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  • Writer's pictureReilly

Welcome to Distinguished Beans!

The craft chocolate industry has exploded over the past two decades, going from just a handful of bean-to-bar makers to hundreds. These makers offer thousands of different bars, many good, some mediocre, and some exquisite. Nothing can replace your unique experience of tasting a bar to decide whether or not you like it, but in a world of finite resources it's preferable to have at least a vague sense of which makers tend to do things well before you make your selection. Distinguished Beans does not aim to provide an exhaustive commentary on the offerings of the craft chocolate industry, but rather a curated selection of reviews and tasting notes for some of the best (or in some cases, the misleadingly best-looking) bars so that you can invest your time and money in the those most likely to fascinate, challenge, and delight your palate. To that end there are recommendations on tasting and pairing as well. Welcome and happy tasting!

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kmfarney
Mar 14, 2021

Hi Reilly!

I really love your site and the information - thanks for sharing! I am curious where you have found some of the chocolates you have reviewed. For example, Herencia Chocolate in Ecuador, did you find that while traveling? Do you have any advice on how I could get my hands on some to try in the US? Thanks!

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Reilly
Reilly
Mar 22, 2021
Replying to

Hi! That's a great question, and some of these bars are really hard to find in the US. My sister lives in Quito, so she brings me chocolate whenever she visits. However, a few places offer them. Cocoa Runners is based in the UK but ships to the US (https://cocoarunners.com/maker/herencia-esmeraldas/). Bar and Cocoa (https://barandcocoa.com/pages/chocolate-makers) also carries several harder to find makers based in the country of origin, including Baianí, Cacao Hunters, Definite, and Maraná. I even found some Pacari (made in Ecuador) bars on Amazon! I hope this is helpful and please let me know if you have any other questions!

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