What is Raw Chocolate?

Raw chocolate is a misleading term. The idea of consuming “raw” foods stems from the belief thatfoods in their uncooked and unprocessed form are healthier, and better for the body and environment. People generally agree that a food is “raw” as long as it’s never heated above 118°F/48°C, the temperature at which certain enzymes are destroyed. Therefore, raw chocolate is made with cacao which has never been heated above 118°F/48°C, which would make flavor development in chocolate extremely difficult.

How Heat is Key to Chocolate

Fermentation is a key step in the chocolate making process, as it’s necessary for forming the flavor precursors we associate with chocolate. Temperatures during fermentation regularly hit 122°F/50°C and sometimes even higher, rendering most properly-fermented cacao no longer “raw.” Fermentation is one of the least well-known steps in chocolate making, however, so many “raw chocolates” are actually unroasted chocolates, such as Raaka Chocolate. After cacao is harvested, fermented and dried, it’s sent to chocolate makers for cleaning, roasting, peeling, and grinding. Even if cacao was very carefully monitored during fermentation to ensure it never went over the temperature threshold, there are two more steps in flavor development which require high heat: roasting and grinding.

Roasting cacao is done at a variety of temperatures, but most cacao is roasted between 275-400°F/135-205°C. During the roasting process, the flavor precursors formed during fermentation are transformed into the fudgey, fruity, and nutty flavors associated with chocolate. Which flavors develop depends upon cacao origin, varietal, and roasting time and temperature, but roasting below 118°F/48°C won’t allow those flavors to fully develop, leaving the beans with the strong earthy undertone which characterizes “raw” chocolate.

Even once the unfermented and unroasted cacao is put into the grinder, it runs the risk of heating above the temperatures for raw chocolate. Similar to how many of those volatile acids were formed, the cacao must be heated to high temperatures during grinding in order to drive off the volatile acids which make chocolate taste sour or astringent. Beyond the issues with cacao are the sweeteners used in raw chocolate. Most sweeteners must be heated above the raw threshold in order to remove excess moisture and concentrate the sweetness. Adding a wet sweetener such as honey would cause chocolate to seize, ruining the texture of the chocolate and making it difficult to mold into bars.

Making raw chocolate isn’t impossible, but it’s not advisable, either.

Shop Our Popular Gifts

1 of 5
  • Award Winning Chocolate Makers

    Bar & Cocoa is the premier purveyor of exceptional craft chocolates from award winning chocolate makers. We hand pick exceptional makers.

  • Ethically Sourced

    Ethics is a key ingredient to the world’s best chocolate. Our selection supports a supply chain that is more transparent than fair trade — and tastier!

  • Fine & Rare Origins

    We showcase chocolate crafted from fine quality cacao. You can taste the uniqueness and complexity of different origins, unlike mass-produced chocolate.


What makes Bar & Cocoa different?

At Bar & Cocoa, we're not just another chocolate shop; we're a chocolate experience. We meticulously curate a selection of the finest chocolates from artisanal makers around the globe. Our focus is on quality, ethical sourcing, and sustainability. We go the extra mile to educate our customers about the complexities of cacao cultivation and chocolate making through detailed product descriptions, flavor profiles, and origin stories. When you shop with us, you're not just indulging in a treat; you're becoming part of a community that values the art and science of chocolate making.

What is bean to bar chocolate?

Bean to bar chocolate is chocolate that is made from scratch by the same producer, starting from the raw cacao beans and ending with the finished chocolate bars and treats. This process allows the chocolate maker to control every aspect of the chocolate making, such as roasting, grinding, conching, tempering, and molding. Bean to bar chocolate is often more flavorful, nuanced, and ethical than mass-produced chocolate. It reflects the artistry and craftsmanship of the maker and the quality and origin of the cacao.

How do you source your chocolate? Is it ethical and sustainable?

We source our chocolate from award winning craft makers who use high-quality cacao beans and go beyond fair trade. We work with over 50 fine chocolate makers from around the world who share our values and passion for real chocolate. Some of the countries we source our chocolate from include Peru, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua,, Philippines, India, and many more. We are always on the lookout for new and exciting origins and makers to add to our collection.

Do you have vegan, or keto-friendly or soy free chocolate?

Yes, we do! We have a variety of chocolate options that cater to different dietary preferences and needs. You can browse our collections of organic chocolate, vegan chocolate, keto-friendly chocolate, sugar-free chocolate, dairy-free chocolate, gluten-free chocolate, soy-free chocolate, nut-free chocolate, and more on our website. We also provide detailed information on each product page about the ingredients and allergens of each product.

How do you pick your chocolate makers?

When it comes to selecting our chocolate offerings, we're basically the chocolate sommeliers you never knew you needed. Our process starts with rigorous research and tastings. Yeah, it's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it. We scour the globe for artisanal and craft chocolate makers who share our commitment to quality, ethical sourcing, and innovation in flavor.

We scrutinize everything from cacao origin to production methods and flavor profiles. Only the best of the best make it into our curated collection, offering you a world-class chocolate experience in every bite. Each bar has a story, a unique flavor profile, and the power to transport you to a different part of the globe. We're not just selling chocolate; we're offering an edible journey.