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Take a Look behind the scenes of this luxury chocolate

Tasting the Land
Cacao growers in Piedra de Plata practice “dry farming.” In other words, they do not irrigate their cacao. As a consequence, To’ak’s harvest varies each year according to weather fluctuations. Embracing these idiosyncrasies of land and weather, and likewise engaging their consequences during various phases of the production process, is the art and challenge of tree-to-bar chocolate-making. 

Arguably the single most critical element of the entire chocolate-making process is the fermentation and drying of the cacao beans once they are harvested—known as the “post-harvest” process.
    Phillip McCauley, Owner (Left) & To'ak Farmer Cooperative, 2023. 

Ready to experience true chocolate bliss yet?

Post Harvest
The selected beans are then carefully roasted, de-shelled, and ground into tiny bits, which are called nibs. In the most basic sense, dark chocolate is made by further grinding and liquefying the nibs through heat and mixing them with varying amounts of sugar. The final step in the process is “conching,” which is the process of mechanically churning the chocolate—in liquid form, while heated—for hours or sometimes even days. In general, this has the effect of aerating the chocolate and releasing volatile acids, which also has significant flavor implications.
Dark chocolate is rich with tannins and other polyphenols. These compounds, also called flavonoids, largely determine what we taste in dark chocolate and how it feels in our mouth. Over time, these compounds are chemically altered through processes such as oxidation. Extractable compounds from oak barrels and other storage vessels add another layer of complexity through the process of aging. As dark chocolate matures with age, its flavor profile evolves. The flavor & aromas of To’ak’s cask-aged and specialty-aged chocolates evolve slowly with the passage of time.