Alex Whitmore (right) traveled to Mexico and studied the traditional Mesoamerican method of grinding and producing chocolate, which uses stone mills rather than steel refiners. Since the surface of the stone is slightly uneven, small bits of cacao and sugar remain in the finished chocolate. These bits pop with flavor and give stone-ground chocolate its distinctive rustic texture.
When he returned to the U.S., Alex and co-founder Larry Slotnick built their own “bean to bar” factory with an authentic Mexican stone mill. It’s in Somerville, Mass., where they make Taza’s chocolate bars, discs, and chocolate-covered nuts and cacao beans, called “nibs.” Kathleen Fulton (now Alex’s wife) joined the team and designed Taza’s distinctive packaging. The trio uses organic sugar and simply processed cacao, complemented by traces of cinnamon, chili powder, or cumin. Sustainability is important to them -- even the leftover cacao hulls are recycled and used locally as mulch.
The whole “bean to bar” experience perfectly merges flavor, tradition and history together. Time for a coffee break? No, make that a Taza break. Did we mention Taza goes well with red wine?