Among Steven’s many excellent qualities is one that makes birthdays and holidays extra fun: He is a terrific gift-giver. He’s the type of person who keeps a running list all year long, adding ideas gleaned from offhand comments or the merest suggestion. His gifts are always thoughtful and frequently generous. For my 25th birthday — a year in which I’d come up with a list of 25 goals to accomplish — he made what was essentially a birthday advent calendar, with one box for each goal. Once I accomplished the goal, I’d open the box to find a trinket to commemorate my success: a sachet of saffron for a cooking-related goal, that sort of thing. For my 30th, he gave me a generous gift certificate to a local photography school so that I could take classes, a nod to my desire to improve my photography and to my desire to focus more on experiences than physical things. Steven derives genuine joy in giving the perfect gift, without expecting the recipient to reciprocate with something equally perfect. (Although I was pretty proud this Christmas when I got him a handmade Slytherin robe, which seemed to delight and surprise him.)
All this is to say that even my stocking is a thrill to open come Christmas morning. This year, along with some other lovely stocking stuffers, Steven included three chocolate bars from Raaka, an ethical chocolatier that produces some truly wonderful vegan chocolate bars. The gift ticked all the boxes for me, a lover of high-quality dark chocolate who tries to support small companies that incorporate transparent, ethical practices in their supply chain. I hadn’t heard of the brand before I received Steven’s gift, but I was glad to learn about them.
Raaka differentiates itself from other chocolatiers by focusing on single-origin unroasted beans and by being truly transparent about their processes. I received three bars, which came packaged in a nice little muslin bag I’ll happily use to stash toiletries during my travels. Here are the bars I tried. Spoiler: I love them all.
Bourbon Cask Aged
Raaka describes this bar as their “tuxedoed sophisticate,” and they’re not wrong. The company barrel-ages their single-origin cacao in bourbon casks, imbuing the chocolate with a deep, rich, complex flavor. Would I have described this chocolate as bourbon-infused had I not read the label? Probably not. Is it still delicious? Yes, it is.
Pink Sea Salt
I am fully here for the trend of sprinkling salt atop an otherwise sweet chocolate! This bar fulfills all my salty-sweet dreams, with a grains of sharp pink salt liberally dashed onto a 71% cacao bar of chocolate. It’s utterly delightful.
This is easily the best vegan chocolate I’ve had in a long, long time. It hits a perfect balance between milk and dark chocolate, melting on the tongue like a milk but with the complex flavors of a dark, and very little actual coconut flavor. It’s light and smooth, a creamy delight that goes down easy. I’m exercising restraint and making this bar last as long as I can!
If you can’t tell, I’m officially a Raaka convert. This is quality chocolate prepared with love and respect. I’m not sure that I’d identify it as unroasted if I didn’t know it in advance, but whatever they’re doing, they’re doing right. Plus, the labels are pleasing to look at and the price is comparable with other artisanal chocolate bars (which is admittedly steep). It’s chocolate to be savored, eaten slowly a square at a time. My kind of chocolate.
Raaka has quite a few other flavors, and I’m looking forward to trying them. I love the idea of the cab sauv bar, and they just introduced an oat milk bar (!?!) that sounds really interesting.
Let me know your favorite ethical vegan chocolate brands… if only to give Steven ideas for my March birthday! :D
5 thoughts on “Raaka Unroasted Vegan Chocolate Review”
I always see these chocolates at Whole Foods and I want to try them, but never do. They are so expensive! I would like to spend whatever I feel like on chocolate, but not at this time in my life lol. But the bourbon one stands out the most! I tried a small mini square that they sell $1 and it was pretty amazing.
Yeah, that’s fair! I think they’re priced competitively for this type of worker-friendly, vegan bar, but still… $6 a pop ain’t cheap. I was just glad Steven gave them to me so I didn’t have to splash out! :D
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They are SLIGHTLY cheaper than Vosges, and they aren’t even on the FEP Chocolate recommendation list. I never see them for cheaper than $8
Huh, they do show up as recommended on my FEP app. Re: the price, yeah, I guess I haven’t actually seen them in stores… $8 is more than I’d shell out regularly for sure. I hadn’t heard of the brand till this Christmas!
(WordPress doesn’t let me reply to your reply, grr.)
lol it happens. I am finding Vosges on their “Cannot recommend: companies that would not disclose (no transparency for customers)” I meant that Vosges isn’t on the list, but are more expensive, not that Raaka wasn’t on the list.
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