We always wondered how much a culture influences the palate. We found our answer the first time we did a side-by-side tasting with our Dandelion Chocolate Japan team. With the same beans, same machines, same process, same company, and same philosophy, we’ve found that the chocolate our partners make in Japan can be wildly different from our American bars. We like to calibrate our roast profiles to the palates of local chocolate makers, and we’ve found that the Japanese team tends to like more fermented, roasted, and certain bitter flavors more often than we do in San Francisco. We encourage you to taste these bars side by side to see the differences for yourself.
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.
The beans come from Hacienda Azul, a single estate near Turrialba, Costa Rica. Ozaki sought to bring out the aromatic red wine-like flavors present in the beans. In the bar we taste notes of roasted coffee, sour cream, and a grapefruit pith finish.
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.