TO’AK CHOCOLATE | The Most Valuable Chocolate in The World

With a price tag of around $360 a bar, To’ak Chocolate can easily be described as the most expensive chocolate in the world, however, that’s not how co-founders Carl Schweizer and Jerry Toth would like their exclusive chocolate to be described. Their preference is that people think of it as the most valuable chocolate in the world.

To’ak was born from an Ecuadorian rainforest conservation project that Jerry Toth started in 2007, which resulted in the production of extremely small editions of single-origin Ecuadorian dark chocolate from the oldest and rarest variety of cacao on earth. The mission was to make chocolate beyond the perception of the typical candy and elevate it onto the level of vintage wine or aged whiskey.  It is this process that makes the production pricey.

To’ak Chocolate is best enjoyed by letting small bites melt in your mouth rather than chewing, taking note of the texture, which can be smooth and silky or a bit granular. Then taste how the flavor evolves. According to the makers of To’ak Chocolate, a complex chocolate will unfold like a short movie inside your mouth with a cast of different characters and a developing plot line.

 In addition to its variety of fine dark chocolate bars, beautifully presented in high-quality wooden gift boxes, To’ak also offers a line of high-quality drinking chocolate and pure cacao under the brand name T.cacao. By adding either milk, cream, alt-dairy plant milk or water, a delectable hot chocolate emerges to satisfy your guilty pleasure. You will enjoy this luscious chocolate drink, even more, knowing that the purchase of T.cacao helps to fund To’ak’s conservation project protecting Ecuador’s precious Heirloom Nacional cacao trees from extinction, and with that, supporting rainforest conservation in the region.

Going back in history, chocolate was considered sacred. It was a delicacy reserved for priests, warriors and royalty, and in some cultures, it was even used as currency. Today, like so many other products we consume, the value of chocolate was reduced by mass-production. In order to change the concept of chocolate as candy, the To’ak founders knew they would have to introduce an entirely new conception of chocolate along the lines of making chocolate the way a winemaker makes wine and the way an artist produces art.

Tracking down the oldest and rarest variety of cacao on earth, which was believed to be extinct as recently as 2009, they ultimately found it in the valley of Piedra de Plata. The old-growth cacao trees growing in this valley were later verified by DNA analysis to be 100% pure Nacional cacao—one of the key moments in the history of this project.

To’ak Chocolate is something utterly unique, something that transcends merely being a “product” but rather develops into an experience, the founders describe,  and this while living in a beautiful place, working with people they enjoy spending time with, doing what they love to do. That’s the real story behind To’ak and the evolution of the chocolate industry today.
Photography Courtesy To’ak Chocolate