Auro Chocolate proudly proclaims that they go “beyond bean-to-bar,” meaning their artisinal pursuits go beyond just getting a good source of cacao and turning them into chocolate bars. A visit to their website yields a much more elaborate philosophy that involves supporting the farmers by creating infrastructure and paying a higher price for their crops.
It’s the kind of great story that makes you want to root for a company. And fortunately enough, the product is actually worth supporting on purely a taste level. All of their efforts in creating a more ethical chocolate product seem to have actually contributed to creating better bars with recognizable tinges of local flavor.
We got to try three of their varieties: The 42% milk chocolate, the 55% dark chocolate, and the 77% dark chocolate. The three represent a pretty compelling range of flavor profiles. The 42% really puts the milk forward, the taste of milk powder very present on the palate. It’s a comforting kind of sweetness that might remind one of childhood treats. The 55% dark chocolate is also pretty sweet, but it feels a little more grown up. Hints of burnt sugar and caramel create the stage for exploring the complexities of the chocolate. It’s subtle, but it is in this bar that one first gets hints of the fruitier dimensions of their particular blend of beans.
The 77% dark chocolate is for the true chocolate lover. It lands like an espresso, starting with an earthy bitterness that transforms into a complex blend of sensations on the palate. The bitterness gives way to a bright acidity that might bring to mind a ripe guava. And this becomes a mellow, toffee sweetness at the back end. It certainly isn’t for beginners, but the 77% yields the most interesting and satisfying chocolate experience among the ones we tried.
And by the end of our midday binge, our chocolate-fueled afterglow was enhanced by the knowledge that Auro also happens to be trying to do right by the farmers that grew the beans that would later become the bars we just consumed. Chocolate is supposed to make you happy, anyway. Might as well really lean into that and support a company that’s trying to make even more people happy.
Auro Chocolate is available online at aurochocolate.com