World's Best Chocolate: Our Guide to The International Chocolate Awards Winners

World's Best Chocolate
Dmytro Minkov

 

Like you, we wouldn't rely on baseless assertions. That's why we place our trust in the International Chocolate Awards, often referred to as the "Chocolate Oscar." This esteemed accolade aids us in discovering and delivering the most exceptional fine chocolate crafted worldwide from the finest cacao. Established in 2012, the International Chocolate Awards, overseen by IICCT (International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting) in collaboration with a consortium of seasoned international partners, boasts a panel of independent experts with extensive expertise in chocolate tasting and evaluation, as well as organizing refined chocolate-centric events. The judging panel includes sensory specialists and members of the IICCT Alumni. Competitions take place in an expanding array of countries and regions globally, covering both bean-to-bar and craft chocolatier categories. The champions from regional competitions convene at the World Final, an event dedicated to honoring the finest submissions of the year. And being chocolate experts ourselves, we haven't been disappointed by the award-winners. Not even once.

So if you're a good food and chocolate lover and in search a truly unique gift for yourself of someone like you, you can start your journey with recent International Award Winners, like the world's best dark chocolate 2023 Kiteni, Peru 70% by the Norwegian Vigdis Rosenkilde or the world's best milk chocolate 2023 by the Canadian Chaleur B Chocolat. Our personal evaluations is 100% in line with International Chocolate Awards' food experts. Those chocolates excel in flavor, craftsmanship, and presentation. Their taste reflects sophistication and perhaps even a hint of greatness, making them perfect for treating yourself or someone else with respect.

For those with diverse preferences, we also provide a range of alternatives. From one of the world's best chocolate truffles & bombons to single-origin dark chocolate bars, and even a vegan, nut-free selection, there's something to satisfy every palate.

What chocolate is your personal favorite? Are you inclined towards organic, vegan, or dairy-free varieties? Perhaps you have a preference for American or European chocolate? Maybe you savor the deep, intense flavors of dark chocolate from Peru or Ecuador, with a significant emphasis on supporting cacao farms by the chocolate maker?

Certainly, none of the widely recognized mass-production brands have earned a spot on our list. We hold immense respect for the global founders of the brands within our collection, acknowledging their serious commitment to the values of "sustainability" and "quality." The journey of chocolate making is undeniably challenging, but when done right, it garners love and loyalty from people.

Our mission is to guide you through the labyrinth of both established and emerging chocolate brands, distinguishing the exceptional from the ordinary. We willingly undertake the challenge of sampling numerous mediocre and subpar chocolates so that you can experience only the finest. Anything we present to you is something we would gladly consume ourselves; we don't peddle sugar. Instead, we offer one of the healthiest treats available, crafted from pure and often rare and noble cacao.

To us, bean-to-bar and artisan chocolate is an art form, holding its place alongside other artisanal products such as coffee or wine.

Artisan and Bean-to-bar Chocolate Makers 

For enthusiasts of artisan and bean-to-bar craft chocolate, the question of our ultimate favorite remains elusive. Despite a decade immersed in the world of chocolate, we believed nothing could surprise us further. Yet, with each new sample from a talented chocolate maker, we are consistently astounded by the multitude of potential revelations that lie ahead. As you peruse the list of chocolates boasting the highest scores, we encourage you to keep an open mind. Consider this list not as a final destination, but as the starting point for your chocolate journey.

Find a maker that resonates with you and explore more of their creations. Not all of their remarkable offerings may make it to the International Chocolate Awards jury, and you might miss out on something truly unique and exciting. Rest assured, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive information. So, step into our world of fine chocolate from across the globe and welcome to the journey.

Ranking Chocolate Brands by Number of Awards Won in 2022-2023

Number of Awards Won in 2022-2023 - 31 Awards

1. Pacari Chocolate (Ecuador)

Pacari Chocolate distinguishes itself in sustainable and ethical chocolate production, driven by a clear mission to provide top-quality chocolate while maintaining rigorous standards for both taste and ethics. Their dedication to excellence is evident in every aspect of their chocolates, which boast a minimum cacao content of 60% and are crafted solely from organic certified ingredients, ensuring the well-being of both people and the planet throughout the cultivation process. What sets Pacari apart is their firm commitment to natural ingredients, avoiding dairy, gluten, refined sugars, nuts, soy, and notably, palm oil, thus promoting environmental preservation and the diverse ecosystems of Ecuadorian rainforests.

