Oh Chocolate! How I love thee. I recently placed an order for some McGuire Chocolate. This bean to bar company is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. McGuire has been around for about three years. Sadly they weren’t around when I lived in Calgary in 2012-2013. Calgary does hold a dear place in my heart as I enjoyed the year I spent working there. I continue to visit often, and as always, check out the chocolate scene when I’m in town. Earlier this spring I met Mark and Victoria when I was in Calgary, had a great visit and tried many samples of bars, purchasing several to bring back to Ottawa with me.
I’ve tried several of McGuire Chocolate bars over the years, having picked up some or having been sent some from Calgary friends. Most recently I ordered a blend. Blends can be tricky, as the chocolate maker uses more than one origin of bean to make the bar. Usually I prefer single origin bars – bars with cacao beans coming from just one place. I really enjoyed the few bites of this bar I had while taking photos, notice my finger prints and teeth marks on the chocolate.
Most of McGuire Chocolate bars are made with two simple ingredients, cacao beans and cane sugar, sweet and simple. They do offer other bars with inclusions as well, such as the toasted hemp hearts, or the slightly salty bars I have tried.
McGuire has recently updated their packaging, and I am loving the new boxes. Inside there is a world map that is just beautiful. It’s amazing how much a box/wrapper can change. I was pleased to see, on their website, that their packaging is made locally with paper from sustainably managed Canadian forests. That makes the tree lover in me very happy.
That said I am still a big fan of their custom bar package, which is in their original packaging that is more like an envelope than a box. I love buying three bars from the same maker so that I can compare and taste them all together. It is a great way to sample several bars by one maker and I love that they offer this. I’ve tried pre-packaged sets of three that I have found on the shelves, and I have also customized my own. Last time I was in Calgary I came back with four bars, a three pack with 100% Ben Tre (Vietnam single origin chocolate), 70% Trincheras (Venezuela single origin chocolate) and 75% Slightly Salted (Kokoa Kamili cacao, Tanzania single origin chocolate) and a stand alone bar, 80% Boliva with toasted hemp hearts and salt. This bar with hemp intrigued me as it was a colab with a local grower of Alberta hemp, reminding me of growing up on the prairies and all the beautiful fields of crops.
I was also lucky to have received a sneak peak of the soon-to-be available hot chocolate. It was perfect timing since it started snowing the day the parcel arrived, and it seems the snow is here to stay. I’m looking forward to many cups of hot chocolate after shoveling the driveway this winter.
I was super excited to see McGuire producing a bean to bar chocolate Advent calendar. Last year I saw this but it was too late to order, so this year I had it on my radar and ordered early. I love that this one maker has 25 different bean to bar offerings for 25 days. That’s an incredible amount of work and an amazing feat. Another bonus for me is that I could order a refill, as I have an Advent calendar I have lovingly used for many, many years. I can just pop these in and open one each day. Plus, there are two pieces, so I can share… if I want to. I am now patiently waiting until December 1st.
Have you tried McGuire Chocolate? Have you tried bean to bar hot chocolate? If you have, which ones?
Visit my IG page CanadianChocoholic to see more chocolate! Peace