The chocolate festival Chocoa is coming again! February 20 to 24 it is so far. The festival takes place every year at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. It is already recommended, but this year a visit is still a bit extra recommended!
The 2019 edition has a line-up that is allowed. There are many more chocolate makers than in previous editions. And not the least, on the contrary! It seems to be a true bean to bar chocolate walhalla!
Of course we are there as Chocolate vendors to point everyone in our stall (shared with Clearchox mates) to all the wonderful bean to bar chocolates that we sell. It speaks for itself. Last year we noticed that many visitors certainly already recognized us. The chocolate vendors, I have already ordered! We like to hear. And meeting our customers in real life is fun. There are also enough people left who do not know that you can easily order some of the best bean to bar chocolate makers in the world online. Just with us. So we will proclaim it a bit louder. Of course we also bring some special chocolates that let you taste 1x why you should not buy chocolate for the taste in the supermarket. And why the chocolates we sell are more than worth their higher price.
Anyway, enough about us. More about who else will come!
The festival – Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February
Chocoa consists of several parts, we start our explanation with the part suitable for every chocolate lover: the festival.
During the festival, the Fair is filled with stalls of makers, brands, web shops and everything else in the world of chocolate. You can meet chocolate makers, taste a lot and of course return home with a bag full of purchases for a whole year.
There is also a lot to learn. There is a full day program with workshops and tastings on both days. For this year the exact program is not yet known but last years there were quite legendary tastings of cheese + chocolate, rum + chocolate, whiskey + chocolate and then a lot of lectures from chocolate makers and chocolate experts. Whether you want to taste something really special or really want to learn something – there’s going to be enough to experience.
Nice of this edition is in our opinion how many chocolate makers are present. Because where we are simple chocolate vendors, you can say that the chocolate makers (together with the cocoa farmers) are the ‘rock stars’ of the chocolate. And yes, in the chocolate world there are really big idols and people who are big fans of specific makers. We do not find it crazy at all, making the ultimate chocolate is an art, and time and time again producing formidable tasting chocolate bars is not only an art but also a profession apart. Delivering the highest quality every year is not something you do – that will undoubtedly satisfy beginning chocolate makers.
Our 7 tips from the Chocoa festival program
- Dandelion – We have to start with that. If we count them among the world leaders in the chocolate world, we really do not say anything crazy. Chocolate makers from San Francisco. Masterpieces with only 2 ingredients. With pride in our range & we look forward to the arrival of co-founder Greg d’Alessandre to Chocoa.
- Pairings & tastings. – There are a lot of fun pairings & other workshops at Chocoa. In earlier editions we have experienced the tastings of chocolate with cheese, chocolate with rum and chocolate with whiskey. All quite amazing, sometimes even unbelievable. Certainly our advice to attend one, so chances are that you will be really surprised!
- Craft Chocolate Pavilion – we do not know exactly how it works, but there is apparently a special place for ‘craft chocolate’. In any case, there are a lot of bean to bar chocolate makers present that we are looking forward to. You will probably find them collected there. From Fruition (we sell with great pleasure) to French Broad (soon in our range!) And from Kakao Bogalet (we are very curious!) To Mirzam (excellent chocolates from Dubai)
- Zotter – Beans to bar busy in Austria for years. With beautiful and accessible origine chocolates but also crazy madly extensive collection of stuffed ‘handscooped’ bars. Chocolates filled with beer, cheese or tequila – there is little to Zotter. The ‘normal’ bean to bar (fair & bio) chocolates are slightly less crazy, but not less tasty! Definitely a stand to taste!
- Belgian bean to bar – We do not attach much value to qualifications such as ‘belgian chocolate’. But besides the large chocolate factories, there are of course also some smaller and special bean to bar chocolate makers – also in Belgium. Be sure to visit the stand of Chocolatoa and Mike & Becky for real good ‘belgian chocolate’ – where the country does not say so much, but that with attention and traditional small-scale chocolate is made. – We do not attach much value to qualifications such as ‘belgian chocolate’. But besides the large chocolate factories, there are of course also some smaller and special bean to bar chocolate makers – also in Belgium. Be sure to visit the stand of Chocolatoa and Mike & Becky for real good ‘belgian chocolate’ – where the country does not say so much, but that with attention and traditional small-scale chocolate is made.
- Dutch bean to bar – In the United States hundreds (perhaps thousands) of chocolate makers have started on a small scale with making chocolate themselves. This yields a very rich palette of chocolates, up to and including the highest quality. Think of Dandelion, Fruition, French Broad. In the Netherlands there are also makers who are making chocolate, also with great success. Chocolate makers from Amsterdam have been successfully working for some time now and Mesjokke has also been making their bars from Nieuwegein.
- Our Chocolate sellers stand – Of course we are present as Chocolate sellers. Secretly from Thursday, see below, but during the festival we share a stand with mates Clearchox. We always take some nice and extra-special chocolates with us. For example, the chocolate hearts of Dormouse. The rest … we’re going to think about it. It’ll be fine!
There is still much more to do. From an election for the best chocolate drink to a debate about fair chocolate (important topic!). There are also a lot more chocolate makers present that we did not mention here but make excellent chocolates (Chocolate Tree we have yet to mention!) – all in all: plenty to do!
More Chocoa: Chocolate Makers Forum & More
The festival is there for all chocolate lovers, for professionals and those involved there is much more to do!
For anyone who wants more floor about chocolate making, there is the Chocolate Makers Forum on Thursday & Friday. Suitable for anyone who wants to make chocolate, or wants to learn more about it. That’s what we are as a chocolate vendor. A session about quality cocoa from Africa, information about Cadmium in chocolate & all sorts of other floors. What too deep for the average chocolate lover but do you ever want to make chocolate or really go ‘the depth’ then it’s two beautiful days!
Then there is also the Trade Fair on Thursday and Friday. The same idea as the festival – lots of stalls – but mainly focused on making chocolate. From people who grow cocoa to people who like to sell their chocolate-making machines. Again here … especially suitable if you are professionally busy with chocolate.
Even more? Yes, it can not be done. Again on Thursday & Friday there is the conference. Here the bobo’s (we say disrespectfully) are talking to each other. Last year there were remarkably many men in suits around. People from the big chocolate companies who talk to each other about how their chocolate can become more honest. Important, for us a little too ambitious – if only because of the entrance fee of 445 euros. Ordinary people like you and me can read the reports and view presentations afterwards, from last year on. Top if you want to know more about what’s going on!
Then there is a chocolate dinner & a tour of the Amsterdam cocoa port.
Full and beautiful program so, if we compare it with previous editions, we see a festival program that is richer than ever. The fact that so many chocolate makers are present makes us happy. Because then you can ask directly to the makers where they buy their cocoa, what they pay for it, how they make chocolate from it & occasionally taste something of course also no harm!