WHAT IS THE CHOCOLATE GARAGE?
The Chocolate Garage is both a place and an idea.
The place is a garage in downtown Palo Alto that has been converted into an intimate tasting room brimming with the best bean-to-bar creations we can find.
The idea is to disrupt the chocolate-industrial food complex by introducing people to the marvelous flavors of pure chocolate that has been properly fermented, roasted, and tempered.
Did you know that dark chocolate is not supposed to taste bitter? Neither did we until we discovered makers who work directly with growers to ensure that their cacao, the source of chocolate, is properly harvested and fermented.
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WHEN IS THE CHOCOLATE GARAGE OPEN?
The Chocolate Garage is Saturday mornings, 8am to 1pm, and Wednesday evenings 5pm-9pm. In addition to these times, we are open by appointment or as noted on our Twitter feed.
CAN I BUY CHOCOLATE AT THE GARAGE
Yes, our limited selection is carefully curated by Sunita de Tourreil and carries bars from top makers around the world. We encourage people to taste before buying to ensure they are making choices based on flavor and not on packaging. Our selection includes outstanding microbatch bars from Rogue, Patric, Madre, Pacari, Dick Taylor, Momotombo, Grenada and other makers.
DO YOU MAKE CHOCOLATE
No. We source bars directly from chocolate makers around the world. These folks are true artists, craftsmen and craftswomen working hard to produce outstanding quality. We believe they deserve a voice and a showroom in a world dominated by industrial producers that care only about high volume and low costs. We partner with several of these top makers to help them create small batches of exceptional bars that would otherwise not be possible.
Did you know that fermentation of the cacao beans should start on the same day the pods are harvested? The prices for commodity cacao, the stuff in 99% of what people eat today, are so low that farmers have very little incentive to invest the effort necessary to properly harvest, ferment, and dry the cacao. The resulting beans (seeds) have so many off-notes and unpleasant flavors that the big chocolate producers cover up the chocolate with plenty of sugar and other additives.
WHAT IS A CHOCOLATE TASTING EVENT?
The classic tasting usually lasts at least 90 minutes and includes a blind tasting of at least 8 chocolates. The tasting begins after an engaging discussion around cacao and chocolate. The job of each taster is to choose his/her favorite bar and to take it home with him/her as part of the tasting. If you are interested in booking a tasting party, visit our tasting events page.
WHAT IS FUTURE CHOCOLATE?
Future Chocolate is credit that you buy to gift or spend at The Chocolate Garage. In return, you receive reduced prices on all our bars, first access to new releases, priority booking for tasting parties, and other benefits.
Future Chocolate is also a key element of our work with makers and growers to ensure that fine chocolate has a future. Your purchases and feedback help us bring in more microbatches and increase the selection and availability of high quality chocolate. Most recently, we have launched the Happy Chocolate Project thanks primarily to people who have committed to the Future (of) Chocolate.
WHAT IS HAPPY CHOCOLATE
Happy Chocolate is chocolate with outstanding flavor that has a positive impact on communities and the environment. Our vision is that by partnering with chocolate makers to create exceptionally high quality bars, we will eventually be able to create more opportunities for cacao farmers to produce high quality cacao and reward better stewardship of the rainforest. We want cacao farming to mean caring about quality and sustainable growing practicises with the ability to earn a respectable living for farmers, their families, and communities.
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