Zokoko Tranquilidad 72%

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Zokoko is located in Australia where womanpreneur, Michelle Morgan, crafts artisan chocolate with some of the world's finest beans. You can also find the Zokoko cafe where they offer chocolate cakes, sweet treats, and specialty coffees that they roast in-house.

The beans used for this bar come from Hacienda Tranquilidad, located near Baures in Bolivia. The land there is flat with a mix of flooded grassland and slightly raised ‘islands’ where the cacao trees grow. The small pods produce a tiny bean, which is fermented in timber boxes and then sun-dried. The cacao then journeys by boat up the River Itenez, then by road to La Paz where it is consolidated with other beans from Bolivia.

The award-winning packaging used for this chocolate bar makes you feel as though you are receiving an anniversary gift or a piece of jewelry. The box has a magnetic strip that snaps shut and a pull ribbon to lift the bar. At $17 it definitely screams "special occasion" chocolate.

The first thing I discover upon tasting is how notably smooth it is. The box states that they've added sunflower lecithin as an emulsifier, which is not something frequently found in the craft chocolate world, but it does provide an incredible mouthfeel. Cocoa powder and caramel are the predominate tasting notes. It is bitter and tannic with a long roast. I don't get a punch of flavor, but it is a satisfying chocolate bar, one that I think many will love.

Emily Koons