Get to Know Us: Brett

meet the team

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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.

Cocoa Hunters in Mexico

Back at the end of February, Brett and Rob headed down to the southern states of Mexico to visit the birthplace of cacao.  They got their hands on some beans from both Chiapas and Tabasco for our third Limited Edition Reserve Collection.

Most of us associate great chocolate with Europe, but the Aztecs were the ones that originally introduced the magic bean to the Spaniards.  To this day, the majority of the cacao grown in Mexico is consumed instead of exported. Cacao is consumed in chocolate bars, in mole, and in a variety of drinks that range from bitter to sweet.  The formula of the drinks vary from region to region. Interestingly, the majority of cacao harvest in Mexico is not fermented.  This gives Mexican chocolate a distinct, earthy flavor.

Enjoy this little video of the trip.  Full recap of the adventures coming soon!

Like it? Love it? Let us know what you think!

XO.

Hello There, Chocolate Lovers!

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Hello there, Chocolate Lovers!

Long time, no see!  Totally our bad.  We have lots of new and exciting things to share with you so we're planning on posting much more regularly.  Let's catch up, shall we?   Here's what's been happening in ChocXO-land: 

New Programs

We've launched two exciting new programs:  ChocXO Reserve and the ChocXO Insiders Club.  

ChocXO Reserve is a way for us to experiment with small batch, single origin chocolate making. Brett and Rob, our resident chocolate experts, have been scouring the globe for interesting beans (more on their adventures later!).  Every two months, we're introducing a new single origin chocolate that's only available for a limited time.  Come into our Irvine factory to try our most recent creations, including bars made from beans from Belize, Haiti and Mexico!  

ChocXO Insiders is the the ultimate chocolate lovers club.  Coinciding with our Reserve releases, the Insiders get to attend special events and parties to celebrate each release.  They also get special discounts, tour tickets and a sneak peak into each Reserve box.  You can join for a half year or a full year.  Email us or come in for more information!

New Products

Our Thins are finally here!  Come in to try our Organic Milk Chocolate + Sea Salt Caramel Thin or our Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt Caramel Thin.  You won't be dissapointed. 

New Babies

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago,  ChocXO was a three man operation.  Employees # 1 and # 2, Robby and Laina, have both recently added little tiny chocolate lovers to their families. William and Wesley come and visit the chocolate factory often, much to the delight of our team.  Welcome ChocXO babies!  

More to Come!

We've got some exciting posts planned including some trip recaps to Mexico and Ecuador.  We'll see you soon!  XO.