Pacari's journey began humbly, collaborating with a few families. Today, their initiative has grown to involve over 4,000 families engaged in organic farming. They source their cacao from indigenous Arriba Nacional plants, nurtured by small-scale organic cacao farmers in the Ecuadorian rainforest, rejecting monoculture plantations in favor of preserving rainforest biodiversity and preventing deforestation for monoculture cacao farms.

Notably, Pacari Chocolate is certified as a fair trade enterprise by the World Fair Trade Organization. This certification goes beyond simply purchasing Fairtrade cacao from certified cooperatives; it encompasses the company's entire practices and supply chain, demonstrating their unwavering dedication to advancing both the planet and its people.

Pacari Chocolate - Ecuador | Corporate Chocolate Gift
Number of Awards Won in 2022-2023 - 20 Awards

2. Feliu Chocolate (Mexico)

Víctor Feliu, the founder of Feliu Chocolate, is on a journey to explore the rich world of Mexican cocoa, focusing on its diverse varieties, origins, and aromatic nuances. The brand's ethos revolves around the thoughtful selection of cocoa beans sourced directly from local growers, primarily in the regions of Chiapas and Tabasco, which are then processed at their compact facility in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

Originally from Valencia, Spain, Víctor Feliu has been a perticipant in cocoa-related ventures across the Americas and Europe since 2014. Driven by a profound passion for chocolate and a vision to elevate its status, Feliu Chocolate was born. The aim was not only to feed a personal obsession but also to cultivate an appreciation for a product often overshadowed in public consciousness, while simultaneously honoring Mexico's historic reputation as a leading "chocolate country."

Feliu Chocolate's journey began humbly in the Santa Tere neighborhood of Guadalajara, where it occupied a modest room in an old apartment before blossoming into a small workshop nestled near the local market. Over time, the brand has thrived, establishing a dedicated space near Expo Guadalajara, assembling a committed team, and garnering a supportive community of customers and suppliers that extends far beyond the city limits. Today, it stands as an example of excellence in the world of chocolate, recognized among the finest globally.

Number of Awards Won in 2022-2023 - 12 Awards

3. Vigdis Rosenkilde (Norway)

Vigdis Rosenkilde, the founder and CEO of a distinguished chocolate brand, is deeply engaged in the creation of her exquisite chocolates. Produced in Peru, where she spends approximately three months each year, Rosenkilde actively participates in every stage influencing the flavor profile of her chocolate – from the cacao plantations to the chocolate factory.

In addition to her hands-on involvement in the production process, Rosenkilde extends her passion for chocolate to educational initiatives. Offering numerous chocolate classes, primarily focused on tastings, she believes in the significance of enlightening consumers about the intricacies of cacao and chocolate. The subject proves to be captivating, considering the widespread love for chocolate among the general populace, juxtaposed with a lack of awareness regarding its production. Rosenkilde finds it gratifying to serve as an educator, shedding light on the entire journey from bean to bar and addressing the ethical concerns within the industry.

Vigdis Rosenkilde Chocolate
Number of Awards Won in 2022-2023 - 11 Awards

4. Chaleur B Chocolate (Canada)

Chaleur B Chocolat, the artisanal chocolate maker, prides itself on its deep involvement in every step of the chocolate-making process, from sourcing the finest cocoa beans to crafting the ultimate chocolate bar. Since 2008, their unwavering passion has led them to meticulously select and import raw cocoa beans, initiating a thorough journey that includes roasting, crushing, winnowing, liquor creation, chocolate production, conching, and tempering to create exquisite "bean-to-bar" chocolate bars.

This intricate process demands abundant love, patience, and dedication, with the creation of each chocolate bar spanning up to seven working days. Yet, Chaleur B Chocolat goes beyond chocolate-making, venturing into the realms of pastries and confectionery.

