Cheap vs. Expensive Chocolate Bars: Is There a Difference?

Expensive vs. cheap chocolate
Photo by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash

Chocolate bars are like a bottle of wine—there’s one available at every price point. You can find ones from around $1 all the way up to almost $400! But is expensive chocolate really worth it? Is there that much of a difference between cheap and expensive chocolate bars? The most simple answer is yes and here’s how they differ.

Ingredient Quality

Expensive, craft chocolate uses just cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, and sometimes vanilla. The beans used are crafted from one country and grown there. On the other hand, large producers use a blend of beans from many cocoa-producing regions to make a more uniform batch.

Growing Cocoa Beans

The chocolate-making process is a long one and it starts with growing the cocoa beans. Many artisans work with single farms to see how the beans are fermented and dried, which impacts the final flavor.

Chocolate Bar Production

Following the cocoa growing process, chocolate makers take over where the farmers left off. The cocoa is then roasted, cracked, winnowed, and ground before it’s heated and tempered into the final shape. The roasting process impacts the flavor of the beans and small producers often roast the beans in home ovens so they can have more control over the beans. Industrial chocolate producers often over-roast the beans.

Difference in Flavors

Craft chocolate bars tend to have a deeper more intense flavor than large-scale chocolate. You may pick up on notes of raspberries, honey, and hay. Large-scale chocolate has a familiar chocolate taste and it’s pretty smooth.