Why is To'ak Chocolate expensive and what makes it unique?

We purchase cacao directly from the cacao growers we work with in Piedra de Plata, and we pay the highest price per pound of freshly-harvested cacao in the country. As far as we know, we also pay the highest price per pound in the entire world. This is just part of our commitment to elevating dark chocolate onto the levels of the finest wines and in doing so having a positive impact on the environment and cacao farming communities in Ecuador.

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What is included with each product?

Click through to see a list of contents for each product range.

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What ingredients are in your chocolate?

The complete and accurate ingredient list of each product is available on the product page of our website and on the package of each product. The only ingredients in nearly all of our products are organic cacao beans and organic cane sugar. In the case of our Everyday Organic Cacao Powder, the one and only ingredient is organic cacao.

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What are the main steps in the production of your chocolate?

Our production of chocolate starts with planting the cacao tree, includes the key post-harvest step of fermentation, the traditional steps of chocolate making, and finishes with packaging your bar in Ecuador. Read on to discover all 14 steps!

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How do you recommend I enjoy my bar of To'ak chocolate?

Check out our tasting guide and list of chocolate pairing recommendations here.

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Which product do you recommend for a gift?

Well, it really depends on who the gift is for and what your price range is. But we do have a few tips.

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What is the difference between Harvest editions and Aged editions?

Our Harvest editions are harvested from a specific appellation during a specific year (similar to wine), with the objective to highlight the unique flavor and aroma characteristics that are created by the soil and climate conditions of that particular harvest (i.e., “terroir”). Our Aged editions are Harvest editions that have been aged in some kind of aromatic vessel (eg, casks that formerly stored wine or spirits, or Ecuadorian wood vessels) or have been aged in the same container as some other aromatic material (eg, Kampot pepper or Palo Santo wood).

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What are your social and environmental commitments?

We're doing our best to contribute to positive change in the world of chocolate. This is a summary of our efforts. We discuss how we are paying the highest prices to farmers in the industry, going beyond certifications, building a technology platform for traceability of cacao, up-cycling byproducts, and protecting endangered varieties of cacao.

When will an out of stock item be available again?

We harvest cacao and produce our chocolate according to harvest years. Some of our editions are aged. All of our editions are limited in production and often quickly sell out. Once a particular edition is sold out we may release it again with more age (for example as a 2 year, 3 year+ edition) if we have inventory.

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Is each edition a limited edition production? How many bars do you make?

Yes. Our Origin Bars are typically limited to only 150 bars per edition. Each bar is packaged in a handcrafted hardwood box that has the individual bar number engraved on the bottom. Our Signature Bars are somewhat more numerous, but are typically limited to 1,000 per edition.

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What is Ancient Nacional Cacao?

Nacional, which is native to Ecuador, is generally regarded as the most coveted cacao variety in the world. Its fame in the global market dates back several centuries, although its ancient origins run much deeper.

How much do you pay your farmers?

We pay a farmgate price that is 3-8x the standard market price for “wet cacao" — well above the fair trade premium.

What is terroir-driven chocolate & why do you release different harvest years?

To’ak’s Harvest editions offer connoisseurs of dark chocolate this same opportunity—to taste not only the land, but also the characteristics of the particular year in which it was harvested.

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How do you preserve heirloom cacao?

To’ak and its rainforest conservation partner Third Millennium Alliance (TMA) have embarked on a project to pull Ancient Nacional cacao variety back from the precipice of extinction. Click to read the details.

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