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Candy Review: Cocoa Puro Kakawa Chocolate Covered Cocoa Beans

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy

Cocoa Puro Kakawa Chocolate-Covered Cocoa Beans

I wrote about these a while back and proclaimed them amazing-looking but seriously expensive ($37 shipped for 12 oz). Afterwards, I ended up having a conversation via email with Mr. Pedersen who (I assume) is the owner of the company. He had this to say:

It’s made from the top 5% cocoa beans in the world, criollo/trinitario, and chocolates made from those fine flavor cocoa beans. That’s why the price isn’t cheap. It’s made from the best. It also takes considerable work, sorting and coating by hand. I only say this because the comments I read last night seemed to be concerned about price. It’s justified. Just go to and compare with those chocolates that use the whole criollo/trinitario bean. Oh, that’s right, there are none. But there are chocolates made from them and they aren’t cheap.

After some emails back and forth he agreed to send me a review sample so I could try it for myself. A few days later I received a 2 oz. sample pack that was packed with a cold pack. He told me all orders are shipped with a cold pack if shipped in the warmer months. Nice touch.

They are about the size of a Brazil nut and they are coated with dark, milk, and white chocolate and dusted with velvety cocoa powder. The chocolate tastes good, but I couldn’t really distinguish the differnet layers.

The cocoa bean inside was crunchy, almost woody, with a nutty, chocolatey taste. They had a slightly different taste to them – my wife described it as “earthy”. Some of them seemed gritty like the bean was dirty or something (I’m sure that’s not what it was, but that’s what it seemed like) which was a bit disconcerting.

Overall they are good, bordering on very good, but not great. I think part of the problem is that they were over-hyped – I was expecting “phenomenal” but only got good. I think that for the price, they should be phenomenal.

Cocoa Puro Kakawa Chocolate-Covered Cocoa Beans

UPDATE: After reading this review, Mr. Pederson (the owner) said this (my comments/responses are inline):

I read with interest your review of our chocolates. I would like to reply to some of your observations.

It would be impossible to discern the many different flavors offered by each layer of chocolate, because of the close proximity of one to the other. One could let them melt and taste one flavor after another, something I’ve enjoyed doing, but it won’t offer the distinct flavor of each chocolate, rather a melding of one to the other. To crunch them up in one bite, is to enjoy five flavors of chocolate in one bite.

Your wife’s observation that the beans are earthy is correct in some regards. They are pure, whole and intense, direct from the cacao plantations, with each bean offering a different flavor. If we wanted the same flavor in every bite we’d be emulating Mars or Hershey. That’s impossible, for may reasons. What makes us different is we concentrate on strong flavor and differentiation. Each bean offers a unique experience.

The grittiness you mentioned comes from a tiny stem inside the bean, which sometimes is harder than the surrounding bean. I assure you, it’s not dirt. It’s merely an extra crunch that’s surprising for some, especially those who’ve not had a whole cocoa bean, which includes most of the population.

Ah – that’s good to know. I knew it couldn’t be dirt but had no idea what it was.

I understand Kakawa Cocoa Beans are not for everyone. That’s okay. They’re for people who like strong flavor and texture in their foods, along with pure whole ingredients. I was surprised, in fact, that yours being a candy site you’d want to write about our chocolates. This is not candy. It’s chocolate.

Chocolate counts as candy here at Candy Addict. :)

I don’t remember all I may have told you but I don’t believe the chocolates were over-hyped. Perhaps I mentioned Saveur magazine chose them for their top 100 things from around the world; fact, not hype. Or I mentioned that we use only the best cocoa beans in the world and chocolates made from them; fact, not hype. Or that other chocolates made from the rare
criollo/trinitario cocoa beans are expensive; fact, not hype. And that they offered unique and exquisite flavor combination; fact, not hype.

Maybe hype was the wrong word – you had talked them up so much (hyped them up) that I expected them to be mind-blowingly good and they were good, just not mind-blowingly.

They are made from the best cocoa beans in the world and chocolates made from those same fine-flavor beans. For some people, they are phenomenal, for a few they aren’t. Fair enough. This isn’t a mass market chocolate. You’ll never see it in the check out line at a Winn Dixie.

It’s expensive, true, due to the high quality ingredients, but also a good portion of that is due to the cost of shipping and packaging high quality chocolates.

Thanks again to Mr. Pedersen for allowing me to review his product and for taking the time to write up so much information for the Candy Addict readers. Just for the record, I never said they were bad, I said they were “good … bordering on very good, but not great”.

candy, sweets, chocolate, cocoa, cacao, beans, bean, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, gourmet

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6 Responses to “Candy Review: Cocoa Puro Kakawa Chocolate Covered Cocoa Beans”

  1. 1
    Alp says:

    I’ve actually had this chocolate!
    It’s REALLY good and totally worth the price. I think it’s a good mix of crunch and smooth, and also the dark, milk, and white chocolates seem to mix together and form a whole new chocolate. It’s fair that some people have different tastes than others, but this chocolate is meant for more adventurous people.

  2. 2
    Dom says:

    They sound delicious, but look slightly disturbing when you cut them in half like that!

  3. 3
    Amber says:

    Yes, when you cut them in half, it looks like the beans have teeth! Oh my!

  4. 4
    bitchkittie says:

    Ha! I love it when you see a PR person (or in this case a company VP) try to work over a blogger.

  5. 5
    SB says:

    Hey Out There,

    You guys seem to be very knowledgable about cocoa beans, so I’ve got a question I’m hoping you can answer: today I bought a bag of organic chocolate nibs from a local Whole Foods market, and when I opened up the bag, I was hit with an INTENSE whiff of alcohol. Then, when I bit into a few nibs, my mouth and nose was literally FILLED with the strong flavor and odor of alcohol. Yes, I tasted the earthiness, nuttiness, and interesting bitterness of the nibs, but also an overwhelming taste of alcohol. Is this normal, or did I most likely get a bad batch?


  6. 6
    Chocolicious says:

    SB: Alcohol is made from something fermenting, or basically going sour. It sounds to me like you got a bad batch! I would give the chocolates another try, and then base my opinion off that. Check for an expiration date; maybe they had expired.

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