The Boulder CBD chocolate taste test

3 local brands pitted against 2 national brands in downtown Boulder

By Paul Hagey Jul 30 2020

BLDRfly pitted three local CBD chocolate brands — Thornton-based GatakaBoulder-based Moksha and Louisville-based Kefla — against two national brands — Greater Goods CBD and Grön, both based in Portland, Orgeon — in a blind taste test at Jungle this past Wednesday.

The taste test ranked the five brands against each other in two categories — dark chocolate and flavored chocolate — both categories included full-spectrum CBD with minimal THC. (Full-spectrum CBD includes hemp flavor as it comes straight from the plant).

It all started with an Instagram comment calling out a BLDRfly advertiser’s CBD chocolate as essentially “cr@p.”

BLDRfly founder Paul Hagey (left) x Infused, A CBD Marketplace owner Paul Talbot at the event. Photo: Taty Sharpton.

Opinions clearly voiced can accelerate conversation, so we decided to see if we could make this one more constructive. We decided to call the bluff of the commenter, Paul Talbot, founder and owner of Boulder boutique CBD shop Infused, A CBD Marketplace.

Why doesn’t BLDRfly organize an independent blind taste test of the CBD chocolate he commented on with some other local CBD chocolate producers and some, given his extensive CBD product experience, he considered top of the line?

Paul agreed and became a lead sponsor of the CBD chocolate taste test event BLDRfly held Wednesday at outdoor space of Boulder’s best tiki bar, Jungle. (Thank you for hosting Jungle!)

Paul helped with some of the event’s planning and design, while BLDRfly retained complete independent control of the final blind taste test design. We picked the three local CBD Chocolate producers and Paul suggested Greater Goods and Grön as brands who he felt made good CBD chocolate. “Just because it has CBD, doesn’t mean CBD chocolate should taste like crap,” Paul said.

BLDRfly CBD Chocolate Blind Taste Test Judges (left to right): Jonathan Sharpton, Robin Autorino, Cecelia Thorn, Shereen Lisa Dudar, Andy Thorn

The contestants

BLDRfly organized a blind taste test to compare the brands against each other. We included one non-CBD control — Boulder-based Chocolove. Gataka, Moksha and Kefla each nominated the chocolate they wanted to put up in each category.

Dark chocolate contestants: Gataka’s Dark Chocolate 60mg CBD, 72% chocolate; Moksha’s Milk Chocolate 100mg CBD, 50% chocolate; Kefla’s 25mg CBD, 72% chocolate; Greater Goods CBD’s Ben Tre All Day (a dark chocolate not in production now); Grön’s dark chocolate with sea salt 100mg CBD, 72% chocolate; and the control, Chocolove’s 65% dark chocolate.

Flavored chocolate contestants: Gataka’s Pumpkin Spice 10mg, 72% chocolate; Moksha’s White Raspberry Coconut Chocolate 20mg CBD, 40% chocolate; Kefla’s Mocha 25mg CBD; Greater Goods CBD’s Mocha Crunch 100mg CBD, 43% chocolate; Grön’s Ruby Raspberry 50mg CBD; and the control, Chocolove’s Cherries & Almonds, 55% chocolate.

[If you’re looking to sample these CBD chocolates or learn more about CBD products in general, visit the BLDRfly CBD Chocolate Taste Test lead sponsor Infused, A CBD Marketplace, located in downtown Boulder at 1909 9th Street. Paul Talbot, owner of the CBD boutique, can guide you to the store’s variety of products. Visit the store’s recently revamped online store to order product directly. You can purchase some of the brands and flavors we tested including: Grön, Kefla and Greater Goods CBD.] 

The design

Each category — dark chocolate and flavored chocolate — included two rounds of judging. Each brand had a letter assigned to it. In the first round, the judges sampled each brand’s chocolate and then place them into one of three broad buckets: great, good, ok. (We shaved off any branding from the chocolate samples).

BLDRfly founder Paul Hagey dishes out the samples. Photo: Taty Sharpton.

We chose five judges from our network, including one chocolatier, Robin Autorino, founder and owner of Longmont-based Robin Chocolates. The others included BLDRfly’s newest writer Shereen Lisa Dudar; Boulder freelance CBD writer Cecelia Thorn; Jonathan Sharpton, husband of BLDRfly assistant editor Taty Sharpton; and Andy Thorn who plays banjo for band Leftover Salmon and husband to Cecelia.

In the second round, judges ranked the chocolates within each bucket. For example, if they placed three brands in the great bucket, they would choose the best of those three and place that at the top, place the second next, and finally the third.

We first did the dark chocolate in two rounds, collected the judges’ scorecards and then conducted the flavored chocolate.

We tallied the judges’ rankings with the following:

Dark chocolate results

Flavored chocolate results

The winners

Interestingly, the control, Chocolove, won handily in both categories.

Among the three local CBD chocolate brands, Gataka took the top spot in both categories, but scored much higher in the flavored category with 22 points.

Gataka’s Joel Dar and Sima Amsalem attended the event. Photo: Taty Sharpton

Locals Moksha and Kefla tied for fourth place in the dark chocolate category, and No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, in the flavored chocolate category. It should be noted, that, although we handled all chocolate identically, both Moksha and Kefla’s chocolate showed noticeably chalky upon sampling.

Gataka comes away as the big local winner, and among the best overall!

Jungle vibes. Photo: Tatyana Sharpton

Paul Hagey

Paul Hagey is BLDRfly’s founder and editor. When not wrangling video, audio and words in the name of story, he’s riding his mountain bike, trail running and hanging with his awesome wife Jen and their young daughter.