I’m so grateful for social media! Even though apps such as Instagram can be a large distraction from the reality of life, it’s served as my sole tool for networking with fellow chocoholics and chocolate makers. Richard and Tiffany, the makers behind NOLA Cacao, reached out to me through Instagram and generously offered to send me some of their bars. They’re an up and coming company now based out of Denver, Colorado.

Tiffany is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, and their kids were raised just north of New Orleans (also called NOLA). The Brown Pelican on the packaging pays homage to their home state. The family wanted to look for cleaner food and understand where their food came from. This quest introduced them to chocolate making, which led them to creating NOLA. For the time being their bars are primarily created using cacao sourced from Guatemala, but they have experimented with beans from Dominican Republic, Belize and Bolivia. The only two ingredients used to create NOLA bars are Guatemalan cacao and organic coconut sugar.

NOLA is a family business not only due to the Tiffany and Richard heavily involved in the chocolate making process, but their three kids have some understanding on roasting and grinding beans. Since all of their kids are still relatively young, they may become more involved in the business as they grow older. It’s not uncommon for couples to start a chocolate making business, but if the kids also help out, that’s special and promises that the business can continue to grow for many years to come. For more information about NOLA Cacao, you can refer to their About Us section on their website.

When I first received the bars, I appreciated the simple packaging. Though the three bars are different colors, they are the exact same chocolate being Guatemala 78%. While several chocolate makers have changed their packaging from being simple to very colorful, I like the minimalistic look. Transparent information about the cacao used in the chocolate is available and there’s no muss or fuss. The chocolate mold is simple and pleasing to look at. The chocolate itself smelled fruity, earthy and citrusy. Once it started melting, the chocolate tasted earthy and citrusy with some astringency. It reminded me of the Madagascar Francois Pralus bar I’ve had in the past. The melt and texture was even and very smooth. In the aftertaste I experienced nuttiness like toasted walnut. I took a second bite several hours later and this time the chocolate tasted very nutty with some astringency and brightness.

This chocolate reminded me of several drinking chocolates I had recently tried that also tasted nutty and had some astringency. If you wish to try these bars for yourself, they can be ordered online through Nola Cacao’s website here. And if you want to gift them for family and friends now that the holidays are coming up, a 3-bar pack is available!

Before closing, I’m also giving a quick update. Not long ago I shared that I was working for a chocolate maker so I could gain hands-on experience with the chocolate making process. I decided to leave that position a couple of months ago for a completely different career path and who knows, I may return to science and working in the lab someday. While I loved my team, the company and working in chocolate is in general amazing, it didn’t fit into my husband’s and my future plans. I’ll fondly recall my times walking into the factory and being surrounded by the lovely scent of freshly winnowed nibs and tempered chocolate.

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay for reviewing any products. 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.