Enter the emporium: coffee to the right, chocolate to the left (photo courtesy 2 Beans).  The first chocolate made with camel’s milk, from Dubai (photo courtesy Al Nassma).  Another winner: the matcha white chocolate bar from Marie Belle (photo courtesy Marie Belle).
Depending on where you live, there may be a store dedicated to chocolate bars.
2Beans is the go-to store in New York City. A gallery of the world’s great chocolates, it’s a dizzying experience for the novice and connoisseur alike.
There’s fine coffee, too; the second of the “two beans.”
You can buy all you want to bring back to your lair, or sit down and enjoy your chocolate with a coffee or wine pairing.
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts: beyond a chocolate store, beyond a coffee bar, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.
There are also high-end soft drinks (like Fentiman’s) and small bites for those who want food with their chocolate.
The flagship store is a modern, two-story glass rectangle a block from Grand Central Terminal, at 100 Park Avenue (212-937-8914). While there may be larger concepts in other cities, right now 2Beans is where the action is in our town.
There are currently three locations, with two more to open this year (you can find the other two are in the Turnstile Shops at Columbus Circle, and at Amsterdam Avenue and 82nd Street on the Upper West Side.
ENTER THE EMPORIUM
A wall of chocolate bars, a large glass case for bonbons, a stand-up coffee bar and pleasant upstairs seating for some chocolate with coffee or wine.
2Beans is a chocolate store and coffee parlor located in New York committed in providing best confectionery items and coffee beans.
There’s a chocolate for everyone: more than 50 brands from over 18 countries: famous, not-yet-famous, bean-to-bar, kosher, Fair Trade, organic, and raw chocolates, even sugar-free (mostly 100 cacao choices, as opposed to artificially sweetened).
You start with the A’s (Akesson’s, Amano, Amedei…) and work your way through the alphabet of the world’s great artisan chocolate bars—including our own local and national producers.
There are also boxed chocolates, fill-your-own chocolate boxes, seasonal chocolates and fun chocolates. There are pastries, if you’d rather have some with your coffee.
There are even camel’s milk chocolate bars (photo #2), made by Al Nassma in Dubai (and the only camel’s milk chocolate made in the United Arab Emirates). The name means drifting breeze in Arabic, a welcome and gentle wind bringing cool respite from the heat of the desert.
One friend, a chocolate bar aficionado, stops by weekly for a pick-me up (and take-me-home). For happy hour, the store is open weekly.
MILK BOY SWISS CHOCOLATE
Our favorite discover on this week’s visit were the bars from a Swiss bean-to-bar producer, Milk Boy.
Made in Switzerland with cacao from sustainable farms in West Africa, the company offers
The wrapper depicts the cow parade from villages to the Alps for grazing season. Each spring, the cows parade up the mountains to fanfare from the villagers. At the end of grazing season, they come back in for the winter.
For art enthusiasts: the design was created by famous Swiss paper-cutting artist Esther Gerber. It’s just icing on the cake (wrapping on the bar?) of this exquisite chocolate.
The Matcha White Chocolate Bar from Marie Belle.
But in truth, how many winners are on the shelves at 2 Beans?
We can’t even begin to count!
 Milk Boy, an outstanding brand from Switzerland.  Try the entire line (photos courtesy Milk Boy).