Why To'ak Chocolate Is So Expensive

The most expensive chocolate in the world deserves your attention

There's a time and a place for checkout-aisle candy, but when you want to get lost in a dreamlike state of cocoa (or are looking for a winning gift), To'ak's luxurious bars are worth their steep $260 starting price of admission.

The chocolate's ingredient list includes only two items—cacao and sugar—proving how important it is that each of these is of the utmost quality, and how the way the bars are made justifies commanding such a premium. Founder Jerry Toth uses strictly Nacional cacao, a rare variety that was believed to be extinct until it was recently rediscovered. Once the precious beans are harvested, they go through a small-batch drying and fermenting process before being handpicked based off their size and ripeness.

It's not just the choosy selection that sets To'ak apart though. The company treats chocolate making the same way winemakers or distillers approach their spirits. It's also why no two batches are the same, with each production affected by the year's growing conditions. The 2016 El Niño harvest was made during one of Ecuador's most challenging growing seasons in history—including nonstop rain and a severe drought followed by a destructive earthquake. The result is an exceptionally small yield of intense chocolate especially rich in citrus and floral aromas—the by-product of the trees dedicating all their energy to growing as few as a single cacao pod that year.

Meanwhile, other To'ak bars go through an additional aging process, like being matured in Laphroaig Scotch whisky barrels for up to two years. The end product is aromatic chocolate with a smoky whisper, perfect for pairing with your prized liquor collection.