Theo's 3400 Phinney Chocolate Factory Coffee Dark Chocolate is Fair Trade, organic, vegan... and delicious? Seems too good to be true, especially at $3.25 a bar (cheaper than many of the similar brands on the market). It hits the heart in the right spot, but can it also win over the palates of people who only care about the flavor?
Fair Trade, Organic & Vegan
Theo is the only organic, Fair Trade, bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the U.S. Its products are sustainable and its practices are relatively transparent. They even hold daily public tours in their Seattle factory. However, the company philosophy isn't the only thing that scores Theo's Coffee Dark Chocolate cool points.
The packaging for this chocolate bar is seriously chic. It's colorful, pseudo-naive and brimming with exotic whimsy a la "Arabian Nights." It's the kind of product you can buy three of, tie a ribbon around them and offer as a stylish gift-on-the-fly. It's also the kind of packaging that says, "Yes, I really am worth up to four dollars a pop," which is good, because that's about what it costs.
Finally, we get to the flavor. (Now you know how I felt walking home with this gem in my grocery bag!) Theo's Coffee Dark Chocolate bar does, in fact, live up to its company's lofty standards and its promising packaging. It has a bold, full flavor that will appease even the most hardcore of coffee lovers and satiate the sweet tooth of anyone who loves their chocolate dark, dark, dark. A pure ingredients list (nothing but cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter and coffee beans) means a pure, unadulterated flavor with a bright, lingering coffee note in the finish. (The finish isn't hurt by the fact that little grounds of coffee remain after the chocolate has melted away... It's actually quite appealing.) This is a bar that's great alone, but can also pair beautifully with a cuppa Joe. I'd suggest the Theo Blend from Café Vita – it's the same blend Theo used to make this chocolate.
This bar is a delight for coffee lovers, chocoholics and anyone who cares about sustainably produced food. At $3.25 a bar, it's reasonably priced for a specialty chocolate. I highly recommend this chocolate!