We had the chance to visit Dandelion Chocolate which is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory and café in San Francisco. They started in early 2010, after sharing their craft chocolate with friends and family and have expanded since. In their factory, they roast, crack, sort, winnow, grind, conch, and temper small batches of beans and then mold and package each bar by hand, and recently with a machine from the 1950’. By sourcing high-quality beans and carefully crafting tiny batches with two ingredients only: cocoa beans (mostly 70% and few with higher percentages) and cane sugar. They are strict adherents to their no additives policy which makes it possible to truly taste the flavor of the bean and compare it with other origins.
What I personally love about these bars is that each single origin bar has a story from where it was sourced. Some bars are sourced from the buffer zones of national parks, some are part of biodiversity projects or bird sanctuaries and they even have a rare bar from Liberia in which they work together with a project that helps to reintegrate child soldiers into normal life. What each of these bars has in common is the incredible transparency with which Dandelion handles the sourcing. They were the second chocolate company to publish the prices they pay for every charge they buy from every cocoa bean farm. I really must check, but as far as I’m concerned there is no company in Switzerland that is so transparent in its sourcing as they are over here! Why?