Taza Chocolate Review

by Gena on January 13, 2012

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Happy Friday!!! So glad the weekend has arrived, especially since it’s a relatively open one in terms of schoolwork. The gentle homework schedule won’t last, so I’m savoring it while I can.

A few months ago, I gave a glowing review to Lulu’s Raw Chocolate:

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Today, I’m here to review Taza Chocolate, which comes to us from Somerville, MA. Many of you have already told me that you’re great Taza fans, which I love to hear, because I am, too! I first found Taza chocolate years ago (my friend Liz mentioned them to me), and it was love at first bite. Since then, the company has grown considerably, and I’ve also found out that one of the principle chocolate makers at the company and I have a good friend in common. It’s a small world.

Taza chocolate is stone ground in a traditional Mexican style (one of the founders of the companies first tasted stone ground chocolate in Oaxaca, and it inspired him start the company). This means it goes through a mill and stone refiner that look something like this:

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The chocolate that results does not have the texture of conventional chocolate: instead, it has a granular mouthfeel. This sounds weird, I know, but it’s really delicious; if you’ve ever had a disk of Mexican drinking chocolate, it’s the same exact idea, except Taza chocolate isn’t as sugary-sweet. It strikes me as sweeter than regular dark chocolate, but it’s subtle nonetheless, and it features such cool flavors as salted almond, ginger, and salt & pepper.

When the folks at Taza sent me some samples to review, then, I was pretty excited!

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I received three of the classic "disks,” (salt & pepper, vanilla, coffee, and pure), and a bar of the 87% dark. The disks were, as expected, totally divine; the salt and pepper was by far my favorite of the bunch, but the vanilla was second place. I had never tasted one of the bars before, and I’m very glad I did. A friend and reader, Elizabeth, recently mentioned that the texture of Taza is a little too “different” for her (or so I gathered); the bar itself, though certainly more grainy than regular chocolate, was far more reminiscent of a classic, good quality dark chocolate bar. If you’ve tried Taza chocolates and found them to be a bit foreign, I’d recommend the bar for sure!

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Taza’s earth, animal, and human-friendly ethos includes commitment to recycling, direct trade, carbon neutral shipping, energy conservation at on site where the chocolate is produced, and cycle delivery to local shoppers in Massachusetts. I love it! And of course, the chocolate is 100% vegan, as well as gluten and soy free (or rather, every nutrition label I’ve seen has been gluten free and has not mentioned soy lecithin; if you have food allergies, do your homework before you take me at my word).

Best of all, Taza is proud of its unusual production, and has a totally transparent manufacturing process. Please check out their awesome factory tour, and note that you can enter the batch # for your chocolate to learn how it was produced.

Chocolate is one of my greatest pleasures as a foodie; I adore it, and I enjoy finding new raw and vegan brands. Taza has certainly tickled my tastebuds, but more than that, the company has always impressed me with their unusual production process, their fidelity to the brand’s original identity, and their consciousness of the people they trade with, and the planet they trade upon. If you’re a fellow chocolate lover like me, I really recommend giving these disks a shot. After an initial moment of surprise at the texture, you’ll be able to savor the subtle and distinctive flavor, and with any luck, you’ll be as infatuated as I am.

On that sweet note, happy early weekends to you all.

xo

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan Thomas January 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

The vanilla taza just warms my heart. The orange and ginger flavors are also pretty good. I’ve always meant to go on a factory tour since it’s really not that far away but never find the time. You can really taste the difference when it comes to bean to bar chocolate.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thanks for the review on these. I admit, “granular mouthfeel” is a little worrisome just because I like really smooth textured chocolate…then again, a little texture may be a fun twist. Salt and pepper AND vanilla AND coffee…all of those sound so interesting and I’d love to check them out!

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Amanda January 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I adore Taza chocolate. I live in the Boston area, and first discovered it at a nearby farmer’s market. I think my favorite is the salt & pepper (it’s so unique), although I’ve yet to try the vanilla and ginger flavors. Those sound amazing too!

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Heather January 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Great about the choccie but I’m here to tell you how much I LOVE your tomato bread Gena! Made it yesterday and had to interrupt enjoying a piece of it slathered with avocado and sliced tomato, to write you this :)

Have a great weekend!

