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Which brand of cocoa powder do you use?

by (828)
Updated about 13 hours ago
Created June 11, 2011 at 1:17 AM

I eat at least a TBSP of cocoa every day. I mix it with coffee and have been making shakes with it since the summer hit. I'm partial to Hershey's Special Dark but it's not organic and I'm sure the bean-to-package process is questionable (ingredients: cocoa). I've tried Penzey's, NOW organic, Ghirardelli, and the regular Hershey's cocoa, but the Special Dark has an intensity that I really enjoy. Any suggestions for organic or minimally processed cocoa?

954837b1c93a2792e95008d94f262c53
187 · June 26, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Me too! So good

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad
4266 · June 26, 2012 at 6:18 PM

That explains why the natural stuff I bought doesn't taste as good.

D6658a1708155c78122a8046f271a3a4
0 · March 22, 2012 at 5:52 AM

I remember a date at my first Cacao Festival: I shared my CHOCOLATE letters with a new girlfriend, Ethl. But she ate every letter in her name and left me with COCOA.

D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed
1304 · March 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Http://Bit.ly/yixUW9

797f48cd6640ced10611453cf924bb97
0 · March 16, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Correct spelling of the cocoa brand is Ghirardelli. The slight bitterness and rich flavor of this dark cocoa complement the light sweetness of the fruit concentrate (syrup) and tropical flavor of extra virgin coconut oil.

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1213 · March 16, 2012 at 4:41 AM

Another consideration is whether or not the chocolate has been fairly traded. Not really an answer, but something to look into if you've never heard about the issues of the cacao trade.

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2417 · March 16, 2012 at 4:09 AM

I don't care for it at all. Chocolate is awfully personal, though :)

Bcfee125678c79ecdf0ba71071471d1c
0 · October 03, 2011 at 2:19 PM

goodnessdirect.co.uk sells organic raw cacao powder: The Raw Chocolate Company Organic Cacao Powder 200g

584b19d2b6cebc7cdf070b5f8a5a7937
369 · September 01, 2011 at 4:40 AM

Thank you for the help with my shopping list

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8
1436 · June 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

you're a chocolate savant. thanks.

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15976 · June 12, 2011 at 12:34 PM

I've had their bars and boy theyre tasty

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1392 · June 11, 2011 at 6:46 PM

That's the kind I use too-- great stuff!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15976 · June 11, 2011 at 12:39 PM

damn, sean. pretty thorough post. nice.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
1634 · June 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Please don't put questions as answers. There are tons of recipes on paleohacks and the internet. Just search. If looking for alternative sweeteners: http://paleohacks.com/questions/4952/sweetening-cocoa-without-sweetener

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
1634 · June 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Equal Exchange is Dutch Processed, so stick with Rapunzel if you want the health benefits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_process_chocolate

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
1634 · June 11, 2011 at 8:59 AM

'Special Dark' is dutch processed (using alkali) which makes it less bitter, but removes most of the good stuff. Look for unprocessed powders, like Hershey's Natural Unsweetened.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · June 11, 2011 at 1:19 AM

Navitas.........

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14 Answers

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
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1634 · June 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM

I don't have tips on specific brands, but do have an answer to help in your choice:


There are 2 types of unsweetened cacao powder to consider:
  • natural (simply roasted and pulverized into powder)
  • dutch processed (processed with alkali to reduce acidity and less bitter)

Dutch processing reduces flavanol content, so go with the natural if you want the maximum benefit. I prefer the bitter taste of naturally processed.

Some analysis with pretty graphs and all:
On brands: Finding non-dutched powder in the UK is very difficult, so I'm currently ordering many different brands from the US. Price is important (I eat a lot) so ordered here starting with the cheapest/100g:

Up until now I've been getting by with a supply of Hershey's Natural Unsweetened brought from the USofA, but it will be gone by end of day.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15976 · June 11, 2011 at 12:39 PM

damn, sean. pretty thorough post. nice.

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8
1436 · June 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

you're a chocolate savant. thanks.

584b19d2b6cebc7cdf070b5f8a5a7937
369 · September 01, 2011 at 4:40 AM

Thank you for the help with my shopping list

Bcfee125678c79ecdf0ba71071471d1c
0 · October 03, 2011 at 2:19 PM

goodnessdirect.co.uk sells organic raw cacao powder: The Raw Chocolate Company Organic Cacao Powder 200g

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad
4266 · June 26, 2012 at 6:18 PM

That explains why the natural stuff I bought doesn't taste as good.

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2
12847 · June 11, 2011 at 3:12 AM

trader joes brand is pretty good and cheap

F3176aa8463fe7f416f4da0d04974c1d
1392 · June 11, 2011 at 6:46 PM

That's the kind I use too-- great stuff!

