This is a story of a beautiful collaboration between Bittermens and Taza, the legendary Somerville, MA based chocolate manufacturer. It’s a tale of bad timing, missed connections and endless delays that resulted in a truly innovative product concept.
We start the story in late 2008. After relocating to Boston a few months earlier, Avery and Janet were looking to launch their first products. The formulation for the Xocolatl Mole Bitters and Grapefruit Bitters had received TTB approval, but the state had rejected our request to start production from our apartment’s kitchen – throwing our plans into chaos.
It was during this time that we first received an email from Alex Whitmore, one of the founders of Taza. If you don’t know them, Taza is a small bean-to-bar chocolate maker, and the only producer in the US of 100% stone ground, organic chocolate (yes, we lifted that verbatim from the Taza website). Taza was interested in us producing a custom chocolate bitter using their cacao nibs, but not having a legal kitchen basically put the kibosh on starting any new projects.
For the next year, we exchanged the occasional email. We were interested but time wasn’t on our side. Between getting wrapped up in the negotiations that would result in our licensing the production of the Xocolatl Mole Bitters and Grapefruit Bitters to The Bitter Truth and then Avery unexpectedly accepting a promotion that led to a (brief) relocation to Europe, there was no way for us to kick off an initiative of this scale.
Fast forward to March, 2010. Avery and Janet were back in Boston, when they decided to recontact Taza to discuss opportunities to work together. Though almost 16 months had passed from their first email exchange, a meeting was quickly set up at the Taza factory with Avery, Alex and Adam Lantheaume of The Boston Shaker.
After learning about the culinary applications that the Taza chocolate was being used for, we realized that a bitter wasn’t the right direction – at best, it would only serve a small portion of Taza’s established market. At worst, it would cannibalize the market for the existing Xocolatl Mole Bitters.
That’s when it hit us – a Chocolate Extract.
This extract was developed for pastry chefs and bakers, as well as bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts who want an expression of Taza’s Chocolate Mexicano in a liquid form. It combines Taza Organic Cacao, Biodynamic Vanilla, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Almonds, Organic Pumpkin Seeds and a touch of salt.
Taza Chocolate Mexicano Extract was produced from 2010 until 2013.
Formulated by: Bittermens, Inc.
Produced by: Bittermens, Inc.
Sold and Marketed by: Taza Chocolate