How To Host A Chocolate Tasting Party

What's more fun than eating chocolate? 

Eating and discussing chocolate with friends!

Several years ago, my husband, Josiah, went to a fancy chocolate tasting class which included samples of delicious chocolate along with a bit of education on the qualities that comprise fine chocolate.

He wanted to take me to one of these classes for a while but never got around to it. And then Covid-19 happened. Classes did start up again but by that point we thought, "Why not do our own thing?" 

Josiah had attended this class at Tony Caputo's Deli in Salt Lake City and had a great time while learning a lot. The class cost $25 per person and included about 8 different kinds of chocolate to taste. 

But we figured, with at least eight guests, we could buy an even greater variety at a cost of $15 per person or less.

We have hosted three chocolate tasting parties and hope to do more. It's been so much fun that I want to share our experience with you. 

So, without further ado, here is my guide to hosting a chocolate tasting party:

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links at no extra cost to you. All opinions expressed in this article are my own.


• A lesson plan: You will want to research the history of chocolate, how it's made and, and the background of every chocolate bar you are sharing at the party. Where were the cacao beans grown? Where was the chocolate made? What makes this chocolate unique?

Read on to learn how to prepare a discussion about chocolate. 

• A variety of fine chocolates: Our selections mostly consisted of dark chocolates made from cacao beans grown all over the world. 

We also sought out chocolate bars with unique added flavors such as porcine mushrooms in dark chocolate and a white chocolate bar containing yellow curry powder. 

Shopping for chocolate is the most fun part of planning the party, and I'll share some suggestions later in this post. 

• A cheap chocolate bar: We gave each guest a small piece of Hershey's chocolate so they could taste the difference. After tasting such a variety of fine chocolates, the Hershey's hardly tasted like chocolate at all. 

Try this at your own party and you will notice, more than ever, that the cheap chocolate has so much sugar and so little cacao content.

• Water and a baguette: Bread and water work as great palette cleansers between each type of chocolate.

• A certain number of guests: 8-12 guests, including the host(s) is ideal. At $15 a person, we bought 12 different chocolate bars and it took a lot of time to discuss and taste each of them. It was tons of fun, but more chocolate bars would have made the party too long. 

Of course, we asked each guest to chip in for the chocolate. And each party typically lasts about two to three hours.

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A great chocolate tasting party should include a course, however brief, about the origins of chocolate. Otherwise, you would just be eating chocolate like any other day. 

Before our first few parties, we did some online research to learn about the history of chocolate and how it is made. Then we summarized that information into short a presentation. Additionally, Josiah shared a lot of facts he learned at Caputo's chocolate tasting class. 

I recently studied the book The True History Of Chocolate and I intend to utilize it in our future parties. 

I hope to write out a lesson plan and share it in this post as well. Until then, I recommend you either read the book or use some of the following resources as your research: 

History of Chocolate from

A Brief History of Chocolate from Smithsonian Magazine 

A simplified, step-by-step explanation of the chocolate making process from

Defining Fine Chocolate from Fine Chocolate Industry Association

Where Do Cocoa Beans Grow?  from Lake Champlain Chocolates 

How Is Chocolate Made from Science of Cooking 


While fine chocolate is composed of just a few ingredients each bar tastes different based on roasting time and the type of soil in which the cacao beans were raised. For example, cacao grown in Madagascar will typically taste fruity, and this is because of the high acidity of the soil. 

Your chocolate tasting experience should involve chocolates from many regions and with a variety of cacao content. 

Additionally, you may want to buy just one bar with 100% cacao content, or at least 90% to get a feel of what pure cacao tastes like. 

Most of the chocolates we shared were dark with mid to high percentages of cacao, but we also chose some milk chocolate and a couple white chocolate bars.

I also recommend Crio Bru which is ground cacao beans that brews like coffee. It's delicious and offers insight into how a traditional cacao drink tastes minus the froth and spices. 

While selecting our chocolate, we had a lot of help from an employee at Caputo's Deli. He assisted us in choosing chocolates based on our requests and offered many recommendations including some of his all-time favorites. We even got to sample some chocolates as he explained what made them so unique. 

In case you can't find a chocolate expert, I have some recommendations for you:

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This is possibly my favorite milk chocolate bar ever. It's creamy, high quality and with each bar you buy, the company plants a new tree. Original Beans is a climate conscious, bean-to-bar company solely owned by women. Their mission is to empower their fellow women and help them achieve financial independence by helping them pursue an education. Not only is the chocolate so good, but it's a company that is very worthy of your support. 

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Marou is a company based in Vietnam where they also source their cacao beans. This dairy-free coconut milk bar is so good!

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Luisa Abram acquires all of her cacao beans from Amazonian tribes with whom she trades goods in exchange for cacao beans that they harvest over several months. She makes a point of only dealing in fair trade and every one of her chocolate bars is made from non-farmed, naturally grown cacao from the rainforest! This specific bar of chocolate contains pieces of a fermented and dried fruit called cupuacu, a cousin of cacao.

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I’m not a big fan of white chocolate in general but I truly enjoy this bar. It’s made with cardamom which is a spice often used in Indian curries. And I love cardamom! 

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This creamy, dark chocolate has dried porcini dust mixed into it! Mushrooms in chocolate? Yep. It’s such a cool take on chocolate and I love it I love it, but if you’re not a fan of mushrooms, maybe steer clear of this one. Still, my husband doesn’t like mushrooms but he likes this bar.

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A unique Vietnamese bean-to-bar chocolate infused with lime and ginger. I wouldn’t eat an entire bar by myself but it is so fun to taste it with friends. First you taste the lime, then ginger, back to lime again. The flavors combined with fine dark chocolate makes for an interesting experience.

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This is a consistently popular chocolate among our party guests. Even though it has nearly identical ingredients as two other bars on this list (cacao and sugar), all three taste so beautifully different from one another. This bar which is made from cacao harvested in Peru, has notes of floral.

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I think this one is tied (with Cacaosuyo Lakuna, see above) for my favorite dark chocolate ever! It has a mildly nutty, almost mocha-like flavor, yet it is comprised of only three ingredients: cacao beans, sugar, cacao butter. Enjoy, my friends!

The reason why the taste of fine chocolate can vary so much is because of the soil in which the cacao is grown. This chocolate bar sources its cacao from Madagascar. The soil here is so acidic the cacao grown in it gives the chocolate a fruity, berry-ish flavor. This chocolate and the previously mentioned bars all have about the same cacao content and ingredients, yet they are so different! Get them all and try them back to back! 

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Here is another white chocolate for you. It's sweet with just a little bit of heat thanks to the chili and curry powder. And it's a little bit crunchy with a rich creaminess from the duck egg yolk. Don't let the unusual ingredients throw you. Our friends are often surprised by how delicious it is. 

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Crio Bru is so good! It's ground cacao that you brew like coffee. I like to mix in cream and sugar, and sometimes I will break open a bag of peppermint tea and brew right in with the Crio. It's also great with a little vanilla or buttery caramel stirred into it. If you want an idea of what an ancient cacao drink is like, serve it cold with chili mixed in. Ancient Americans loved their cacao to have a rich foam on top, and you can replicate that with this frother. 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post and have fun with your own chocolate party! Let me know how it goes in the comment section below!

Hi! My name is Kait. Follow this link to learn more about me and my blog.


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