World’s most rare dark chocolate puts special emphasis on terroir

To’ak’s Rain Harvest 2014 edition.

This bucket list-worthy experience deserves to be enjoyed in its own room with reverence and ritual. There probably should even be a certain gown worn while mindfully sampling every sensory element—aroma, texture, flavor, and finish. We are speaking about To’ak Chocolate’s 574 bars of what may well be the world’s most rare and sublime dark chocolate, now available for the first time. Each 50 gram chocolate bar chocolate made up of only two ingredients (cacao mass and cane sugar, both of which are organically grown) is priced at $260.

The sharply limited edition of dark chocolate is made with the care of a vintage winemaker and the precision of a premium small-batch whiskey.

To’ak is working to transform the way chocolate is experienced, with special emphasis on terroir and fidelity to the Ecuadorian land on which it was grown. The packaging and presentation attempts to simulate the visceral and tactile experience of the harvest process. Only 574 bars were produced in 2014, with each bar packaged in a hand-crafted Spanish Elm wood box—the same wood used to ferment To’ak’s cacao. The number of each bar is engraved on the back on the wood box, giving new meaning to the term “small batch.”

Each bar is also accompanied by a 116-page booklet that tells the story behind the sourcing of the beans and provides a guide to dark chocolate tasting and pairing. The box even includes a hand-made tasting utensil used to explore the aroma of the chocolate without sullying its surface by contact with fingers. To’ak co-founders are also passionate advocates of pairing their chocolate with aged cognacs and select whiskeys whose flavor profile beautifully highlights the chocolate’s finer nuances.

The name To’ak is derived from a fusion of Ecuadorian dialects, meaning “earth” and “tree.” To’ak’s cacao beans are sourced from the last relics of one of history’s most cherished heirloom cacao varieties, from the famed Arriba growing region in coastal Ecuador. To’ak chocolate makers pay homage to this privileged source of cacao by paying meticulous attention to detail at every single phase of production.