Frequent Asked Questions

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Working with Chocolate



Our offices are in California but we don't offer shipping or pick up at the locations. We do offer online ordering with FedEx delivery. Our warehouse locations that ship chocolate orders are outside of California.


We ship with free ice and insulation with every order during high heat and have great luck with no melting. Please follow the tracking email we send so you know the schedule of delivery. We can ship to your home or office. It is important to retrieve the chocolate package from the doorstep and not leave it there for a longtime if you are not home to receive the order. Basically you don't want the package to sit in the sun if your front porch is not shaded and cool.

We securely pack your chocolate products using a combination of insulation materials and ice packs when we deem it necessary during hot weather as a free service to you, regardless of the shipping method you choose. We recommend you opt for the most expeditious shipping method available when ordering online to minimize any chance of melting chocolate during transit. Due to the perishable nature of our products, we CANNOT offer refunds nor can we accept returns.

Please read our Terms & Conditions 

Does Santa Barbara Chocolate Test for Heavy Metals

Yes and we strive to be one of the lowest in heavy metals chocolates available through careful selection of extra fine quality cacao.  In fact, we are one of the only chocolate companies that tests each Lot of couverture chocolate production. Please see more at this link: Chocolate concerns regarding heavy metals


Because we don't add in oils, once melted and to be used for candy making in moulds, you will need to temper our chocolate: Most home chocolatiers do not temper the chocolate because the chocolate is not required to have a long shelf life like in a business environment. Home chocolatiers opt for a low temperature and indirect heat melting process instead of tempering.
For baking, ganache, frosting, in cookies no tempering is required so you can use whatever type of coating or chocolate you'd like.
All chocolates based on cocoa butter (you can find them listed in this category: Chocolate) will have to be tempered again once melted if you want the chocolate to set up hard in candy making production with moulds (tempering of course is not necessary in baking, cooking, as inclusions like chips or chunks). Only products with added vegetable oils and reduced cocoa butter can be melted and will set up without tempering in candy making processes (these under FDA terms are not considered chocolates but rather compounds). 
In frosting or coating - our chocolate does not require tempering.
Making bark - if you melt low and then set made bark in the refrigerator it will set up without tempering but may have some slight cocoa butter separation.
Moulding chocolate shapes - chocolate will require tempering or use the Brazilian Coating that does not require tempering.
Sugar bloom is related to moisture while fat bloom is related to temperature or oxidation. Viscosity issues can also be related to temperature control and tempering process.

What is Criollo chocolate and what is the difference between bittersweet and plain chocolate? Why is there a price difference between santa Barbara Chocolate and the grocery store brands?

Thank you for reaching out with your questions about our couverture chocolate at Santa Barbara Chocolate. I'm delighted to assist you!

Firstly, "Criollo" chocolate refers to one of the rarest and most sought-after types of cacao beans in the world. Known for its complex flavor profile and lower bitterness, Criollo chocolates are often considered a premium choice among chocolate connoisseurs. They provide a unique taste experience that is quite distinct from common varieties.

Regarding the difference between bittersweet and plain chocolate, it primarily lies in the cocoa content and sugar levels. Bittersweet chocolate typically has a higher cocoa content (around 70% or more) and less sugar, offering a rich, deep chocolate flavor with just a hint of sweetness. Plain chocolate, which is often referred to as milk chocolate, has a lower cocoa content and more sugar, resulting in a sweeter, creamier taste and texture.

As for the pricing of our chocolates, it reflects the high-quality ingredients and careful craftsmanship that go into each product. We believe in providing an exceptional chocolate experience, which often involves using premium cacao beans and adhering to high standards in production. While our chocolates might be a bit more expensive than others, we're confident that the quality and flavor are worth it.

If you're considering trying our chocolate for home use, we suggest starting with the 6 lb quantity to experience the difference for yourself. We're committed to ensuring that our customers love our products, and we're here to answer any further questions you might have.