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Mast Brothers Chocolate- bean to bar producer out of Brooklyn, NY

A group of four of us tried the the Mast Brothers origin bars. Three bars labeled Venezuela 72%, Ecuador 66%, and Madagascar 64%. Due to a lack of major buzz generated about this company, we tried these bars with little to low expectations. Very small company operating in a kitchen in Brooklyn. Starting from the beginning, the visual appearance of the packaging is very cool. Heavy duty paper with various prints from floral to musical notes. No ingredients label to hint at what's inside. The mold is basic but the bars all had a very nice appearance with few flaws and wrapped in foil. Although the thickness was noticeably uneven. Most importantly, the experience of tasting them surpassed our expectations. Smooth texture and even melt for each. Bitterness well controlled. They also had a pleasant and fairly long aftertaste. Each bar exhibited the unique flavors of their respective region. The Madagascar was fruity, Venezuelan had subtle notes of berry but chocolaty flavor quite noticable, and the Ecuadorian bar was spicy with a cinamon flavor and some coffee notes. The Ecuadorian bar was so impressive we were suspicous of flavors being added. None the less, these bars are worth getting ahold of. Only available at a few locations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at the moment.

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Brady:

Thanks for this intro to Mast Brothers. I first heard about them a couple of months ago but I seldom make it into Brooklyn so I haven't tried any yet. Do you still have the wrappers? Maybe you can scan and post them in a Photo album?
I tried another Mast Bros. This time it was their Dark Milk 65%. TCL member Rumi had a dark milk tasting a couple days ago. We put the Mast Bros in a lineup w/ Pralus Melissa, Bonnat Java, Bonnat Surabaya, Domori Latte Sal and Weiss Chocolat au Lait Entier. Everyone seemed to like the Mast and I picked it as my favorite of the lineup. I thought it was quite complex. Very dark flavor, roasted, short spicy notes in the middle, caramel appeared toward the end with a pleasant coffee flavor in the aftertaste. It resembled a hot chocolate drink at times. Another bar worth getting ahold of.
I love the Mast salt & pepper! Living in California, it's very difficult to get a hold of these bars.
Word is that Thomas Keller is using Mast Brothers chocolate at Per Se and the French Laundry. Remarkable.
Has anyone determined whether Mast Brothers has begun to sell only chocolate that they've made from bean-to-bar?

If they're still remelting some, does anyone know (roughly) their proportion of bean-to-bar production to that using third-party couverture?
Still curious if anyone has info about the proportion of Mast Brothers' bean-to-bar production relative to their re-melting.

On a related note (i.e., to Mast Brothers' encroachment in some NYC restaurants), according to the NYT, Tcho is making an aggressive push to get into upscale restaurants, apparently succeeding with Del Posto.
Mast Brothers aren't as completely as obscure as they sound because they welcome people into their 'factory' to reach their customers and fans. Taking the trip to see it is on my radar since I reached out to them to represent local bean to bar at the Bucks County Chocolate Show. It feels like they're paving a path similar to Taza.
As far as I know, Taza has always and only been bean-to-bar. That's not the case with Mast Brothers. This can be confusing for those customers who care about whether the chocolate they're buying was made in Brooklyn or merely molded there.
For what it's worth, in a recent visit to the Mast Brothers shop in Brooklyn, I was told by Rick Mast that all chocolate used for all of their products was produced in-house from bean to bar.
There is now quite a lot of buzz about the Mast brothers, probably due to them being in the middle of the burgeoning craft food movement in Brooklyn, and near all the media makers in NY:
The mast brothers chocolate makers from Brooklyn make the medium screen again, now set to sail beans from Dominican Republic to NYC: http://vimeo.com/13664547
Interesting video on artisinal Brooklyn chocolate ground the hard way: http://www.coolhunting.com/food-drink/the-mast-brothe.php
Craft movement in Brooklyn: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/25/dining/25brooklyn.html?_r=1&s...
Their bars are available in London at Paul A Young's shops. Very nice - try them if you can.
I first seen them on cooking channels foodography. Seeing them gave me my final push to start making my own chocolate (which I have yet to do. Getting my ducks in a row for it.)

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