What Is Your Ideal Cocoa Percentage?

When I was in Seattle recently, I went on an excellent tour of the Theo Chocolate Factory. I particularly liked that the tour guide gave us little pieces of chocolate to eat throughout the tour, with provided a strong sense of connection to the chocolate-making process (and ensured that we weren’t just tapping our fingers as we waited for samples at the end of the tour).

The guide started us out with a very dark chocolate–maybe 85%? I can’t remember exactly, but it had a high cocoa percentage. Over the course of the tour we worked our way down to 45% milk chocolate, the lowest percentage that Theo offers. As milk chocolate goes, it was really delicious.

I should have paid attention to my ideal dark chocolate percentage at Theo, but I didn’t, so when I went to the grocery store last week, I picked up a variety of dark chocolate bars. I think I now know my ideal cocoa percentage for dark chocolate: 65%. It’s a sweet spot for me–slightly bitter without being dry, and just sweet enough.

What’s your ideal cocoa percentage? When you treat yourself to fancy chocolate, do you have a favorite brand? While I really liked Theo, it’s hard for me not to return to Lake Champlain when they have a sale on truffles.