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Cynthia's Picks: Queens of Beans Chocolate Bars

Cynthia is our own Dean of Beans. She also heads up our classes and educational programming. Cynthia has traveled to origin on several occasions and met many of the women and men who grow, ferment, and dry the cocoa beans we buy. She says:

"My picks are bars that highlight the work of strong female leaders in the cacao industry."

Cynthia's Queens of Beans Four-Bar Set includes:

  • Costa Esmeraldas, Ecuador 2016: "Jennifer is the young woman who runs the fermentary, and her commitment to quality control is evident in the beans. The flavors of this bar were on the tip of my tongue for a long time, but eventually, I realized I taste butter and bananas. This bar disappears quickly when I open it."

  • Mantuano, Venezuela 2016: "This is a female-led cooperative. And I love the cinnamon flavors in this bar."
  • Maya Mountain, Belize 70% 2016: "Maya Mountain Cacao was started by Emily Stone, an early female industry leader whose work helped put Belize on the map for fine flavor cacao. Mini Forman currently runs Maya Mountain. As a native to the region, she’s helping to build closer relationships with both cacao farmers and chocolate makers. "

  • Maya Mountain, Belize 85% 2016: "I have a special place in my heart for Maya Mountain’s bars, so I’m going to pick them twice! Not only are they delicious with a combination of fruity and milky flavors, but this is the first cacao farm I’d ever visited. I also love high percentage bars, and I find this one in particular to be very flavorful and unusual."

Each Staff Pick collection contains four two-ounce Dandelion Chocolate single-origin chocolate bars tied in a gift-ready bow.