Mouthpiece

Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives Served Daily

Twenty-Four Blackbirds

There's a little bit of mad scientist in every chocolate-maker. Mike Orlando of Twenty-Four Blackbirds in Santa Barbara, actually studied marine biology and chemistry and worked at a lab at U.C. Santa Barbara before launching himself into the world of bean-to-bar. Commercial chocolate making equipment was out of his price range, so he built smaller versions himself, relying on the internet and a lot of test runs with help from his sister, Gina, and his girlfriend Elaine. All three threw themselves into the project, but it was Mike who eventually quit his day job to run the workshop full time.

They take DIY to a new level, even designing and printing the labels themselves – the small bars are wrapped in simple brown kraft paper illustrated with original line drawings, mostly of blackbirds. They work with just a few origins at a time, developing a recipe for each new bar, figuring out the right roast, conch and aging process. Since 2010, they've made handfuls of different single origin chocolate bars and an insanely perfect "drinking chocolate kit." Indeed, one successful experiment. 

Maker Website:  http://twentyfourblackbirds.com

 

Article index

  • AHeirloom

    You can imagine a nervous groom working on his vows up to the minute before he says, “I do,” but...

    Read more
  • Bench

    What’s old is new again. But you know that. Jason Enos and Chris Fitzgerald founded Brack Mountain Wine Company in Sonoma’s...

    Read more
  • Other Brother

    While Ben Herrmann and Evan Loewy share no DNA, they both have olive oil in their blood. The friends grew...

    Read more
  • Cooking for Isaiah

    You’d trust that a mom with a teenage son who was diagnosed gluten- and dairy-intolerant more than a decade ago...

    Read more
  • Next