The Best Boxed Chocolates in My 23 Years of Life

Works of art come in all shapes and sizes, forms and figures. This time around I found it in a surprising yet delicious medium: chocolate bonbons. These carefully and creatively crafted confections were conjured up by Melissa Coppel, a world renowned chocolatier from Colombia. Coppel takes her passion for flavor, texture, and color and makes bite-sized masterpieces to be shared among friends and family.

I genuinely had a difficult time enjoying chocolate, ever since I was a little girl, because the smell was always too pungent. Brownies, ice cream, and cakes were overwhelming in taste and I refused to even taste them. My only time enjoying chocolate was working at a mid-tier chocolate cafe a few years ago, once I learned about the craft and uses of flavor pairings. Then I had a new found appreciation yet wasn’t totally on board. Until now.

Upon opening Melissa’s 24 Bonbon chocolate box there was a gorgeous card that detailed her journey and dreams come true as a chocolatier. Miss Coppel even instructs her own classes in Las Vegas to bring more female and POC voices to the world of fine chocolates. Now onto the box… it was a work of art. The circular bonbons were glossy and glistened in the light, with various patterns of colors decorating the tops. From purples, browns, and oranges to reds, there was a sophisticated explosion of subtle colors to be found on each piece. On the outskirts were square bonbons with gold flakes, nuggets of nuts, and drizzles of contrasting colored chocolate.

I simply couldn’t wait to dig in and devour all of the pieces. But I had a better idea: share it with friends. I mean, it was midterms and we all were stressed so why not enjoy some chocolate? I went to a sushi lunch with my friend El and my professor from summer classes, and for dessert, I brought out the bonbons and we did a cross section of the treats, which were layered creams, gelees, and even croissant crumbs. Each bite was a complex taste ranging from florals, citrus, and fresh notes to more decadent tastes of coffee and darker chocolate. We discussed our favorites: the one with croissant and espresso won the hearts of my friend and professor, while I swooned over the lime and passionfruit bonbon that felt like biting into the first fruit harvest of summer.

These bonbons are truly a labor of love and a reminder to slow down and smell the.. chocolates of life. I admit it: Melissa’s chocolates are the best chocolate I’ve ever put in my mouth (which is a bold statement as a foodie and former chocolate detester). The box makes a perfect gift for a birthday, baby shower, anniversary, promotion– or any time you want to tell someone “I do value and love you, here’s some good- a** chocolates”. Find Melissa on Instagram @melissacoppelchocolatier as she posts her detailed work and grab a box here.

P.S.: She makes vegan chocolates too!