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honu

chocolate shops in Bangkok, where to get bean to bar chocolate

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I'm not really a chocolate enthusiast but I recently did some writing about chocolate that got me thinking about where to get better chocolate in Bangkok.

After a short review of Google search results, Trip Advisor recommendations, a Four Square page, etc., it seems there are only shops that sell a little of what they make, or ice cream and cake shops.

So it seems if you wanted specialty chocolates you might be making due with whatever the mall grocery stores carry, or with those few other shops and products, but it's not close to the same type of thing, more about truffles and such.

Don't take my word for it; check out these references:

Nation article on Bangkok chocolate shops

foursquare.com/top-places/bangkok/best-places-dark-chocolate

Trip Advisor reviews of chocolate shops in Bangkok

Is there something else out there I'm missing? Here is the type of thing that I had in mind, from that blog post about chocolate tasting (which is in a blog about tea, but I researched chocolate for this post from a chocolate blogger--they have those):

Two ingredients is all you need for a perfect, balanced tasting chocolate bar. Three can make it better, sometimes. But beyond that....well, let's just say that less is often better. So if you are looking to taste fine chocolate, seek out chocolate makers that focus on creating world-renown chocolate bars with 2 to 4 ingredients at most (cacao, sugar, cocoa butter and sometimes vanilla or lecithin). Then taste and research and do that over and over again. Search 'craft chocolate' and 'fine chocolate' on the Internet and reference lists, like the bean-to-bar craft chocolate makers lists on my blog, or find some in your area, and taste. Use brands like Michel Cluizel, Valrhona, Bonnat, Amano as starting points - then move on to others from there.

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Probably not a big market in Thailand for high cacao chocolate. I had some Lindt 99% and gave some Thai friends a bit to try and they all hated it. It isn't something I could eat a lot myself so I usually stick with Lindt Excellence 85% as it is the one I like best from the few varieties available in my local shops.

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do you need a company / factory that makes chocolate bars or according to your order ? or what exactly?

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I don't need any chocolate, really, but the question related to where to buy better chocolate bars, as a consumer. In the blog post the Canadian chocolate blogger recommended:

Use brands like Michel Cluizel, Valrhona, Bonnat, Amano as starting points - then move on to others from there.

So if the question must be reduced to something specific and simple, where can one find chocolate bars produced by those makers in Bangkok?

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A quick look at the websites for the brands you mention, and outside of the US and France/Europe it looks like you need to order online. If you like good quality dark chocolate, then market leaders Lindt, Ghiradelli and Frey are easiest to find locally.

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I'm not a chocolate enthusiast, so I could do without ever trying these types, and it might be better if I didn't. The question related to seeing if anyone knew if it is here (Bangkok), and it seems it's not.

Maybe I could explain first what specialty, bean to bar chocolate even is. It's not the same thing as Lindt, Ghiraldelli, and Frey chocolates.

So what's the difference? That blogger mentioned the number of ingredients is different, that at most a better grade of chocolate should have four, but in contrast here is the ingredients for a dark chocolate by Lindt:

Excellence Mild 90% Ingredients: cocoa mass, cocoa butter, low fat cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla. May contain hazelnuts, almonds, milk, soya.
A second difference is the better chocolate bars are essentially cocoa / cacao origin designated; not just from a specific country but a plantation (the Lindt bar didn't say what country it was from, never mind the specific source). Check out this review:
This Ecuadorian chocolate is made with Arriba Nacional cocoa beans. It is both bitter and sweet (like honey), with a smoky, earthy flavour and perhaps some nuttiness. I taste no fruit in this chocolate, particularly compared to the other two fruity origins I was tasting it against, but the package says you 'might' taste red fruit. Also, a dark roast flavour is evident, leaving a bitter and wonderful smoke flavour that lingers.
So the beans, freshness of those beans, other ingredients, and processing is different. Here is a Yelp review of the chocolates, which again I've not tried myself, not even the general product category.

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Chocolate Boutique at the Shangri-La....plenty of other options in town too.....LOADS of great chocolate around for sure!

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99% of dark chocolate has been rendered useless by a process called "Dutching" that adds an alkalising agent to tone down the bitter cacao taste.....thus killing off any claimed antioxidant activity.

One of my faves is the untreated artisan organic dark chocolate brand Tazaa. Vivani is untreated too.

Lindt is <deleted>.

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Here is a review of that chocolate from a chocolate blogger in Canada, the woman that helped me with content for that other post I'd mentioned:

http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.com/2015/01/vietnamese-origin-chocolate-by-marou.html

It's the real thing, world class specialty chocolate, the kind of thing I was just concluding isn't here in Bangkok. Of course it seemed some of it must be somewhere; nothing stops people from shipping a box of something here, and those bars seem to only run $8 to 10 a bar ((250 to 350 baht; not cheap, not that expensive either for what it is). It's just keeping a low profile; a one-hour Google and related references search won't turn it up.

I'll check with that shop about what they have. Now if they just sell some decent tea that would make for a great visit.

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That coffee shop stopped carrying it sad.png

I'll turn it up, or at least get the company in Vietnam to confirm they don't know where to get it here either.

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I know where to get it, that Marou chocolate from Vietnam, I just don't know when. A local specialty bakery in a new location in Thong Lo will carry it in December, so you can't buy it today, but next month you could:

https://www.facebook.com/MaisonJeanPhilippe/

Per other input here there must be places selling equivalent chocolate in Bangkok for years now. The catch is that without a lot of prior experience in trying different chocolates it could take a long time to sort out what is good by current standards and what is just on the fancier appearance side.

Someone making really good chocolate could get the ingredients right but slip up on texture, or the opposite, bring it all together well but not quite nail sourcing, or adjust with too much milk or sugar, etc. If a chocolate blogger (and chocolatier) that just spent 6 years reviewing most of the better chocolate on the planet says it's towards the top of the range then it probably is.

Of course my own input will probably go something like "yep, that's good," but when I try it I'll post that here.

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I had recently read a similar article, more just about the allegations made that they had used commercial chocolate, remelted and re-sold as something it wasn't. Kind of a shame, but funny how that works out, as the article concluded, that people that likely weren't even making "artisanal" chocolate did as much as anyone to promote it.

I just visited Indonesia last week and bought chocolate that may or may not be the same level theirs is supposed to have always been ("been to bar," etc.). That shop I had already mentioned on Sukhumvit (https://www.facebook.com/MaisonJeanPhilippe/) will start selling Marou Vietnamese specialty chocolate by the end of this week. It'll be interesting to see what I make of all of it.

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In the latest news on that Mast brothers controversy they've recently admitted to selling some remelted chocolate, but only in the first year:

http://www.grubstreet.com/2015/12/mast-brothers-industrial-chocolate-scandal.html

Of course if the allegations are true then they've only admitted to a small part of what they were actually doing, reselling most of the chocolate they said they had made themselves over several years, and labeling most chocolate in such a way that was misleading.

One interesting story line is that their chocolate is reputed to keep getting worse as they actually make more of it themselves. Another is the fake persona highlighted in that first link mentioned here, that they looked completely different just a year prior to starting to make chocolate, so that they were not just selling a fake product but they themselves faked images to go with it.

I doubt any of this will affect their business though; their customer base probably never was the small percentage of people that knew enough about chocolate to tell the difference.

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