This tour was sponsored by Gilt City. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions remain my own.
Is there anything better than an afternoon of chocolate tasting and fun blogger friends? I think not. I had the pleasure of getting a behind-the-scenes look at the masterminds behind Mast Brothers chocolate in Brooklyn this week. Read on to find out how you can get your own tour below…
Mast Brothers sold their first seventeen chocolate bars at Artists and Fleas, which started this New York based, innovative chocolate sensation. Brothers Rick and Michael Mast founded Mast Brothers in 2007, throwing their creativity and meticulous chocolate making abilities into every beautiful concoction.
We first had a taste of fresh, raw cacao beans straight from a cacao pod. The exterior was a bit slimy and sweet, ending with a bitter inside which provided more of that deep chocolate flavor. The pods are fermented under banana leaves and then dried out in the sun for a couple of days. The beans become dry and brittle enough to crush in your hands, exposing the delicious cacao nib.
Cacao nibs are made up of half cocoa solids and cocoa butter. You may have heard about some of the health benefits of dark chocolate with antioxidants, but did you know that cacao nibs boast potential powerful benefits themselves (maybe even more so)? Also, you’ll be eating a less processed form of cocoa without any added sugar or other ingredients. They are very rich and often bitter in taste if you are used to sweetened chocolate but they add a bold punch if you want to eat them on their own, add them to oatmeal, smoothies or baked goods.
The dried beans are then taken through a couple different machines to separate the husk from the cacao nib. The husks are donated, making sure nothing goes to waste. The cacao nibs are then taken to grind for several hours, turning them into smooth chocolate we all come to love. They initially grind for three to five hours to get the process going, with a total of 48 hours of grinding overall.
The chocolate is tempered before it gets poured into molds.
Now the chocolate tasting begins Out of the three countries we tasted, I think Tanzania won over my heart. Dark and so incredibly smooth with hints of sweetness. The thyme chocolate bar may have been my favorite out of all the samples – their line of herb chocolates (seen on Insta) are heavenly!
What I love most about this chocolate are the minimal ingredients used – up to only six ingredients in each bar. I am also a fan of their goat milk chocolate. The perfect amount of goat milk flavor without getting weird.
I had such a great time learning about Mast Brothers chocolate making and of course sampling some of their most praised flavors. The smells alone in this place will make you want to move in.
Click on this link to access the Gilt City Mast Brothers chocolate tour to get your own private, behind-the-scenes look at how the two brothers put their passion into their end product: chocolate.
Huge thanks to Gilt City and Mast Brothers!