my favorite, as they were both tasty and had some very special meaning for me 8-)
Anna Davies
02/10/10 21:51:58 @anna-davies:
Hi Olorin,Great hear from you. I have actually never tasted DeVries chocolate. I hear it is amazing though. It isn't sold anywhere in Boulder, and he hasn't been selling on his website for sometime now. My boyfriend and I are actually taking a chocolate making course in Costa Rica that he is holding in March. Hopefully we can try some then.I shall have to try the other chocolate company you mentioned from Raleigh also. It is always nice to find out about new, artisan, bean to bar companies.Best.
01/23/10 21:57:15 @dee:
Thank you so much for the information. I'm excited to try all these new chocolates! I really appreciate your help.
Andy Ciordia
12/11/09 08:17:20 @andy-ciordia:
Well met! Glad to see someone else in the region. We don't have a shop yet but hope to make progress on that in the coming year. Right now we can be found at area farmers markets and at some retail places in the Charlotte area. Next time you're heading this way let us know and we'll point you in the right direction. :D
Emmanuel roux
09/04/09 00:43:20 @emmanuel-roux:
Thank youI shall put it on my list to try and will raise a square to you