meet the team
Name: Brett Harrison Mohr
Time with ChocXO: Three years
Net weight gain since: -20 pounds on the 100% cocoa diet
Title: Chocolate Production Manager
Go-to truffle: Spicy PB&J
Favorite band: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam
Hobbies: Doing anything outdoors, especially going to the beach; art; learning new skills
How did you get involved in ChocXO?
Craigslist! I had just moved back down to Orange County after living up in the Bay. While I was up there, I helped my buddy run a coffee cart that was actually made out of an old horse trailer. We traveled all over the Bay doing pop-ups in it, mostly in Sonoma and Napa. He ended up moving to Utah and I chose to move back down to Orange County instead. The coffee cart is actually still up and running in Utah. I got the first coffee job I could at Green Earth Coffee. A month or so after that, ChocXO bought Green Earth, and the rest is history.
What was your first impression of ChocXO?
It was interesting, but I honestly wasn't a huge fan of chocolate then. I didn’t know it was going to be like this (gesturing at the factory).
When did you start getting into the chocolate side?
Right away! It’s hard not to. I remember trying the Ghana (one of the first chocolates made at ChocXO) and thinking it’s amazing. As anyone that has tried our chocolate knows, it's really good stuff. It's not like trying different candy bars-- it was something very new to me.
Then, I tried the Ghana liquor and thought “what IS this??” I started to gain an interest in the different tastes that come from different origins.
I just got thrown into the chocolate production side in March 2016. I was roasting and cleaning beans for a week straight. It was actually during the Natural Products Expo-- an extremely busy time. It was hard work, but I liked it. I was excited to learn everything there is.
Do you think your coffee background helped you?
Absolutely—there are so many parallels. There are two things that have always peaked my interest in both coffee and cacao. The first is the environmental influences on the flavor of the beans-- who knew terroir is something that applies to chocolate! The second is the taste differences you can bring out based on extraction. Just like the coffee brewed using an Aeropress will taste different than a pour-over, the same goes with chocolate made with a conche or a melanger. I get the opportunity to play around with both of them. I still find this one of the best parts of the journey.
What are some origins you want to check out?
I definitely want to try out cacao from India. I’m getting a small sample coming in soon. The cacao plantations in Vietnam and India are really thriving right now. Hawaii would be really great, but those beans can be hard to come by and real expensive. They are also harder to grow so it makes sense.
What are some things you are looking forward to in the coming months?
This is not related to chocolate, but I recently went skydiving for the first time and LOVED it. I would love to do that a few more times.