Chocolate and coffee are like two beans in a pod—literally. Both are made from small beans that grow on trees in equatorial climates. Both are delightfully bitter and versatile, with flavors ranging from fruity to earthy, and both can be transformed into delicious products at the hands of skilled roasters and producers. So it’s only natural that crafty bean-to-bar chocolate makers and specialty coffee roasters would be teaming up to create coffee-infused chocolate bars. Here are nine coffee and chocolate collaborations that offer the best of both worlds. For more on bean-to-bar chocolate, check out our January/February 2012 issue, in which Amy Zavatto explores the art of chocolate made from scratch.
Askinosie + Intelligentsia
The Missouri chocolate maker and Chicago-based coffee roaster partnered to produce the Dark Chocolate + Coffee CollaBARation Bar, made with 77% dark chocolate from Davao, Philippines, and organic coffee from La Perla de Oaxaca, Mexico.
Black Mountain + Dynamite
These North Carolina neighbors—a chocolate maker and a coffee roaster, respectively—put their heads together, and a bar was born. Black Mountain’s 70% cacao Dynamite Coffee Bar, that is.
Mast Brothers + Stumptown
The crafty Brooklyn brothers of chocolate and the Portland-based exemplar of coffee-cool paired up to create a bar with a high-profile pedigree: Mast Brothers’ Stumptown Coffee bar features 72% Madagascar cacao and coffee sourced in Burundi, Africa.
The folks at this Michigan- and Ecuador-based chocolate maker figured if they could roast cacao beans they could roast coffee beans to, so they combined Ecuadorian coffee and cacao to make Mindo’s Pure 77% and Espresso bar.
Olive & Sinclair + Bongo Java
The Nashville chocolate and coffee companies set out to create a new spin on chocolate-covered espresso beans, a perennial coffeehouse favorite. The result? A 67% Ghana bar with the bright and fruity flavors of Bongo Java’s “Barista Boy” Central American blend.
Patric + Kaldi’s
People should have their coffee and eat it too—at least that was the goal of the Missouri chocolate company and coffee roaster when they collaborated on Patric’s Mocha OMG bar. Mission accomplished.
Raaka + Café Grumpy
Raaka chocolate and Café Grumpy were a match made in, well, Brooklyn. Grumpy’s heartbreaker espresso blend is the star ingredient in Raaka’s Black Coffee bar.
Taza + Counter Culture
Taza’s Counter Culture Coffee Chocolate Mexicano disks combine the Boston company’s signature stone-ground chocolate with the North Carolina–based coffee roaster’s 21st de Septiembre coffee from Oaxaca.
Theo + Caffé Vita
Seattle’s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker partnered with one of the city’s longest running coffee roasters for its organic 70% Coffee Dark Chocolate bar.
Read about the journey of cacao from bean to bar.