Jullie & Chelsea: Cocoa Parlor

Hey, guys! Chelsea here with a fun little brand spotlight for you! If you read our Taste Test Tuesday post from a couple of weeks ago, then you know that we raved about the Simple Pleasure bar from Cocoa Parlor. We're back this week because Cocoa Parlor was sweet enough (get it, sweet) to send us a package of their own so we could try some of their other flavors!

We didn't know it when we picked up the Simple Pleasure bar for our taste test, but Cocoa Parlor is actually a California-based brand out of Laguna Niguel. Their factory is located about 2 miles from Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. They're still a fairly small company with most of their sales coming from 12 bars that they wholesale in California and in New York City; their only storefront is attached to their factory itself! Definitely something Jullie and I will be adding to our itinerary on our next SoCal trip!

The first thing that we tried were these funky little chocolate chunks. I don't think this is something we necessarily would have picked up if we had encountered them while grocery shopping, so it was cool to get the opportunity to try them out this way. 

They're 100% cacao with dried mulberries mixed in. For those of you who don't know, cacao that hasn't been sweetened and chocolatized doesn't taste like much, so the dried mulberries are what give this its flavor profile. I ended up putting it on some of the overnight oats Jullie posted on Snapchat last week and that's what I think they would be good for: as a topping for other, flavorful things that you want to add a slight crunch to. 

Our absolute favorite bar this time around was the Crushed Velvet flavor! Ironically enough, just like the Simple Pleasure bar from our taste test, this had the lowest cacao content and still managed to become our favorite out of everything that we tasted. 

This was the only milk chocolate bar in our package. The bar itself is 41% cacao with cacao nibs mixed in for a little texture. The cacao nibs give it a unique texture and deepen the flavor of the milk chocolate a bit, making it more interesting than your standard Hershey's bar. 

They also offer a dark chocolate version of the cacao nib bar, called Night Train, which we also got to try. Weirdly enough, the cacao nibs in the dark chocolate lighten the flavor and make it almost fruity.

Our next favorite was the Surfer Girl bar. For obvious reasons, when we looked up the Cocoa Parlor site and checked out their other flavors, the pineapple and coconut flavored bar caught our attention. All of the coconut and pineapple flavor is in the chocolate, but there is also dried pineapple pieces and shredded coconut in the bar as well.  

The bar tasted great, but despite all that great texture that you can see in the photo above, I got zero coconut or pineapple pieces in my first couple of bites, which is why it took second place for me.

Look at that crispety crunchety goodness! This is the Popped Quinoa flavor. This reminded us of a dark chocolate crunch bar. The chocolate was rich and dark and lovely and the quinoa added such a great crunch, without the weird flavor that you sometimes get from the popped rice in Crunch bars.

Ultimately, all of the chocolate that we've tried from Cocoa Parlor is phenomenal, and the Cocoa Parlor business model is awesome as well! All of their chocolate is made with fair-trade cacao beans, their dark chocolate flavors are all vegan, soy free, and non-GMO, and they taste amazing. At this point, we've tried half of their offerings and we haven't met a flavor that we didn't like.