Taste lots of cacao! Several authors have written about the practice of tasting. See our book list for texts that offer tips on how to explore.
Visit a local cacao producer, research center, or university and learn from them. Many offer tours or classes; some are even available for consulting or apprenticeship opportunities. See our list of links to locate one near you.
Shop online or at a local chocolate shop.
The Academy of Chocolate, Good Food Awards, and International Chocolate Awards all provide starting points for exploring fine chocolate. Each awards program has different criteria and judging protocols if you want to get geeky and explore the variety. Judge the products for yourself by tasting through a sampling of the finalists or winners. Beyond this, the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund certifies growers of high quality, flavor cacao, and companies working with this cacao produce bars that can be located for purchasing here.
A World Cocoa Farmers Organization meeting
A Fine Chocolate Industry Association meeting
The Chocolate Makers Unconference and Northwest Chocolate Festival
Any of the variety of salons held in-country. See our events calendar to locate one near you.
Chocolate Alchemy, The Chocolate Life, and the Well Tempered Facebook group all provide online forums for discussion and are frequented by cacao producers.
Consider attending FCCI’s 3-day Cacao Grader Intensive course.
Every fine chocolate lover needs
to read at least two books:
The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural
by Maricel Presilla
by Sophie D. Coe
and Michael D. Coe
by G.A.R. Wood
and R. A. Lass