Get Inspired

By Kiri Tannenbaum

Skip the Beach to Make Chocolate from Bean-to-Bar

This week-long trip to the Dominican Republic is an experience that can only be had with the folks of Dandelion Chocolate.

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco’s once small craft chocolate shop turned big craft chocolate shop, has been carefully sourcing cacao beans since 2010. Today the ​30,000 chocolate bars they produce each month in their Mission District factory are made from sugar exclusively from Brazil and beans sourced from Belize, Ecuador, Venezuela, Madagascar, Tanzania, and the Dominican Republic.

Join them on their next chocolate voyage back to the Dominican Republic.

Not that you need too many reasons to travel to a tropical location to make chocolate from bean-to-bar, but one thing to keep in mind: this experience can only be had with access.

On this pro-led trip guests experience the day-to-day life and, as Cynthia Jonasson explains, truly learn how things work in that part of the world. “Bringing our customers to origin not only creates a more intimate experience for them to understand their food, but also lets them learn so many details that you pick up on just by being there.”

Courtesy Dandelion Chocolate

What to Expect:

While in the DR chocolate adventurers will see, taste, touch, and smell a working cacao fermentary. “This is always one of the most exciting things as it is nothing like anything they’ve typically seen before,” says Jonasson.  In addition to this behind-the-scenes glimpse, you can check off your bucket list jumping off cliffs into glistening blue water; tasting fresh cacao and learning the traditional ways to make chocolate. Depending on the timing, guests may also have the opportunity to harvest the cacao.

Courtesy Dandelion Chocolate

The Basics:

The trip central base is on the north coast in the beach town of Cabarete with one night at Reserva Zorzal, a 1,000+ acre cacao farm and bird sanctuary. Cabarete is the wind surfing capital of the world and there are plenty of outdoor activities such as swimming, horseback riding, and caving in the vicinity. All accommodations in Cabarete are within 250 feet to the beach, shared pool, garden view, balcony or patio, AC, and wifi.

Cost: Prices include accommodations, food (excluding alcohol), ground transportation, and scheduled group activities.

$2,700 per person based on single occupancy
$2,400 per person based on double occupancy
$2,100 per person for triple/quadruple/shared housing based on double occupancy

Dates: May 27-June 2, 2017  SOLD OUT!! EMAIL FOR 2018 DATES: trips@dandelionchocolate.com
Length: 7 days/6 Nights (Saturday – Friday)
Group Size: Limited to 12 guests
Accommodations: Keeping in mind that cacao farms tend not to be in the heart of tourist destinations there aren’t always luxury hotels available, this hotel is clean, cute and upscale rustic.
Meals: All meals are locally sourced and can accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions.

What you gain on this trip is deep chocolate knowledge and deep friendships with like-minded travelers who too see the world through food.

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