Shop Chocolate For Fall/Winter & Save: Our Picks from the Bar & Cocoa Anniversary Sale

Bar & Cocoa’s anniversary sale has arrived and gives 12% almost everything until September 26th!

Why should the fashion sector have all of the fun with anniversary sales? After all, craft chocolate is a luxury sector, too, and like fashion, it has new collections that come out every season. 😉 Why not take advantage of this sale to stock up on some delicious chocolate to enjoy at home? Here are our picks.

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Marou Chocolat: A Flavor Journey

This post was written in 2017 and updated in 2020.

Marou Chocolat: Faiseurs de Chocolat bars are fairly small in size with gorgeous packaging and a thin weight.The experience of tasting this bar was a definite time cupsoul and deserves some attention.

The package for the Marou, Tien Giang 70% single origin dark chocolate bar, is a beautiful rich purple colored paper with shiny gold lettering and cocoa bean drawings. Glimmering gold paper enveloping the chocolate bar peeks out from underneath of the purple wrapping, and it’s easy to slide the bar out slowly or simply to tear the paper right off. Unwrap the packaging from around the chocolate and discover the thin chocolate rectangle with diamonds.

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Musings; Zotter’s Labooko Dark Chocolate, 90% Bolivia

This post was written in 2018 and updated in 2020.

Good morning from Washington, DC.

Yesterday was a nice 60 degree weather day. Time Cupsoul walked around the National Mall, exploring new coffee and chocolate shops in this great city.

Time cupsouls — experiencing them — are about inspiration and serenity at the same time. It’s about finding the quiet moment and receiving some answers, some clarity.

This week, a friend was relaying that most ingenious ideas are first sparked alone. This means that ideas are less formed in group brainstorming sessions and what’s ideal for breakthrough is to spend time alone and then bring the novelty to a group for feedback. So, this is Time Cupsoul bringing the very soul of “time cupsoul” to you, readers. How can Time Cupsoul’s site be better? What would you like to see more of? What can change? Please send a message or leave a comment on this article.

On to the chocolate…!

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SOMA Chocolatemaker: Embodying the Essence of Chocolate

This article was written in 2018 and updated in 2020.

The 70 percent dark chocolate bar from Dreketi, Vanua Levu Island, Fiji, by Soma Chocolatemaker had a big reputation to live up to…

  1. Time Cupsoul had never eaten chocolate from Fiji
    • According to the brands’ packaging, Fiji’s national flag touts a cacao pod in lions paws (reputation signal and/or national pride, perhaps?) and also explains that, the Fijian concept of “vanua” means the land as an “extension of oneself; including one’s life, sustenance and culture”
  2. The tasting notes on the bar were listed as “chocolate, honey and grapefruit”
  3. The Soma Chocolatemaker chocolate molding is one of the most whimsical in the industry, notable for intricate details and a romantic rendition of the cacao forest (cacao pods, tropical birds, and cacao flowers)
aerial view of beach and huts
Photo by Damon Hall on Pexels.com

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Just How Good is “Beyond Good” (Madecasse) Chocolate?

This post is dedicated to a dear friend who was returning to Asia when we first wrote this post in 2017. She loves lemurs from Madagascar.

Beyond Good’s (formerly Madecasse) Madagascar Pure Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa bar is not just beyond good, it’s amazing. It’s made with heirloom cocoa, which is “one of Earth’s original varieties of cocoa,” is a direct trade bar, and is bean-to-bar. The bar is gluten free, vegan, kosher and uses no GMOs, as according to the packaging. The company is based out of Brooklyn, NYC, the United States.

What drew Time Cupsoul to Madecasse? Probably the amazing lemur logo that holds a cocoa bean, and the soft pink color that surrounds the packaging. The bar (branding) looked bright, friendly and happy.

white and black long coated animal
Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

Opening the aluminum wrapper, the chocolate bar was revealed. The Beyond Good molding (shape of the chocolate) is a sequence of squares with lines. Nothing like the fancy molding of La Naya, but still a beautifully presented bar.

After snapping a small portion off of the bar, it soon lingered on the tongue and began to slowly unfold in elegant, excitable flavors. Initially, the first overall impression that came through was: fruity.