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa
2417 · March 16, 2012 at 4:09 AM

I don't care for it at all. Chocolate is awfully personal, though :)

Medium avatar
1
19479 · June 12, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Heryshey's Natural 100% cocoa all the way baby! It's both cheap and good!

Stay away from the "dutched" stuff, like Sean said, it has all the taste but none of the nutrition of real chocolate.

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5949 · June 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I use Scharffen Berger.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15976 · June 12, 2011 at 12:34 PM

I've had their bars and boy theyre tasty

954837b1c93a2792e95008d94f262c53
187 · June 26, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Me too! So good

0ee4913a1c2a2f825f5533b3f9cb62dd
0
0 · December 29, 2013 at 5:24 AM

We use Bergenfield Natural Cocoa Powder. It is single origin and 100% cocoa (no fillers, additives, mixes, etc). It is non-alkalized, so it has all the polyphenols.

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0 · June 26, 2012 at 5:28 PM

My brand is Ricoa unsweetened all-natural 100% and non-dutch processed cocoa powder.

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370 · March 24, 2012 at 1:32 AM

A note on dutch-process vs. regular cocoa: the dutched stuff dissolves much better in liquids, including coffee. So if you're like me, and you're cuckoo for cocoa for the taste rather than nutritional benefits, it's the obvious choice. I also use Hershey's Special Dark, though if I could find higher-end dutch cocoa in my area, I would buy that.

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2913 · March 24, 2012 at 1:21 AM

Pernigotti Cocoa, the gourmet's choice :p Highly rated by Cooks Illustrated and Saveur, Amazon reviewers give it 30 5-star ratings out of 32 total ratings.

Lightly Dutch processed cocoa with vanilla mixed in, the Italian maker insists they remove less fat than other cocoa makers.

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0 · March 24, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Using a coffee grinder to create "cacao brewing nibs" (less coarse nibs for adding to ground coffee) showed me that this same process creates cacao powder - just keep grinding. So, if especially tasty raw nibs are available, try making your own raw cacao powder. Technically, this does not create the further processed "cocoa powder", but should retain the raw cacao nutrition. Note: cacao powder (and cocoa powder) will clog coffee filters - just use the ground nibs.

D6658a1708155c78122a8046f271a3a4
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0 · March 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM

A Cacao Festival seems to be occurring in more communities every year (and at different times of the year). These are fun events for learning about cacao nutrition and about the different cocoa powders. Not until I added fruit juice concentrate (syrup) to the Tessera recipe did I realize that cocoa powders have flavor and acidity uniqueness which affects the recipe. Depending on the recipe, some powders are much better than others.

D6658a1708155c78122a8046f271a3a4
0 · March 22, 2012 at 5:52 AM

I remember a date at my first Cacao Festival: I shared my CHOCOLATE letters with a new girlfriend, Ethl. But she ate every letter in her name and left me with COCOA.

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968 · March 16, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Loving Earth Cacao is probably one of the best. It raw so retains the nutrients of the bean.

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0 · March 16, 2012 at 3:54 AM

Chocolate Tessellation (chocolate so intense that “It’s not candy!” could be included in the description of this Paleo-quality recipe) was created with Ghiradelli Natural Unsweetened Cocoa, an excellent product! The recipe has not been posted online yet, but Black Cherry Tessellas is similar and includes the brief history of this symbolic offering for a Mayan 2012 "celebration of cacao".

797f48cd6640ced10611453cf924bb97
0 · March 16, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Correct spelling of the cocoa brand is Ghirardelli. The slight bitterness and rich flavor of this dark cocoa complement the light sweetness of the fruit concentrate (syrup) and tropical flavor of extra virgin coconut oil.

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0
729 · June 11, 2011 at 2:25 AM

I've been using Equal Exchange(preferred) or Rapunzel.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
1634 · June 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Equal Exchange is Dutch Processed, so stick with Rapunzel if you want the health benefits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_process_chocolate

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580 · June 11, 2011 at 5:19 AM

Do you have any "recipes" for drinking cocoa (made out of raw cocoa powder?). I've hade Cococeps (one portion bags from iHerb) with maca, cinnamon and stevia. I do have to use at least 3 droppers of stevia to make it actually taste good, and I don't think maca is the reason for that.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
1634 · June 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Please don't put questions as answers. There are tons of recipes on paleohacks and the internet. Just search. If looking for alternative sweeteners: http://paleohacks.com/questions/4952/sweetening-cocoa-without-sweetener

D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed
1304 · March 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Http://Bit.ly/yixUW9

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