What Is Tree To Bar Chocolate?

The long process of chocolate making begins on a tree in the tropics. Historically, the fruits have been harvested and processed in the country of origin before being sent abroad to be made into chocolate. But during the last couple of decades, some cacao producers have begun to keep more of the fruit’s final value in its country of origin. When a product says “tree to bar chocolate,” it implies that the chocolate maker had complete control over how their cacao was grown and processed, and that the chocolate was made in that same country of origin.

Similar to bean to bar chocolate, craft chocolate or single origin, tree to bar chocolate is an unregulated term with no set definition. Tree to bar chocolate companies can be vertically-integrated businesses based in a cacao-growing country, adding value to cacao that would otherwise be exported as a raw material. But due to that lack of a standard definition, what constitutes tree to bar chocolate may be different for each business.

For one tree to bar chocolate maker, owning their own cacao farm makes them tree to bar, while others claim the term thanks to close relationships with local cacao producers. The most important aspects of tree to bar chocolate are control and traceability, allowing makers to have a larger impact within the country of origin. Because there is no set definition of tree to bar chocolate, there are a multitude of ways to start such a business.

Cacaoteca is a tree to bar chocolate brand from the Dominican Republic. From their farm in northern Dominican Republic, Cacaoteca collects their own cacao and that of nearby farmers to process locally. The cacao then travels south to the capital city of Santo Domingo to be made into chocolate, keeping all the fruit’s value within the Dominican Republic. A more contentious example of tree to bar chocolate making is Akesson's Chocolate. The founder and owner of Akesson’s owns cacao & pepper plantations in Brazil, Indonesia, Madagascar. His plantations have supplied cacao for his own brand of chocolate, as well as to chocolate makers around the world, for well over a decade. Akesson’s is a vertically-integrated tree to bar chocolate company in so far as he owns each aspect of the business, but he doesn’t make the chocolate himself. He contracts out the chocolate making to Europe, where the cacao is shipped and processed into chocolate, though he has complete control over the plantations and where the chocolate is made.

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    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!

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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.