The Letterpress Ucayali Private Reserve 70% Dark Chocolate Bar is “a most unique and interesting chocolate; one that must be savored and enjoyed with quiet contemplation” according to its makers, David and Corey Menkes. In the nose, you’ll find delicate aromas of graham cracker and red fruit. The tasting notes are oak, butter, cocoa powder, and nuts. The bar has a lovely brightness and a rich milk chocolatey aspect, even though it is a dark chocolate bar with absolutely no dairy whatsoever. The texture is velvety smooth with a plush mouthfeel and gorgeous melt on the palate, typical of Letterpress bars.
Letterpress is the first chocolate maker to create bars out of Ucayali cacao from the Upper Amazon in Peru. This region is not normally associated with great cacao, but these particular beans are unique. Botanist and award-winning chocolate expert Daniel O’Doherty helped to source these beans grown by skilled and dedicated Ucayali Region farmers who are paid a premium for their exemplary work. David and Corey Menkes have matched the farmers’ level of care by crafting this masterpiece bar for our pleasure.
As you can see, the (Gold Award-Winning) packaging for this bar is exquisite, as is the custom imprint. This incredibly detailed mold was made by the famous chocolate mold design firm Micelli in New York. The imprint alone on this bar will blow your mind.
- International Chocolate Awards Triple MMM Judges Award 2017
- International Chocolate Awards USA Gold 2017
- International Chocolate Awards Americas Silver 2017
- Academy of Chocolate Gold Winner 2017
Inspired chocolate makers and owners of Letterpress, David and Corey Menkes were once close friends in high school. They fell in love and got married in 2010. On a trip to St. Lucia shortly after their wedding they tasted the sweet pulp from cacao pods, saw cacao fermenting for the first time, and got bitten by the chocolate-making bug.
By 2013, the couple was running a bean-to-bar chocolate blog called Little Brown Squares where they exclusively reviewed craft bars. In 2014, David took a cacao bootcamp class hosted by Madre Chocolate in Oahu, Hawaii. There, David learned not only how to grow and cultivate cacao trees, but also how to ferment and dry cacao, taking the chocolate-making process all the way through to the finished bar.
Upon returning home to LA, he began purchasing small quantities of cacao beans to start making his own chocolate in the kitchen. After some practice, his chocolate was so delicious that his coworkers at DreamWorks Animation started placing orders. By 2016, David and Corey's tiny apartment was overrun with chocolate making equipment and they needed to find a larger home for it. A shared kitchen conveniently located just down the road fit the bill, and after renting space there, they eventually purchased it in 2017. In 2018 they expanded beyond the kitchen, taking over the entire location and renovating the retail area. They hosted a grand opening in 2018 and started offering factory tours in 2019 to an overwhelming response. Keep your eyes on this amazing company. They are young and brilliant chocolate makers.
Letterpress is among the 13 favorite USA craft chocolate producers recognized in Melissa Clark's February 2020 New York Times article for the extra attention their team devotes to sourcing beans, forging positive relationships with growers and treating the planet with extra loving care.
- Ingredients: Cacao Beans, Organic Unrefined Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter
- Net Weight: 57 g. / 2 oz.
- Country of Origin: USA
- Kosher Information: Pareve