Virtual Tasting Events
Cocoa Beantown’s virtual tastings allow folks from the comfort of their homes, or anyplace with internet access, to attend a fine craft chocolate tasting.
Guided by a chocolate educator with a decade’s worth of experience, including being to selected to attend the first ever Colombia Chocolate Week in 2019, our virtual chocolate tasting programs feature carefully curated menus, with chocolate samples picked especially for your group or to fit a specific theme.
We also offer a “How to Be a Chocolate Expert” cooperative tasting class in the virtual setting, featuring a discussion/demo on aspects of fine craft chocolate, then guests are lead through a series of blind tastings for attendees to guess between high end and low end samples, a la the Epicurious Youtube series, “Ask an Expert.”
Back Bay Picnic Tour
Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 1 hour ~ Join the foodie fun as small groups are guided through an outdoor chocolate tasting of craft made, small batch chocolate. Gain some history and insight on the neighborhood, and be sent home with a special chocolate treat from one of the neighborhood shops. Chocolate tasting menu themes and featured treats will change monthly so check our social media or inquire with the box office as to current offerings.
Back Bay Walking Tour
Saturdays at 10:15 a.m., approx. 2.5 hours ~ If we held this popular Boston neighborhood tour during the early 1800s, we would have needed a boat. That’s because the Back Bay neighborhood is so-named because for a time in our city’s history, it actually was a bay! Thankfully, we live in modern times where the land is buildable and perfectly suited for chocolate stores and bake shops. Join us on this morning chocolate tour of Boston’s Back Bay and learn a bit about the history of chocolate as it pertains to the city, while trying lots of yummy treats along the way.
South End Walking Tour
Saturdays at 2 p.m., approx. 2.5 hours ~ This under-explored neighborhood of Boston is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for having the highest concentration of late-Victorian brick bow front rowhouses. Luckily for us, it also has a lot of chocolate! Come along this afternoon chocolate tour of Boston and sample delectable chocolate cuisine while touring an eclectic mix of local cafes, shops, restaurants, and boutiques in this truly charming and beautiful historical neighborhood.
Private Tastings and Tours
Chocolate tasting classes, whether virtual or in-person, and chocolate tours are great for bachelorette/bachelor parties, holiday parties (both home and office), bridal showers, baby showers, milestone birthday parties, corporate outings, school field trips, Tuesdays, Arbor Day—ANYTIME OR REASON IS A GOOD TIME FOR CHOCOLATE!
We work hard to create customized, unique, engaging experiences full of fun and learning for all of our clients. Our hope is that each of our guests walk away from our events carrying with them both knowledge that they did not have before and a feeling of greater connection to the people they shared their experience with.
Chocolate tasting classes feature a selection of chocolates, carefully curated for your group or for a particular theme, or can include pairing items such as wine, rum, tea, coffee, and more.
All class and programming options are available throughout New England, with no extra charge for clients one hour or less driving distance from Boston. Clients beyond those areas will be charged for travel expenses.
Clients outside New England in need of chocolate tasting classes, please call or email to discuss rates/terms. Prior tastings have been provided for private groups in New York, Maryland, Florida, West Virginia, Tennessee, California, and Colorado.
Other Chocolate Consultant Services
Are you a party, event/wedding planner, or bride-to-be looking for that perfectly unique favor for your guests? Let us help you cut down your research time and make sure your guests walk away with something special. Our knowledge of the local chocolate industry can help you find that thoughtful little token to help your party guests remember your event in the sweetest way!
Are you a hotel manager looking to source locally made chocolates for stocking in rooms or including as amenities for specialty clients?
Are you a local chocolatier or candy company looking for educated, knowledgable, well-communicated opinions and feedback on your current line/flavors/packaging/marketing techniques?
Contact us to see how we can help!
Looking for a fun and dynamic program for your troop that will have them entertained AND learning at the same time? Programs can be tailored to group needs as either a troop recreational activity or satisfying badge requirements. Programs are currently available to work towards the Brownie Snacks badge and the Cadette Trees badge. Learn from a 13 year Girl Scout (Daisies all the way up through Senior level) and former summer camp counselor and outreach coordinator!Earn Badges!