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Gena January 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Oh, Heather, I’m so flattered! It has been too long since I made it, actually…time to remedy that :)

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jasper January 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

so I LOVE love Love LOve loVE your blog and just have not commented. HOWEVER, I could not be more thrilled that THIS is the first comment I’ve posted because today I bought raw cacao nibs at Whole Foods for the first time! … on to TAZA no, for, me eh!? I think I might…why is it that I was just SO PROUD of myself for doing something cheerful and wonderful toward my health by purchasing the little power food? :) cheers Gena, Jasper Naomi! PS. I love your blog (did I say that, already? ;) )

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Gena January 13, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Ha! Thanks for the love. I un-spammed you:)

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jasper January 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm

noice, thanks! – jasper

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Christine (The Raw Project) January 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Thanks for the great review, I’ve never tried Taza and clearly must! Plus I’m always looking for ethical chocolate options for gift giving.

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles January 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm

My boyfriend lives in Somerville, we just visited the factory last weekend! We were hoping to take a tour but it was full so we’re planning to go when we return from Italy. We sampled and bought chocolate, of course, and I just love the mouthfeel of it. My favorite was certainly the salt and pepper, the boyfriend loved the coffee, and we both really enjoyed the 87% dark bar. Can’t wait to take the tour!

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Jenn's Adventures January 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Absolutely LOVE learning about [new-to-me] vegan, gluten-free, soy-free products — especially tasty treats like taza chocolate;)

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Bryant January 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I second your review. Taza is AMAZING! :) The company and the taste. :)

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Rande @ The Vegetable Centric Kitchen January 14, 2012 at 12:07 am

This is one of my FAVORITES!

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kristen howerton January 14, 2012 at 12:37 am

I am sitting here eating a piece off of a vanilla TAZA disc as I catch up on my reader! I love this company. I, too, am a chocolate fan but we stopped buying conventional chocolate last year after learning about the slave trade. I agree about the grainy taste – I found it strange at first but now I really like it. The salted almond has been my favorite flavor so far, but it sounds like I need to give the salt and pepper a try!

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Hannah January 14, 2012 at 4:57 am

Brilliant! I’m happy to hear that you think these taste slightly sweeter than their standardly-conched dark chocolate counterparts, and ever happier that the flavours I haven’t tried get the tick in your books. Ack, I should’ve put these on the list of what my brother should get me from the States! :P

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Marisa January 14, 2012 at 7:03 am

I’ve never heard of Taza, but will have to try it. I just went to visit their website and they look like such a great company. Is this something that is sold in stores or just online? Thanks for sharing!

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Lauren January 14, 2012 at 10:05 am

I must try. Yum!

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bitt January 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Ever since I heard of this company, I have wanted to go visit on the factory tour. I haven’t yet, but I am sure I will at some point. Love that they are all vegan, no need to worry about cross contamination.

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The Delicate Place January 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm

i saw these at one of my fave coffee haunts called espresso a mano! i really wanted to try the chipotle chili one but it was like $5! is it worth it? wait…scratch that. chocolate is always worth it! next time, it’ll have to be my java sidecar :)

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Lisa January 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Somerville MA?? I live about 15 minutes from there. This very well may be worth checking out!

~Lisa

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Get Skinny, Go Vegan. January 14, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Was just going through photos of our visit to Cocoa V & getting hungry.
Now This.
Think it’s time to order some Chocolate!

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Ilana January 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm

i am utterly, hopelessly in love with the s&p chocolate. so incredible.

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meghan @ struggle muffins January 14, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I just recently tried the Taza salted almond chocolate disks and was surprised by the grainy texture, but surprised in a good way. It felt like an adult chocolate. Not something you’d necessarily reach for if you needed a chocolate fix, but not short on flavor, texture, or satisfaction-potential either. Lovely review, thanks for sharing!

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Ken Dorr January 17, 2012 at 2:38 am

All this talk of Taza Chocolate has peaked my interest. I love chocolate and the great flavors listed here sound fun and delicious.

Does anyone know if they sell a raw version of their chocolate candies?

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Lynna January 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Have you ever tried Fine & Raw chocolate? They’re a Brooklyn based company and I think they’re raw chocolate is some of the best!

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Ken January 18, 2012 at 1:17 am

I’ll check them out! Thanks

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Ellen February 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Raaka in Brooklyn also makes a deliciously raw bar!

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Gena February 10, 2014 at 9:46 am

Yum! I’ll have to check it out.

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