Dandelion Chocolate is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the Mission District of San Francisco. They opened our workshop out of a lifetime love of chocolate. Their friends often said that given enough time, it seemed inevitable that one of them would open a chocolate factory. They watched as they experimented with growing small cacao plants in our apartments, pan roasted beans in the oven, and ate their way through many of the chocolate shops of the world. In early 2010, they decided to share our craft chocolate with their friends and family and have expanded since. Currently, in their factory in the Mission district of San Francisco, they roast, crack, sort, winnow, grind, conch, and temper small batches of beans and then mold and package each bar by hand. By sourcing high quality beans and carefully crafting tiny batches, Dandelion Chocolate tries to bring out the individual flavors and nuances of each bean. Choose your flavor:
70% Hacienda Azul, Costa Rica: These beans come from Hacienda Azul, a single estate near Turrialba, Costa Rica. Chocolate maker Ryan loves the dynamic range of flavors that are possible in these beans at different toasting temperatures. The bar tastes of a strong chocolatey base with notes of caramel, toffee, and a little bit of graham cracker.
70% Gola Rainforest, Sierra Leone: Made with beans from the first official cacao harvest exported from Sierra Leone to the US. Read more about the process of making this bar and the amazing behind-the-scenes experience of the maker on their blog here.
70% Wampu, Honduras: The beans for this special-edition chocolate bar travel to Dandelion two days upriver via dugout canoe from the La Mosquitia region of Honduras. Cacao has been cultivated here for centuries, but the climate is challenging for fermentation, and the location is remote. Producer/partner Jorge Schmidt and the team at Cacao Direct have been working here with 200 mainly Mosquitia families since 2014. Their reputation for flavorful and well-fermented beans is now leading to increased opportunity. In 2017, in addition to selling to Dandelion and other small US bean-to-bar makers, Cacao Direct sent their first bean shipment to Sweden. (Side note: Jorge also supplies the Dandelion cafes with the pulp for their citrusy cacao fruit smoothies.)