Luke Owen Smith of The Chocolate Bar in New Zealand puts together amazing bean-to-bar chocolate bars from all over the world for a monthly chocolate subscription box as well as leads chocolate tastings. As if that wasn’t enough, want to know what else makes Luke pretty special? Sometime ago he found out that I never had the chance to try Marou’s no longer available Treasure Island bar so he sent me a piece from the last bar he had in his personal chocolate stash! When I was trying to locate Chocolate Naive’s one-off bar made with sea buckthorn, The Chocolate Bar was the only place I could find it listed any longer and Luke added an extra one to his site just so I could order it. In fact, my full order arrived quickly and in great condition from New Zealand all the way to where I live in Port Townsend, WA USA.
Luke recently sent me his newest creation, a monthly Chocolate Tasting Course. The course includes 4 bite-sized pieces from 4 different tasty craft chocolates by makers from around the world. The first 6 months of the course feature a different lesson card each of those months, such as How to Taste Chocolate and the very first box includes a chocolate tasting notebook.
Read on for my mini-interview with Luke followed by pictures of his new Chocolate Tasting Course and my video on the course too.
Recently Map Chocolate made one hundred 6 bar sets of special Map bars to raise funds for getting new molds and they have now arrived! Map Chocolate fans will note these bars have a different wrapper than normal. Per Map’s IG account: “The temporary packaging was inspired by shops that cover their windows while they’re re-doing the interior”.
Recently Dormouse Chocolates conducted an experiment of making two special chocolate bars: one from reddish-brown cacao pods only and a separate one with beans from yellow pods only, with the assistance of Kablon Farms in South Cotabato in the Philippines. Kablon Farms kept the reddish-brown and yellow pods separated and Dormouse Chocolates conducted the same roast, recipe and time of conching for each bar to see if there was a difference in taste with bars made with beans from different colored pods. Will there be? Let’s find out!
The once London-based bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Beau Cacao, has recently made a big move! Known for using cacao from Malaysia, having super shiny chocolate bars, gorgeous packaging and the “Chocolate is Changing” motto, where and why did they move and how does this effect their chocolate making? What does “Chocolate is Changing” mean? Thanks to Bo San Cheung and Thomas Delcour of Beau Cacao you will find out all this and more below!
Chocolate Naive’s Nano_Lot collection made in Lithuania features a new chocolate bar every two months. Each bar is limited so if you see one be sure to get it!
What does it take to become a Chocolate Naive Nano_Lot bar? To quote Domantas Užpalis when I recently interviewed him: “Scarcity, flavour and background. I wanted to create the product that constantly evolves and tells a story or two”.