A homegrown dark chocolate trend is heating up in Thailand, which spells the perfect time for chocoholics to indulge their cacao cravings
Rice remains Thailand’s most important agricultural commodity, but the country’s geography and climate are great for other crops as well, including the cacao tree, which yields the magic beans that make chocolate. Each chocolate-producing region has its own distinct flavor notes, and local artisan chocolatiers are only too happy to share these “dark” secrets.
Thai chocolate comes in the form of four creative cocktails at this very hip little Chinatown bar. The tasting flight of all four is THB1,300 (about P2,175), or you can order each one individually. All are exquisitely crafted works of alcoholic art that incorporate varying degrees of Thai chocolate. If you want to skip to the most chocolatey of the bunch, choose the poetically named Cocoa, Do You Love Me?, which combines chocolate-infused bourbon, Green Chartreuse and ginger beer. 35 Maitri Chit Rd; fb.com/asiatodaybar
Kad Kokoa Cafe
Situated on a leafy side street, this recently opened bean-to-bar café and shop offers an immersive and informative chocolate experience. In the main room, a wall-mounted menu lists specialty coffees and chocolate drinks — hot or iced — while at the counter, you can choose from a selection of individual chocolate bonbons and decadent desserts. But don’t miss visiting the free chocolate tasting room, where you can sample tiny chunks of delicious dark matter, sourced from various farms across Thailand. Soi Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra 17; fb.com/kadkokoathailand
Paradai Crafted Chocolate & Cafe
Open for just half a year, this cozy café is a chocolate oasis in the heart of the old city. The drinks menu offers slow-brew and espresso coffees, teas and, of course, the signature hot or iced chocolate, served with fresh-cut chocolate shavings. There’s also a selection of handcrafted sweets — they’re flavored with Thai and imported ingredients (the citrus and honey orange cream cheese is heavenly!). Meanwhile, their award-winning, single-origin chocolate bars are available in both milk and dark chocolate — 58% and 75% cacao, respectively. 197–199 Thanon Tanao; fb.com/paradaichocolate
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One-stop choc shop
Many Thai chocolate producers only distribute via online channels, but for shopping in the real world, head to Another Story, a gift shop on the fourth floor of EmQuartier mall (Phrom Phong BTS station). The store has a chocolate counter, where you can get the Thai-herb-and-spice-infused Badass Bar from Xoconat, the 60 Plus bar from MarkRin Chocolate and most Kad Kokoa products. fb.com/anotherstoryofficial
This article first appeared in the March 2019 issue of Smile magazine.