With a team of exceptional pastry chefs, they aim to redefine indulgence and creativity. Continuously pushing the boundaries of chocolate craftsmanship, their exceptional creations, led by talents like Frédérike Bélair and Joëlle Hamelin, promise a divine journey of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.

Chaleur B Chocolat - Ucayali 72% | Number One Chocolate
Number of Awards Won in 2022-2023 - 10 Awards

5. Meybol Cacao (Germany)

Meybol Cacao, the artisan behind the delectable chocolates, extends a warm welcome to all visitors on their website. Originating from Peru, Meybol Antuantet Estendorfer-Moran's profound affinity for cocoa and dedication to environmental conservation form the cornerstone of her journey. Despite now calling Hamburg home with her family, her heart remains intertwined with both Peru and Germany, each representing the epitome of nature, community, and environmental stewardship.

The inception of Meybol Cacao stemmed from a fervent desire to enact positive change. Witnessing the plight of small-scale farmers, child labor, ecological crises, and habitat degradation in her homeland, Meybol felt compelled to address these pressing issues. Thus, Meybol Cacao emerged—a venture deeply rooted in her adoration for cocoa and the planet's well-being.

Their mission is crystal clear: to contribute to the preservation of Earth and the prosperity of its inhabitants. Motivated by the imperative to secure a brighter, safer tomorrow for future generations, Meybol Cacao strives for a world where life thrives in symbiosis with nature. This unwavering dedication to environmental stewardship permeates the essence of their chocolate, offering a delectable embodiment of the Earth's pure and untainted beauty.

Meybol Cacao | Hello Chocolate Shop
Number of Awards Won in 2022-2023 - 9 Awards

6. McGuire Chocolate (Canada)

McGuire Chocolate stands as a beacon of artisanal craftsmanship, dedicated to the meticulous transformation of cacao beans into sublime, uncomplicated, and premium chocolate.

Mark's introduction to cacao beans unfolded unexpectedly amidst his backpacking ventures in Central America. Delighting in the beans as a nourishing and convenient snack, he found himself captivated by the enigmatic journey from cacao to chocolate.

Fueled by boundless curiosity and fervor, Mark embarked on a series of experimental pursuits to craft chocolate during his travels. This involved roasting cacao beans over open flames, painstakingly peeling them by hand, and processing them through a manual meat grinder. Upon returning to Calgary, laden with cases brimming with cacao beans, Mark sought out a mentor in the intricate art of chocolate making.

In due course, Mark came to the realization that while the world of chocolate boasted numerous enthusiasts, only a select few were truly immersed in the meticulous process of fashioning chocolate from the very essence of the cacao bean.

McGuire Chocolate | Best Chocolate
Number of Awards Won in 2022-2023 - 8 Awards

7. Sierra Sagrada Chocolate (Colombia)

Chocolate Sierra Sagrada originated from the vision of biologist Marco Caraballo Pérez and industrial microbiologist Andrea Díaz Ovalle, co-founders of C & D CACAO SAS, the Colombian company behind the brand. Their shared childhood passion for chocolate laid the foundation for this venture.

The Sierra Sagrada chocolate-making process kicks off with visits to cocoa farms and collection centers where beans undergo initial processing. After meticulous quality checks, direct purchases are made from Arhuaco indigenous communities at a fair price, surpassing the competitive rates offered by other buyers. The acquired cocoa, in the form of dried beans, adheres to the highest chocolate-making standards. It is then meticulously handcrafted into pure dark chocolate bars featuring 64%, 72%, and 85% cocoa content.

Each chocolate bar boasts a distinctive flavor profile, mirroring the unique characteristics of the mountainous massif from which the cocoa originates. The cocoa content significantly influences the taste of the chocolate, and Sierra Sagrada offers a collection that allows enthusiasts to explore these nuances.

Sierra Sagrada Chocolate

Dive into these delectable treats while arranging the chocolate gift bundles for a delightful taste comparison.

Alternatively, immerse yourself in the captivating world of "Chocolat," a cherished movie written by Joanne Harris, and be transported to the enchanting landscapes of France.

And here's a fun fact: chocolate is now recognized as a healthy delight. So, if your craving for chocolate persists, explore the collections of the recent International Chocolate Awards.Winners

All-time Award-winnners

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