Thursday, August 18, 2011

Everyone needs a little Taza tour

In case this weekend didn't have enough going on what with all the Cliff Diving off the ICA, the Green Fest at Government Center and Italian Fisherman's Feast in the North End... Taza Chocolate Factory holds four tours daily on both Saturdays and Sundays.
Last Sunday, some fellow bloggers and I went on a guided tour of the Taza Chocolate factory in Somerville.  Tucked away amidst some pretty sketcky looking industrial buildings, Taza's location emits a smells from a mile away and I would highly recommend even just a visit to the store.

  Based on traditional chocolate practices from the Dominican Republic (with the 87 % coming from Bolivia), Taza (meaning cup in spanish), prides itself on presenting the public with only the truest technique, with the best quality.

In a bar, or rather, a disc, of Taza chocolate, you will never find more than four ingredients, all of which are natural and the least distracting to the pure taste of chocolate. In fact, Taza chocolate was originally meant to be melted and drunk!
Tours are led by knowledgeable members of their team and Tom, our fearless leader, was clearly as enthusiastic and passionate as we were.  There were no monotonous drones or glazed expressions at any point during our hour together!

Starting in the main shop where all of Taza's products are on display, we were able to meander around, sampling this and that until our entire party was assembled.

After a brief introduction that went something like this, 'Welcome...try some chocolate', we were brought to a wall mural and taken through the basic harvesting of a every little cocoa bean that goes from a tree in DR to the very factory we were about to enter. 
The next step (after we had put on our lovely hair nets of course!) was into the storage unit which contains some pieces of antique processing equipment.  Above we have their Barth Sirocco 200 (say that five times fast!) which is a roaster salvaged from a run down industrial building. 

Every step of this tour was accompanied with visual aids and interesting tid bits on everything from harvesting to the very final step of packaging.  Taza applies its same strict and honourable standards throughout every detail. Indeed, it currently does all of its packaging by hand (that's 3000 lbs of chocolate to wrap a week...) and only uses recycled products.

Near the end of the tour, we were shown the equipment used to grind the chocolate into its unique gritty-like state so characteristic of Taza products.  This stone is in fact one of the stars of the Taza factory and is a hand carved work of art.
At the end of the tour, we were brought back full circle, to the main shop.  We now had a much deeper appreciation for the chocolate we had earlier sampled and loved. 
Tom was there to ask our many questions (we are a pesky bunch...) and never once did he loose an ounce of the enthusiasm he started off with.  I found myself wanting to talk about chocolate in general and I would have kept going indefinitely but for the fact that our group was destined to move onto other Inman locations.
Before parting, we were each given a little goody bag and a wave. I can assure you that I will be visiting the factory again soon.
Oh and did I mention? Tours cost only five dollars a person...


  1. here are the pictures from

  2. Nice!
    I am a bit of a the back of almost every picture..haha

  3. I'm a little late seeing this post but I'm glad you got to check out Taza! We did the tour last year and I love all the chocolate goodies you can buy in the shop as well. This is a great off-the-beaten-path activity to impress you're out-of-town visitors with. Or just something to do on a Saturday afternoon. :)

  4. Better late than never:) I am glad you had a great time as well!