Taza uses direct trade to purchase its cocoa beans. Rather than using fair trade, where a middle man acquires beans without regard to growing practices, Taza buys beans directly from a farm in the Dominican Republic. Direct trade allows Taza to ensure that the farm uses both humane and organic farming methods.
If you're interested in learning more about how Taza produces its chocolate (and to taste some of its chocolatey goodness), sign-up to take a factory tour at the company website.
A few tips before you go:
- Skip the sandals and fragrances. Since you are entering a manufacturing facility, you must wear closed toed shoes and refrain from wearing perfume or cologne.
- Prepare to expand your palate. You'll get a chance to try some traditional dark chocolate (ranging from 60 to 80%), but you will also be offered traditional Mexican flavors like spiced chilli pepper. It's a little different, but it's worth trying.
- Don't leave without chocolate. While finished chocolate is sold in local retail stores and used at many local restaurants, you can also bring some home. At home, it can be eaten as is or shaved and mixed into liquid (like milk) to make hot chocolate.
- The factory is within short walking distance of Inman Square in Cambridge (accessible to the 69 bus) or a 10 minute walk from Union Square in Somerville (accessible to the 86 bus).