• Our rating: 79.0% (1 review)
  • Company:
  • Cacao solids: 84%
  • Guide Price: $4.85
  • Description by: Alex Rast
  • Production: Produced directly from beans by maker
  • Certification:
    • None
  • Ingredients:
    • Cocoa Beans (Dominican Republic)
    • Sugar
    • Cocoa Butter
    • Ground Vanilla Bean

Our Theo bars are designed to highlight the complexity and differentiation of flavor in cacao (cocoa beans) based on the genetics of the cocoa tree and the terroir of their growing region. They also naturally reflect the care taken by the farmers during the cultivation, harvest and post-harvest handling of their cacao. By sourcing quality cacao from both independent farms and grower cooperatives we are creating the opportunity for noble farmers to engage in sustainable commerce.

Theo strives to ensure the same quality in our manufacturing process that our growers do at the source. As true chocolate makers, we carefully steward the cacao through the process of roasting, milling, blending and conching. Our organic sugar is carefully selected to perfectly balance the flavor of the beans. Come and visit our chocolate factory, learn how we make chocolate and experience our passion firsthand. Theo is located in a beautiful historic building in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, WA. We can't wait to meet you!

Dominican Republic 84% The organic cacao we selected highlights delicious tropical fruit flavor notes. This high percentage dark chocolate bar is made with the most unique cacao we've found in the Dominican Republic.

Theo Chocolate – Dominican Republic 84%—Chocolate Review Rating: 79.0% out of 100 based on 1 reviews.

Theo Chocolate – Dominican Republic 84%

The Dominican Republic is particularly well-known for producing organic chocolate, often with spectacular results, (e.g. Domori’s old Chacao, or more recently Sainsbury’s Organic 70%), but with the occasional spectacular failure (e.g. Dagoba Conacado). It’s a bit of mystery, then, why Theo hasn’t brought out a Dominican earlier, this being one of the most obvious possible sources, but whatever may be, here it is now. Given the incredible differences in end product possible this chocolate thus comes with its own unknowns: how will Theo interpret it? Also, to date this is probably the highest-percentage Dominican, thus it should be interesting to see how it fares in an extra-bittersweet. Theo gives a lot of reasons to try this bar.


Alex Rast: 13-Mar-2011

Posted: March 13, 2011 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 10%
Look/snap: 5%
Taste: 35%
Melt: 5%
Length: 15%
Opinion: 30%
Total/100: 100%
Best before:
Batch num:
Supplied by:

Not a bad effort from Theo, and certainly no worse than many other extra-bittersweets, but in honesty, not a great deal better than many either. This one, in fact, has more of the feel of a blended chocolate than a varietal, being of a somewhat neutral flavour fairly typical of what one finds in such percentages. Of course, the Domican Republic is a broad origin, so it’s probable that Theo’s getting a blend of beans to begin with, but there is a bit of a sensation that with more well-matched processing the result might have been better. This, however, should not detract too much from what is ultimately a fairly fine high-percentage chocolate, and as the first such from the Dominican Republic, has its own interest to commend it.

Theo’s awe-inspiring appearance out of the wrapper is unmistakeable – slab-like and with basically ideal finish and temper. It’s dark, but not unbearably so, having hints of reddish that suggest more the ferocity of a dark roast than the harshness of bad beans. Indeed, the aroma is likewise very dark, with hints of woody, brown sugar, and coffee, but there is an interesting foreground play between a cherry fruitiness and a soft earthiness that leads one to expect a bit more than, perhaps, a really “black” flavour.

This impression remains true, but to an extent only just. Initially there is something of a non-descript fruitiness that can’t be said to match the conspicuous cherry in the aroma but can’t be identified clearly with anything else. This frustrating ambiguity continues with a hint of cardboard that moves towards earthy and coffee, all implying a very muddy end. But the finish lifts up a bit with acidic hints of vinegar and equally distinct molasses, preventing the bar from sinking into the depths. Acceptable but a bit bland.

The melt is rather on the dry side, although reasonably smooth, sort of again, acceptable but not out of the ordinary. It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that Theo has gone with a standard processing profile for a high-percentage chocolate. Somehow the industry as a whole seems to have fallen into a mistaken understanding of extra-bittersweet, generally (and inexplicably) preferring this sort of very dark interpretation, one that does at most partial justice to the beans. Theo seems to have interesting cocoa to work with here, but it’s so hard to tell, and while there’s enough here to maintain some attention, on the whole this chocolate seems as though it would benefit from more adventurous treatment.

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