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70 2018

Dandelion Chocolate Japan

These beans begin their long journey from the La Mosquitia region of Honduras in a dugout boat. Dandelion Chocolate Maker Chieko roasts this 2018 harvest gently to highlight the beans’ mellow, delicate flavors. We taste roasted chestnut, milk caramel, and a hint of herb tea.

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 generally enjoys 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 Wampu, Honduras

Historical and archaeological evidence indicates that cacao has been cultivated in this region of Honduras for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. Today, producers must overcome obstacles in order to yield cocoa suitable for making outstanding chocolate. The region is so hot, humid, and remote that fermentation and drying, and even transportation, are extremely challenging.

To reach the village of Wampusirpi (affectionately called Wampu) from an international airport, a traveler must take two flights — first to Puerto Lempira on the northeast coast, and from there to Wampusirpi — or drive to Palestina, in Olancho, and cross the Patuca River in a pipante (a kind of hollowed-out log canoe), then traverse jungle for two days. In this remote locale, the team at Cacao Direct, led by Jorge Schmidt, have been working with approximately 200 Miskito families since 2014, providing them with technical assistance, training, information, and at-cost tools for planting and maintaining their cacao trees.

Cacao Direct buys organically grown cacao from individual farmers and families, then, to ensure bean quality, carefully ferments and dries it at a centralized facility built in 2015. The efforts have paid off: Cacao Direct won the Honduras Cocoa of Excellence Competition in 2016 (using the award's prize money to fund a new roof and windows for the local school), and 2017 (when there was no prize money, only glory!).


We launched Dandelion Chocolate Japan in collaboration with Seiji Horibuchi in 2016. Seiji 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