What Is Single Origin Chocolate?

If you've heard the term "single origin," it was probably in reference to coffee. Single origin coffee and a single origin chocolate are basically the same idea, with the origin of their key ingredients (coffee bean and cacao beans, respectively), being from a single place.

“Single plantation” or “single estate” refer to cacao from a specific property, meaning that the cacao was sourced from a smaller area. This can— but doesn't always— mean that the cacao's flavor is more distinct due to specific varietals, environmental conditions, and a shorter distance to travel before starting fermentation. Therefore, single origin chocolate is made with cacao from one origin, or place. But this is where the generality of the term "origin" becomes a problem.

Historically, one's origin is a country, and then a city or even a specific neighborhood. Due to the nature of how cacao is processed in preparation for making chocolate, very little of the world's cacao can be traced back to a region as small as a neighborhood. There are some very small cacao farms in the world, and some of them are selling their cacao to chocolate makers. But this is not the norm. Most chocolate makers use countries as a frame of reference for defining “single origin.”

A chocolate maker using various single origin cacaos will often present their creations as their “Nicaragua bar” or their “Vietnam bar,” and so on. This is problematic because it generalizes the flavor of that specific cacao & harvest as the flavor of an entire country. It also makes it easier for large chocolate manufacturers to buy the cheapest cacao they can find from various parts of a country, and blend it in large batches into a single origin bar. It’s still from one country of origin, after all, and single origin chocolate are generally sold at a premium.

The term “single origin” says nothing of the quality of beans or sugar, and does not guarantee that farmers were paid an equitable price. While a chocolate made with cacao from a single estate is likely directly purchased from a farmer, it’s not guaranteed. That’s why it’s important to look for traceability from chocolate makers.

If you’re going to pay a higher price, it should be for an overall better product— better for the planet, better for farmers, and better for your taste buds.

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.