Whether elementary, middle, high school, college-aged, or adult, our array of educational chocolate classes are available for in-classroom or virtual programming, and can be conducted as an interactive activity or lecture style. They make a great addition to summer camp offerings or as programming for historical societies, libraries, or adult education centers, and can even be tailored for senior center programming. Classes can be customized to science, ecology, geography, or history curriculum. All educational lectures can also include a tasting activity. Chocolate tasting classes make an excellent activity for private corporate team-building events. Tasting events can be scaled for large or small corporate groups in-office, or at a location of your choosing. Tastings can be conducted “classroom style” or as a tasting table for more casual events such as at an after-hours mixer, office party, or reception.
Massachusetts Chocolate History
Most Boston visitors and students of American history know the story of the Boston Tea Party. But did you know that when the colonists stopped drinking tea due to taxation they instead turned to drinking chocolate? Infamous American patriot Paul Revere even crafted dedicated drinking chocolate pots that can be seen on view at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Boston and the state of Massachusetts have many historical connections to chocolate that continue on from that point in time, including being the home of the very first chocolate factory in North America, the first roadside retail confectionary operation, and the first forays into commercial white chocolate production. We’re the birthplace of a number of classic and beloved desserts and treats and the resting place of the famed Fannie Farmer, who lent her amazing recipes developed at the Boston Cooking School to the world through her iconic cookbook and was the inspiration for the nostalgic candy company of the similar name. Learn more about our sweet history with this fascinating program.
Chocolate Tasting 101: How to Taste Chocolate Like a Pro
Did you know that chocolate has a sound? And moreover, that sound can be a reflection of the level of sophistication of how the bar was made? If you’re looking to learn the basics of tasting chocolate, this program will guide you through the same process expert chocolate tasters use to assess quality. Experience chocolate in a new, deeper, more meaningful sense as you taste your way through a variety of small batch, craft, specialty bars from makers around the country and the world. Chocolate selections can be curated to feature a themed menu, including Women in Chocolate, Massachusetts/New England Made Chocolate, Chocolate Innovations, or Seasonal Selections.
Pairing Chocolate and Wine
In this program on chocolate and wine pairing, we’ll talk about how good quality chocolate can have close to 2000 flavor profiles, as opposed to around 400 for red wine. Though red wine is not the only type of wine that pairs with chocolate! Guests will be guided through a specially curated menu of pairings, featuring a variety of wines, including some very unexpected picks, partnered with craft chocolate selections that will enhance the overall combined tasting. We’ll also discuss the science of taste, and how it can affect your preferences in both chocolate and wine, regardless of what the expert ratings say.
Politics of Chocolate
It’s hard not to smile when there’s chocolate nearby, but behind the deep, rich taste, there’s a whole world of serious (and fascinating) issues. Dive into the world of chocolate, exploring its entanglements with child labor, its aspirations with women-owned cooperatives and the Fair Trade movement, and its intrigues, including corporate espionage.
World Chocolate Trends
Why do the Swiss love their chocolate so much? Why are the Japanese obsessed with Kit Kat bars? Why isn’t American commercial chocolate as good as European? Learn about different perceptions of chocolate around the world while also picking up tips and tricks on how to learn more about a local food culture just by visiting a chocolate shop in this multi-cultural chocolate seminar.
The Cacao Tree: Fruit of the Gods
How was chocolate first discovered? Who were the first people to cook with it? Where does it grow and how exactly does it go from bean to bar? Learn about this amazing tree and how it goes from bitter, pulp-covered innards of a pod to delicious, mouth-watering sweets as well as how growing conditions, topography, and climate change can all affect this little almond-shaped bean.
*NEW* Cocoa Consumerism: How to Buy Ethical Chocolate
As the American consumer becomes more attuned to where their food comes from, concerned chocoholics find themselves feeling a new sort of guilt when enjoying their favorite indulgence as ethical issues regarding how and through what means it was sourced arise. In this program, we’ll trace the chain of cocoa custody back to its questionable origins while examining the major world market players, and help you become a more educated consumer in the process. You’ll leave this class with a solid understanding of what you can do as a conscientious chocolate lover to make sure the beans in your bars weren’t sourced at the expense of someone else.
*NEW* Chocolate and the Environment
With concerns about climate change increasing by the day, cacao producers around the world are working to ensure their farms survive the changing growing seasons. Likewise, small batch chocolate makers find themselves a surprisingly large piece of the puzzle–supporting farmers by purchasing beans that were farmed in a sustainable way and employing their own green practices to chocolate production, packaging, and delivery chains. We’ll also talk about the fabled history of the Arhuacos, an indigenous tribe in the Sierra Nevada region of Colombia that considers themselves stewards of the environment, and have raised cacao for over 500 years.Schedule Your Class Today!