I have a bit of a soft spot for Taza Chocolate. Their distinctive chocolate is unapologetically unrefined and it’s all the better for it.
Taza describe their chocolate as stone ground, but that’s a bit of a misnomer. Most small-batch artisan chocolate is ground with granite stones, but what makes Taza different is how long they do it for. Modern chocolate bars can be refined and conched for 70 hours or more, resulting in incredibly small particles, a smooth texture and that distinctive snap when you break a piece.
Taza’s approach is much closer to early chocolate making. The cocoa beans are more coarsely ground, sugar and flavours are added, it’s ground a little more, and then it’s done.
The result is a chocolate with a coarse, crumbly texture that’s more like a biscuit than the chocolate you’re used to. It still tastes like chocolate, but the chocolate flavour and sugar are more distinct. This particular creation is just 50% cocoa solids, making it much more like a confectionery than a dark chocolate.
Taza make a variety of flavours, from chile to coffee and even Salt & Pepper which Michael reviewed a couple of years ago.
This cinnamon version is definitely one of my favourites. The cinnamon works perfectly with the biscuity texture and sweet taste. It’s a gentle, warming flavour rather than something overpoweringly spicy. The texture is crumbly, and it doesn’t melt in the mouth so much as dissolve. Don’t let that put you off though, it’s really rather nice – not to mention addictive.
But what I like best about Taza Chocolate Mexicano Cinnamon is that it perfectly straddles the line between real bean to bar chocolate and confectionery. It has a flavour and texture that will attract kids and grownups alike, and with just three ethically sourced ingredients – organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar and organic cinnamon, it has the credentials I look for in a real artisan product.