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How to Add Cocoa Nibs to Your Daily Recipes [8 Ideas]

What are cocoa nibs and how can you add them to your daily recipes?

Cocoa nibs are chocolate. Perhaps even the healthiest form of chocolate because they are 100% cocoa. Why? Cocoa nibs are small pieces of cocoa beans with their shells removed. The shell removal happens in a step in the chocolate-making process called “winnowing.”

Did you know that chocolate is a “superfood”? It has one of the highest sources of magnesium of all foods, provides calcium, and has higher antioxidants per gram than goji berries, red wine or pomegranates! Check out this article for more health facts about cacao.

When you enjoy cocoa nibs without added sugar, you’re basically enjoying chocolate in its purest form. You can also enjoy cocoa nibs on top of craft chocolate bars. Check out our list of chocolate bars topped with cocoa nibs and eight ideas for how to use cocoa nibs in your recipes.

An Italian Love Affair: Amedei Chocolate

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in 2017 AND UPDATED ON JULY 3, 2020.

How do you choose which chocolate bar to buy? Sometimes, you just have to listen to what speaks or calls to you. An Italian brand, Amedei, on the top shelf at a fine foods grocery store in DC, whispered in Italian: Andiamo.

The packaging of Amedei chocolate bars immediately provided an escape and began sharing a rich story. In particular, the Toscano Blond Cioccolato Fondente Extra 63% Con Pesche e Albicocche bar– dark chocolate (63%) with peaches and apricots, showcased a watercolor painting of a peach tree and the Amedei logo in a black square with a gold perimeter.

Time Cupsoul research revealed that: Amedei Srl, headquartered in Pontedera (Pisa), Italy, was founded by Cecilia Tessieri, the “maitre chocolatier.” Ameidei is the surname of Tessieri’s grandmother, who helped support the shop’s opening, along with other members of the family, in 1990. Tessieri started in a small shop making pralines and was later trained as an apprentice in Europe (Germany, France, Belgium). The first Amedei branded chocolate bars became available in 1998. Since, Amedei brand has won the “Golden Bean” award from the Chocolate Academy of London for bean to bar.

This was the first time ever that Time Cupsoul tasted cocoa with peaches and apricots. The unique combination was certainly alluring.

First snap of the bar was a bit softer than some other chocolate brands, which shortly after, made way for a decadent, soft mouth-feel (and texture) somewhat akin to “cocoa: chocolate brownie” on the chocolate tasters wheel. Savoring the flavors developed significant cocoa notes, including: melted chocolate ice cream, dry cocoa and baked brownie. More subtle notes included nutty: walnut and a touch of dairy. The peach and apricot pieces were finely intermixed within the cocoa, and therefore came through as fruity notes (and perhaps even a tad “floral”), but still, the cocoa notes reigned. It would be interesting to learn cocoa bean origin for this bar.

colorful cliffside village
Photo by Michael Block on Pexels.com

Time Cupsoul is very tempted to try the pistachio, hazelnut and red berry variations of these bars. Trying Amedei was a definite time cupsoul. 

You can buy Amedei chocolate bars online here.

Chocolate/Branding: Amedei Tuscany, Toscano Blond Cioccolato Fondente Extra 63% Con Pesche e Albicocche, with envelope-style packaging, semi-thick textured card-stock.

Description/Packaging Highlight:

 “Chocolate. The reward of our childhood. The softness of a warm embrace. The energy that makes us want to act, create and discover. The temptation which is so sweet to surrender to. The gift we love to give and wish we’d receive a little more often. A journey to distant lands to help the best cocoa varieties grow and thrive. Forming relationships of friendship, respect and partnership with the people who live where cocoa grows, keepers of ancient knowledge. An encounter with the past and a link to future. Chocolate. We make it just for you, with love.”

Zero additives: “Pure cocoa butter, soy lecithin and gluten free without colouring agents and artificial flavours.” Kosher dairy.

*Please note that all chocolate bars consumed and reviewed are randomly chosen and purchased with personal funds. This post is not sponsored contains affiliate links, which means if you click through and do buy something, you may help support an insatiable coffee and chocolate habit. 🙂