Sale price Price $15 Regular price

Hacienda Azul

Costa Rica

70 2018

Dandelion Chocolate Japan

The beans in this bar come from Hacienda Azul, a single estate near Turrialba, Costa Rica. Dandelion Japan Chocolate Maker Mariko loves the diverse range of herbal notes in the 2018 harvest, as well as the gradual increase in flavor upon tasting. We taste notes of caramelized almonds, milk tea, and a hint of ginger.

We always wondered how much a culture influences the palate, and found our answer the first time we did a side-by-side tasting with our Dandelion Chocolate Japan team. Using the same beans, same machines, same processes, and same philosophy, our partners in Japan craft chocolate that can be wildly different from our San Francisco-made bars. This is because chocolate makers tend to calibrate roast profiles to the palates of local consumers, and our Japanese team tends to enjoy more herbaceous, fermented, roasted, and certain bitter flavors than we do in S.F., where we often lean toward creamy, chocolatey, and nutty notes. When available, we encourage you to taste S.F. and Tokyo bars of the same origin together, to experience the differences for yourself.

Ingredients & Allergens

All of our single-origin chocolate is made with just cocoa beans and sugar no added cocoa butter, lecithin, or vanilla. Our chocolate is free of soy, dairy, eggs, and gluten, and it is made in a factory that does not process nuts.



2 oz (56 g)

Learn More

Learn more about our cocoa beans and sugar - the region, the farms, and the producers.

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Nut Free

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About Hacienda Azul, Costa Rica

We began sourcing from Hacienda Azul, a single-estate cacao farm near Turrialba, Costa Rica, in 2017. Run by Wilfred Zeuner, who applies science to create a great product, the estate is situated ideally for growing cacao, on beautiful, gently rolling land bisected by a river.

The farm benefits from 30 years of CATIE (Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza) cacao research by growing six cultivars that CATIE bred or selected for their natural disease resistance and ability to cross-pollinate well, yielding plentiful, high-quality cocoa. Nearly half of the estate’s 216 acres of cacao were planted in the last decade, and the most recent specimens thrive in the shade of Mexican cedar trees. The flavorful beans themselves reach us via Eric Sharvelle of Buena Nota Imports.
On the estate, Wilfred and his team pay minute attention to every detail from cultivation through processing, aiming for efficiency and excellent quality. The trees grow on sloped hills, so workers roll freshly cut pods downhill to tractors for speedy collection, eliminating the labor of carrying heavy sacks of pods. For fermentation, Wilfred uses a tiered setup in which fully fermented beans are washed with water, improving flavor consistency and promoting even drying. As the beans dry, they are turned by hand, and any imperfect beans are removed.
Wilfred's consistently excellent beans make for consistently delicious chocolate, and we are proud to work with people who share our commitment to crafting an outstanding product.


We launched Dandelion Chocolate Japan in collaboration with Seiji Horibuchi in 2016. Seiji Horibuchi frequented our San Francisco café, and we developed an immediate rapport over our shared love of chocolate. Seiji has an eye for detail, endless energy, and we loved our conversations together. He proposed taking Dandelion Chocolate international by building a new factory in Kuramae, old Tokyo — an area known for tucked-away artisan workshops and a craft culture. We couldn’t pass up the offer to share our love of chocolate with more of the world.

For more about Dandelion Chocolate Japan, we invite you to visit our blog.

David foils chocolate bars at the 16th Street Factory

Mari prepares a profile in Kuramae, Tokyo