The Indian Cocoa Bean: Handcrafted Chocolate Brands Around The Country

When you equate happiness to food, the result almost always ends in chocolate. Handcrafted chocolate bars are picking up the pace as several homegrown brands have entered the Indian market.

The cacao bean has had a long journey of its own and now local artisanal brands are exploring what’s in store for India’s cacao beans.

Before we give you the lowdown on some of the coolest chocolate companies around the country, here are some terms you may need to know:

Bean To Bar: A model that emerged from the artisan and craft chocolate movement that represents the maker or individual company being in control of every step of the chocolate-making process from buying ethically sourced cocoa beans to creating the final high-quality chocolate.

Single Origin: Chocolate that is made from one variety of cacao harvested in one place or region.

Organic Chocolate: chocolate that has been certified organic means that the company sources their beans from fair trade cocoa farms and have not been treated with synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides and do not contain preservatives, artificial colors, and GMOs.

Here are the brands we’re trying pronto:

Soklet

chocolate, artisanal brands, brands, cocoa

Soklet prides themselves on sustainable farming, using cocoa beans from their own plantations only. Focusing closely on the flavor profiles of the beans, the cacao is grown along with coconut, nutmeg, pepper and banana and the team is always in control of the chocolate making process, from breeding of the trees to the tempering of the chocolate bar.

We’re trying: Bhut Jolokia Chilli and Zaatar Caramelized Nibs

Mason & Co

chocolate, artisanal brands, brands, cocoa

Involved closely in the bean to bar process, the team at Mason & Co works closely with farmers to source, harvest and process the highest quality of cacao from organic certified farms only. The purchase price of the cacao goes directly to the farmers ensuring fair trade at all stages. Their single origin chocolate is made with beans from South India with a wide variety of flavors to choose from.

We’re trying: Rosemary & Sea Salt and Chilli & Cinnamon Dark Chocolate

Naviluna

chocolate, artisanal brands, brands, cocoa

Handmade in Mysore, Naviluna uses only organically certified Indian cacao beans. To harness the optimal nutritional potential of the cacao bean, the chocolate is hand-crafted at low temperatures to make bean-to-bar in small batches.

We’re trying: Longum Pepper Lime & Orange Chocolate Bar and Malabar Forest Chocolate Bar

Kocoatrait

chocolate, artisanal brands, brands, cocoa

A zero-waste chocolate, Kocoatrait adopts and implements sustainable practices from the farm through to production, packaging and distribution stages of their chocolates. Using ingredients that are locally manufactured and sourced within India, all of their chocolates are vegan and gluten free.

We’re trying: Irish Cream Coffee and Masala Chai

Pascati

chocolate, artisanal brands, brands, cocoa

Pascati’s organic cacao beans are sourced from specific plantations in Kerala and their bean-to-bar chocolate is created in carefully controlled environments to achieve flavors of complexity. They also happen to be India’s first USDA Organic and Fairtrade compliant chocolate brand, ensuring sustainable sourcing of high-quality ingredients with Fairtrade processes.

We’re trying: Guava, Chilli & Sea Salt and Blueberry Walnut