Though still stone-ground and coarse, this wickedly dark 95% bar is far smoother than most Taza bars. Nor is it that intense for such a bar with such a high cocoa percentage. Although bold and dark the characteristically fruity notes of the cacao shine through in this chocolate. Indeed, we found this very easy to eat, with a little earthiness and some sweetness.
Here’s a chocolate that may be a little different from anything you’ve tried before. For Massachusetts-based Taza, when it comes to making chocolate, doing less brings more when it comes to allowing the complex flavours of cacao to shine. Their style of craft chocolate is much closer to the kind of chocolate you might have found 150 years ago, still popular today in Mexico and some parts of South America. This is because Taza prides itself on being stone ground and unrefined; whilst many chocolate makers spend days on end refining and conching their products until smooth, Taza simply grinds its organic cocoa beans with cane sugar and spice in a traditional Mexican stone mill called a molino.
The minimal processing involved in creating Taza’s stone-ground chocolate gives a finished product with a satisfyingly coarse, almost biscuity texture and a sweet flavour that lets you taste the bold flavours of the cocoa, sugar and spices individually.
Taza is proof that chocolate can change lives, producing its stone-ground chocolate using the very same traditional techniques that inspired its founder Alex Whitmore (one of Zip Car’s earliest employees) to become an apprentice to an authentic molinero whilst on holiday in Oaxaca. But it also transforms the lives of the cacao producers that it works with, buying from farmers directly in a Direct Trade model that enables farmers to receive a price above even Fair Trade levels. Taza truly is chocolate with a conscience.