Experiences

Classes
Kids & Family
Factory Tours
Talks & Events
Chocolate Trips
Private Events

Calendar

Classes

How to Read a Chocolate Bar Label

We’ll taste and learn about the different types of chocolate, their ingredients, and single-origin chocolate. After a short break, we’ll learn about the processing of cocoa beans before they reach Dandelion Chocolate. Then we’ll learn about our chocolate making process with machine demos and tastes at each step of the way -- from bean to finished chocolate bar. Guests aged 12-15 are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

How to Taste Chocolate

Being a chocolate taster is a tough job, but someone has to do it. This class is a short introduction to how we learn to taste chocolate—the techniques, the flavors to look for, and the vocabulary to describe what you find. We’ll share best practices and discuss what types of flavors we often find in finished chocolate. Then we’ll put your newfound knowledge to the test by tasting a flight of three chocolates individually, and then discussing what we tasted as a group. There are no expert chocolate tasters; there are only experienced chocolate tasters. And the more you pay attention to tasting chocolate, the more practiced you can become. Guests aged 12-15 are welcome to daytime classes if accompanied by an adult.

Survey of Sourcing

This class covers our philosophy and practice of sourcing cocoa beans from around the equator—how we find our partner growers and fermenters, how we grow these relationships, and how we position ourselves as buyers within the craft chocolate industry. This class will also discuss the many origins we’ve visited and the similarities and differences between them. Of course, to fully understand chocolate from around the globe, it must to experienced first-hand. Part of our learning will include tasting chocolate from five different origins and sharing the stories of our partners and friendships behind the bars. Guests aged 12-15 are welcome to daytime classes if accompanied by an adult.

TV Magic Chocolate Making

This hands-on chocolate making class will teach you how chocolate is made through demonstration and hands-on activities. We’ll start by learning about how cacao is grown, harvested, and fermented on the farm, including tasting fresh cacao fruit. From there we will learn how our team selects the best beans for making chocolate. Then we’ll sort the beans and roast them, and turn already-roasted beans into cocoa nibs. Our teachers will demonstrate chocolate tempering, and each guest will mold and wrap their chocolate bars in foil and paper. Guests leave with a small bag of cocoa nibs and three molded and packaged chocolate bars.

Chocolate 201

This intensive course of detailed study will give you the hands-on opportunity to make your own small batch of rustic chocolate and cocoa nibs. This class does not cover the basics of chocolate composition and making (we address these topics in our Chocolate 101 class—recommended, but not a prerequisite). In this four-hour intensive, attendees will dive right into our techniques for flavor development and production. We’ll begin by tasting a variety of our roasted nibs, then work in pairs to formulate a single-origin or blended dark chocolate. From there, we’ll walk you through the process of turning raw beans into roasted nibs. You’ll leave with a bag of nibs, as well as about a pound of finished, untempered chocolate that’s great for nibbling or baking. Guests aged 14 and over are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

An Edible History of Chocolate

This class covers the history of chocolate: from when humans first started eating it as a fruit to the modern craft chocolate movement. And while this will involve a fair amount of lecture, we’ll also taste cacao fruit, use a metate to grind cacao for beverages like the Olmecs, Maya, and Aztecs likely used, and we’ll make a historic hot chocolate recipe from the 1600s. In addition, we will taste multiple examples of chocolate bars that reflect techniques and important events in chocolate history. If you’ve ever wondered how the process of chocolate making has developed and evolved, your questions will be answered here. Guests aged 10 or above are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Kids & Family

Chocolate Apprentices

AGES 3-6

We’ll taste and learn about the different types of chocolate, their ingredients, and single-origin chocolate. After a short break, we’ll learn about the processing of cocoa beans before they reach Dandelion Chocolate. Then we’ll learn about our chocolate making process with machine demos and tastes at each step of the way -- from bean to finished chocolate bar. Guests aged 12-15 are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Chocolate Explorers

AGES 7-12

Make your own small batch of rustic chocolate and cocoa nibs! This class does not cover the basics of chocolate composition and making (we address these topics in our Chocolate 101 class--recommended, but not a prerequisite). In this four-hour hands-on workshop intensive, attendees will dive right into our techniques for flavor development and production. We’ll begin by tasting a variety of our roasted nibs, then work in pairs to formulate a single-origin or blended dark chocolate. From there, we’ll walk you through the process of turning raw beans into roasted nibs. You’ll leave with a bag of nibs, as well as about a pound of finished, untempered chocolate that’s great for nibbling or baking. Guests aged 14 and over are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Parent / Child Chocolate Making

AGES 7-13

This class covers the history of chocolate: from when humans first started eating it as a fruit to the modern craft chocolate movement. And while this will involve a fair amount of lecture, we’ll also taste cacao fruit, use a metate to grind cacao for beverages like the Olmecs, Maya, and Aztecs likely used, and we’ll make a historic hot chocolate recipe from the 1600s. In addition, we will taste multiple examples of chocolate bars that reflect techniques and important events in chocolate history. If you’ve ever wondered how the process of chocolate making has developed and evolved, your questions will be answered here. Guests aged 10 or above are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Factory Tours

  • English
  • Español

16th Street Factory Tour

On this introductory look into bean-to-bar chocolate making, visitors will be walked through each step of our production process in our active chocolate factory. We’ll explore the journey from cacao farm to chocolate bar, and taste cocoa beans during their many stages of production - roasted, liquid chocolate, and tempered bar.

