Map Chocolate Factory Tour
After our wonderful time with Dick Taylor Chocolate and a couple days of adventure on the Oregon Coast, we stopped in for a visit with Mackenzie Rivers of Map Chocolate in Eugene. She was a good sport as we followed her around with an excited live audience on Instagram.
When a live follower asked, "What is your favorite bar that you make?" Mackenzie answers, "Oh my goodness... I don't think I have a favorite, but the bar that I made this summer, the Thai Peanut bar with the Ben Tre, that bar does it all for me. It's my version of the everything bagel. It has everything that I would want in a bar. It's a vegan coconut dark milk with crispy rice, and I like spicy and Thai food so it has lime, chile, and candied ginger... so right now that is one that I love.
For those of you who haven't yet heard of or tasted Map, in my opinion, it is the perfect definition of Craft Chocolate. Everything is lovingly created from start to finish by Ms. Rivers herself. She roasts to precision and winnows at John Nanci's space (of Chocolate Alchemy), and then furthers the work in her small garage-like shop with tiny table-top grinders and presses her own cocoa butter. She hand-tempers each batch, and designs and hand-wraps each bar in stunning packaging.
Things won't stay this way for long, though. Rivers has plans for her own roaster and winnower any day now. And the demand for her chocolate is off the charts. If you can't find it in any shops, you may just be on a waiting list for some time before you get to delight in its goodness. (Our online shop will soon have Map bars!)
When we asked about her process for making cocoa butter she said, "I do a roast specifically for making cocoa butter. You can have a deeply roasted bean that you're going to make chocolate with, but I found that depending on the bean if you follow that same path for cocoa butter, it has a stronger taste. Then after I press it, I use the remaining solids for cocoa powder or as a hot cocoa topping."
Mackenzie was just a delight to talk to and spend time with. She is passionate, humble, and sincere. Someone you just want to give a big hug! And we did.