#WorldChocolateDay: Artisanal chocolate brands for an indulgent treat

Treat yourself with these gourmet bean-to-bar creations.

Harper's Bazaar India

You never really need an excuse to indulge in some decadent chocolate. But if you were looking for one, World Chocolate Day would be a great one. Now chocolate in all shapes and forms has an undeniable appeal, but the recent surge in artisanal chocolate brands has us convinced that this niche category deserves a special mention. And rightfully so. Artisanal and craft chocolate brands focus on bean-to-bar creations that focus on the origin—the cacao beans. Capturing the intense, natural flavour of the cacao beans and infusing it with exceptional ingredients and flavours, helps give it that sophisticated flavour profile that spells out the artisanal characteristic of these craft chocolates. 

This chocolate day, we're spotlighting some of the finest craft and artisanal chocolate brands in India that deserve a place among your confectionary. Enjoy! 

Ether - Mumbai

Ether is a brand that echoes luxury chocolate, right from the packaging to the flavour. Interestingly, the chef behind the brand, Prateek Bakhtiani, started out as a Biochemistry major before mastering the culinary arts at several Michelin-starred restaurants around the globe. His background in chemistry certainly played a part in developing the chocolate at Ether. With a focus on artistic representation, Ether's chocolate tablets come without the traditional divisions and instead feature ripples that are certainly impressive to look at. As for the flavour, the brand only uses 100 per cent single-origin cacao from Peru, Indonesia, and Madagascar, which ensures a deliciously rich flavour profile. The blonde chocolate with raspberry and Japanese toasted rice is a must-try, if you ask us. 

Manam - Hyderabad

A celebrated bean-to-bar chocolate brand based in Hyderabad, Manam Chocolate is touted among the best craft chocolate brands in the country and with good reason. Their state-of-the-art Cacao Fermentery in Hyderabad and the 100+ farmers that they collaborate with in the West Godavari District can be credited for this. They use scientific methods and proprietary technology to unlock the best possible flavours from the cacao beans. Additionally, the brand continually experiments with ingredients and flavour profiles to create some truly distinctive variants like their Chai Biscuit Inclusion Tablet, made with masala chai and vanilla shortbread or Chocolate Lab Tablet No. 3 made with Chakkarakeli banana. 

Soklet - Tamil Nadu


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There's a reason Soklet stands out for its curations and it's not just because it is the first and only tree-to-bar chocolate maker in the country. The Tamil Nadu-based brand crafts its confections using cacao grown on its very own plantations in the Anamalai Hills. What's interesting though, is that Soklet uses the intercrop method, wherein the cacao trees are grown alongside other flora such as coconut, nutmeg, pepper, and banana, which gives the beans a distinctive flavour. Their single-origin creations include 80 to 100 per cent dark chocolate bars, gourmet cooking bars, and cacao nibs, among other offerings. 

La Folie - Mumbai

A Mumbai-based, bean-to-bar chocolate brand, La Folie needs no introduction. If you love artisanal bean-to-bar chocolate with unique experimental flavours, then you have to give La Folie a shot. The brand has a micro-factory in the city that produces small batches of chocolate, made from single-origin cacao from across the country. This way, each batch is handcrafted with utmost care, ensuring gourmet, quality creations, ranging from rich, guilt-free bars to artistic bonbons. Some of their bestsellers include bars like the Sea Salt Caramel, Green Mango, and Naga Chilli, Maple and Chunky Almond Butter, along with the Signature Ganaches and bonbons. 

Mason & Co - Pondicherry

The country's first-ever indie bean-to-bar brand, Mason & Co was the brainchild of lawyer and chocolatier, Jane Mason and Fabien Bontems. Based out of Pondicherry, the brand prides itself on organic, bean-to-bar chocolates that are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free with a focus on ethical sourcing and sustainable practices. They work closely with Indian farmers to ensure only the highest quality single-origin cacao beans to craft chocolates that are as good for the environment as they are for your palate. Be sure to give their Rosemary & Sea Salt, Chilli Cinnamon, and the 85% Intense dark chocolate a try! 

Naviluna - Mysore

Previously known as Earth Loaf, Nauvilana is an artisanal chocolate brand based in Mysore. The brand specialises in raw, artisanal chocolate and only uses Indian cacao beans, which is their attempt to showcase India's unique cacao terroir.  But that is not the only thing that makes them stand out. Believe us, this is a brand that really knows how to experiment with rich, complex flavours. For example, their Bambooshyam with bamboo shoots and lemongrass, the Três Bāḷe with banana and Darjeeling tea, or the Longum Pepper Lime & Orange chocolate bar. 

Pascati - Mumbai 

Calling all dark chocolate lovers, here is a brand that prides itself on some of the most delectable dark chocolate creations. Founded by Devansh Ashar, Pascati is the country's first USDA organic and Fairtrade certified chocolate brand. It is also renowned for its stringent quality standards and ethical sourcing of ingredients, which has put Pacati at the forefront of Indian artisanal chocolates. If you enjoy dark chocolate with a fruity twist, the Orange Cinnamon Hazelnut Dark and Raspberry Hibiscus are quite a creation. But if you prefer a more intense flavour palate, then the Espresso Arabica and Guava, Chilli & Sea Salt chocolate bars are for you! 

All Things - Jaipur

All Things in Jaipur can be best described as a feast for both, your palate and your eyes. Their chocolates are made from directly traded cacao and paired with locally sourced ingredients to ensure ethical and sustainable production. But the most interesting part is that their vibrant packaging, like the chocolate, draws inspiration from different themes—cities, flowers, colours, moods, you name it—to create distinct nostalgic flavours. Each batch created tells a story, reflecting personal travels, childhood memories, and more. ​Our suggestions? All Things Breakfast with dark chocolate, coffee and biscotti, All Things Jaipur with rose and pistachio, and All Things Barcelona with dark chocolate and sangria.

Bon Fiction - Rajamahendravaram

Marrying local cacao with cutting-edge technology is how this Andhra-based chocolate brand came to be. With a focus on sustainable sourcing and innovative flavours, founders Akhil and Prathina Grandhi desired to create a chocolate brand that highlighted India’s agricultural abundance. The duo uses organic cacao beans grown along the Godavari River to create international-grade chocolate that appeals to Indian palates. Their medley of flavours includes favourites like Alphonso mango and chilli, blue pea tea and blueberries, orange and cinnamon, and peppermint and dark chocolate to name a few. 

Lead image credit: Bon Fiction, Manam, La Folie 

Also read: Here’s where you can satiate your hot chocolate cravings in Mumbai

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