Cococlectic: A Craft Bean-to-Bar Club

delicious & delectable varieties
delivered direct to your doorstep

Mike Orlando - Twenty-Four Blackbirds

Posted by Doreen L on February 10, 2014. 0 Comments

Mike Orlando started Twenty-Four Blackbirds in 2010 as a side job. At the time, he was working as a Marine biologist and chemist in Santa Barbara, California.


He originally made chocolate in his free time; an enthusiast, utilizing his degrees. As a scientist, Mike truly enjoys processes, parameters, problems and triumphs. Even today, he experiments with new ideas and means for making even better chocolate.


He is a true purist, though - and organic cacao beans and sugar are all he uses. He begins with high quality cocoa beans – delivered raw from estates, plantations and co-ops worldwide. These are hand sorted; the best selected, and the rest discarded.


Beans are then spread onto trays for roasting. After cooling, they are coarsely crushed to loosen shell from nib. Passing air currents whisk lighter shells away. The clean nibs are then collected and refined with sugar. This smooths out...

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Why Bean-To-Bar Chocolates? Ingredients Matter Baby

Posted by Doreen L on January 21, 2014. 0 Comments

You are probably asking why bean-to-bar? Why should I pay $7 to $8 per bar? It’s simple, really. When consuming something, do you read through your labels to understand all the ingredients before eating it? Sometimes, sure. If you are particular about what you consume, you would want to know more about the ingredients because you wouldn’t just drink poison that’s labeled, would you?


Bean-to-bar chocolates are made primarily with 2 ingredients – cocoa beans and sugar. Sometimes, cocoa butter and cocoa nibs are added. For the 5th ingredient, some like to add vanilla, nuts or other items such as milk, peanut butter and even tealeaf to make the bar unique.


I like my chocolate plain so that I can savour its true taste, quality and texture ­– whether it’s smooth, grainy, rich, roasted, nutty, bold or mellow. I also like to know exactly what ingredients I’m consuming....

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Now Launching Cococlectic!

Posted by Doreen L on January 11, 2014. 0 Comments

It’s been a crazy 2 months getting Cococlectic Club launched and I’m so excited that it’s finally official! 

Thank you to all the great supporters of this project and also to the chocolate community. I’ve been in touch with many craft bean-to-bar chocolatiers and everyone has been so amazingly supportive. And extremely refreshing! I love the community we’re building. 

I can’t tell you how much I love tasting varieties of dark chocolate bars. Getting a box in the mail is probably the highlight of my evening. I definitely take my time admiring the packaging and slowly opening it, keeping everything intact. I examine how the chocolate breaks – snapping cleanly. I love melting it in my mouth (not chewing) slowly savoring the flavors the bean brings out.

My hat goes off to those chocolatiers who put in so much hard work producing such amazing products. Keep ‘em coming! For...

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