I love swapping bars with chocoholic friends and not even knowing what to expect in the mail! These came from Max, who is known as @damecacao on Instagram. I had seen from her pictures that she had been traveling in Japan and Korea and while there she generously picked up a couple of bars for me to try.

Minimal I had heard of as being a Japanese-based maker. According to Max’s note to me, their chocolate is made “minimally stone ground” in Tokyo. Minimal’s website with the help of Google Translate says that the first bars by Minimal had a “far more rough and more primitive finish” than the current bars. The translation seemed a bit choppy, but Minimal delves deeply into what it means to them to make chocolate, especially from a culturally Japanese perspective that I find deep and contemplative. You can read it for yourself here if you are interested. The scent of the bar was very fruity, almost like mangos. The flavor was also very fruity like a mixture of mango and subtle coconut. The texture was definitely grittier and made me think of Taza chocolate. It’s different and kind of refreshing to experience the rougher texture of this bar paired with fruitiness. I liked it a lot!

The Chocodongi bar is from Suwon, South Korea. Unfortunately Google was unable to translate their website and I couldn’t find any articles about them, so I couldn’t get much information about them. The scent was like un-popped corn kernels. Tasting it resulted in immediate acidity and strong earthy notes. I can’t say I was a huge fan since I don’t gravitate toward acidic and earthy bars, but it was good to experience.

Pipiltin Cocoa’s website says the company was started by two sibling who love eating chocolate and their bars are made using beans from Indonesia. Their goal is to source cocoa beans to make their bars from all parts of Indonesia. I think it’s unique that they show not only drawings of each step in the chocolate making process, but they include the specific temperatures they use for tempering their chocolate. The front of the packaging lists the tasting notes as raisin and bright acidity. The chocolate had a roasted scent. I actually didn’t experience bright acidity, but something like a deep toasted bread flavor with very subtle fruitiness.

I enjoyed being able to finally try a Minimal bar and to try two other makers I had never heard of before! The Minimal bar was my favorite out of the three for it it’s texture and delightful fruity flavor. Thank you again, Max, for sharing these bars with me! Follow her on Instagram for more of her travels and chocolate adventures!

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Though at the time of writing this post I am working in the chocolate industry, my work in the chocolate industry has no affect on my personal thoughts and experiences with the chocolate products shared on Time To Eat Chocolate. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.