Our process begins by melting and tempering small batches of fine dark chocolate. We aim to perfectly balance richness of flavor with creaminess. All of our chocolate is a base of 57% cocoa solids. Our flavors vary in sweetness because of our handmade inclusions. If you are looking for a more traditional dark chocolate we’ll point you towards our Holy Cacao which contains tons of cacao nibs sourced from our favorite cacao farm.
Our chocolate is sourced using fair labor practices regulated by the Transparency of Supply Chains ACT and is certified by RSPO, a non-profit who oversees environmental and social criteria for the ethical sourcing of palm oil. We are committed to providing our customers with delicious and clean chocolate that is gluten free, mostly dairy free, and in some cases entirely vegan friendly. Check the breakdown of our flavors below.
Where it all started. Our Salted Caramel is a crowd pleaser. This flavor took over a year of development and only uses two ingredients: U.S. Grade AA salted butter and unrefined organic cane sugar. Our commitment to perfecting this flavor became a pillar for how we treat all of our ingredients, a pursuit for chocolate that is so simple and delicious that it almost doesn’t make sense.
At a high level our Salted Caramel is a hard caramel or toffee that we make by hand, 6 lbs. at a time. We mix caramel into our chocolate and top it off with a sprinkling of organic Demerara sugar crystals and large flakes of sea salt.
Originally a holiday special, turned into a full-time favorite. Honey Almond is our most complex flavor and is a testament to our conviction that mouthfeel is just as important as taste. We envisioned a candied almond, delightfully spiced with a handful of zesty ingredients, but without the hard shell of baked egg whites. To accomplish this we replaced eggs with caramelized honey and fell in love the the result.
We take raw California almonds and lightly coat them in bubbling hot, organic wildflower honey. We then oven-roast the honey almonds until they begin to brown and hand-toss them with organic cinnamon, cane sugar, and kosher salt.
A holiday specialty. Not your grandma’s peppermint bark, that’s for sure -although we are sure her’s is fabulous-. Frosted Peppermint arose from our deep obsession with peppermint starlights, the red and white candies found at the front of every restaurant. Again, we spent months searching for the crunchiest and cleanest peppermint flakes around.
Our peppermint candies are made from organic cane sugar, organic brown rice syrup, real peppermint oil, and dyed with non-GMO’d beet juice. As much we would love to munch on this flavor year-round, we only offer it during the holidays.
All of our chocolate is infused with small-batch roasted coffee. When we first started Joe Chocolates we wanted to find the ideal coffee beans for eating. Our criteria for premium quality coffee has four benchmarks: taste, texture, process, and sourcing. We achieve our benchmarks by sourcing all of our coffee from farmer owned co-ops. Our coffee is roasted using traditional and manual techniques developed by our friend and mentor Ed Leebrick of Lighthouse Roasters.
While other chocolates incorporate coffee, we take our use of coffee one step farther by focusing on the functionality of caffeine. Each ounce of Joe Chocolates is the equivalent to a shot of espresso or about 90mg of caffeine. We use no artificial sources of caffeine, just whole bean and ground coffee.
As Thoreau might say, “Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.” This flavor was born out of our belief that coconut is a misunderstood ingredient. Many chocolates and candies use coconut flavoring oils that are overpowering and heady. Intentionally our Midnight Coconut has a very light coconut flavor and texture which appears and disappears between swells of dark chocolate and coffee.
We source our coconut completely raw, organic, sulfite-free, and unbleached. We toast our coconut to a crunchy golden brown and mix it in and on our chocolate. Also, the irony of a business quoting Thoreau is not lost on us.
Since we started making coffee-infused chocolate we had requests for “Just chocolate and coffee.” Being sticklers for texture, we didn’t want to simply omit an inclusion and so began our worldwide search for the tastiest cacao nib. For those of you who are unfamiliar, cacao is the magical plant that all chocolate is made from and not all cacao is created equal. Similar to coffee or wine, many factors play into the profiles and quality cacao. We were in search of the best stuff this planet can offer.
A year after we embarked on our search for the most delectable cacao we discovered our friends in Kailua, Hawai’i were sourcing a rare varietal called Nacional. This variety is native to Ecuador and Peru, and until recently thought to be extinct. Our cacao nibs are roasted in a coffee roaster to bring out subtle hints of graham cracker and banana -or so we think, you’ll have to decide for yourself-.
If the rest of these descriptions have a common thread it’s that our flavors take some time. We want our customers to be blown away with what we make, not merely satisfied. From sourcing, to recipe making, to scaling, we take each step in our process seriously. That said, we are always playing around with new ideas and ingredients.
We are very active on Instagram and we encourage you to follow us @JoeChocolates where you can see us in action, and stay informed on everything we are working on.