Valenia Street Factory Tour

On this introductory look into bean-to-bar chocolate making, visitors will be walked through each step of our production process in our active chocolate factory. We’ll explore the journey from cacao farm to chocolate bar, and taste cocoa beans during their many stages of production - roasted, liquid chocolate, and tempered bar.

Talks & Events

Sourcing Talks

Throughout the year, Greg visits cacao farms and fermentaries around the world (sometimes with other Dandelion Chocolate team members in tow) and reports back about what he has learned. Sourcing talks are usually held the first week of the month. This learning opportunity is less formal than our usual classes. We begin with a 30-minute chocolate tasting from the producer or region, then host a one-hour talk, and end with a 30-minute Q&A

12 Nights of Chocolate

It’s a holiday tradition! Each year around Christmas, we invite chefs to host a series of 12 elaborate dinners and take over our factory to create a unique holiday culinary experience to benefit the SF/Marin Food Bank. And there’s only one rule: use Dandelion Chocolate on the plate. Each evening is unique in that teams of chefs from the SF Bay Area and beyond create a multi-course menu that is entirely their creation – from elegant seven-course sit-down dinners to casual chocolate beer, ice cream, and burgers. All proceeds from the event benefit charity, and tickets to all twelve nights sell incredibly quickly once announced on Instagram and Facebook. We are proud to help spread holiday cheer and to help raise tens of thousands of meals for our community each year.

Every year, we lead a handful of trips to the unique places we buy our cocoa beans. For the friends and customers who join us, this means a chance to see the world through the eyes of our bean sourcer (or as he prefers, ‘Chocolate Sourcerer’). These trips are as much an effort to make the bean-to-bar process and the cocoa supply chain more transparent, as they are an opportunity for us to bring you along as we continue to learn about our origins. Our Chocolate Trips are an opportunity for guests to follow the cocoa supply chain to its very root and directly spend time with the producers who grow and ferment the beans we buy. Each trip we take offers a different perspective on the supply chain and what it’s like to source cocoa beans as a small chocolate maker. That said, we design these trips to be as densely educational and adventurous as they are relaxing.

Maya Mountain, Belize

February 10 - 17, 2019

This trip is a great first introduction into the world of cacao! You’ll stay in a beautiful jungle lodge and learn about the work of Maya Mountain Cacao Ltd. is doing to put Belize on the map of high-quality cacao as a young, progressive social enterprise. Among many other tropical adventures, you’ll learn how to make chocolate the traditional Mayan way, visit a rehabilitated industrial cacao farm, tour a small, diversified agroforestry farm, and enjoy a truly amazing part of the world!

Zorzal, Dominican Republic

June 2 - 9, 2019

This trip will focus more on varying scales of production. We’ll visit Reserva Zorzal, a bird sanctuary and our source for Dominican beans. We’ll not only learn about the birds that Reserva Zorzal aims to protect, but we’ll see slightly larger scale processing at a nearby fermentary, Öko-Caribe (who also sells to many Craft Chocolate makers). We have opted for lodging on the beach in Cabarete, a town on the North Shore of Dominican Republic, making this trip a little less rustic than some of our other trips. While we will have a free day built into our schedule, you may even want to stay an extra few days to take advantage of the beautiful beaches and adventure activities there.

Kokoa Kamili, Tanzania

September 16 - 22, 2019

You’ll stay in a guest house at a convent run by the Sisters of Mbingu and learn about Kokoa Kamili and the farmers they buy cacao from. Kokoa Kamili is about the same age as Dandelion Chocolate and is actively growing each year and pays farmers about 22-25% above market prices which in turn pushes the price up for all farmers in Tanzania. While in Tanzania, we’ll take a moment to go on safari at the Mikuni National Park and spend time enjoying the beautiful scenery of Tanzania.

Off-site Tasting

For classes, team building, and more, one of our makers will come to your office or home to lead your group of 10-150 through chocolate learning and appreciation.

Factory Tours

Take your group of 12 or fewer on a private learning excursion through our SF Valencia Street or 16th Street factories--with tastes along the way.

Private Classes

A complete Chocolate 101 or Chocolate 201 class in our learning space just for your group.

Facilities Rentals

For parties, birthdays, bridal showers, and more, inquire with us about the SF Valencia Street mezzanine (seats 14) or the entire café (seats 48).