Cocoa Rustica: Bringing cocoa culture to life

Last summer, we hosted a tasting event with Cocoa Rustica founder Mark Sommer at Hearsay HQ. He shared his amazing single-source drinking chocolates and took us on a journey into cocoa culture—both the traditions of the past and his vision for its future.

Caroline Harrison of The Hive Studios was also on hand with her camera for the event, and now a rough cut of her film is available. Check it out!

Mmmmm, chocolate…

We told you June would be an eat-dessert-first kind of month, and we weren’t kidding. We’ve developed quite a sweet tooth while baking pie pops for this weekend’s SF Food Wars PIE OR DIE Part Deux. That’s why we’re very excited to bring you San Francisco’s first taste of Cocoa Rustica—a new line of 100% cacao whole bean drinking chocolates.

Author, radio host, and adventurer Mark Sommer will join us next Thursday evening for a very special tasting event at Hearsay HQ. Mark spent two years searching for wild cacao in the rainforests of southern Mexico, the headwaters of the Amazon, and the cocoa coast of Brazil, then a full year doing kitchen-counter testing to get his blends just right. The result is Cocoa Rustica—a bold, intense, and complex drinking chocolate experience that takes chocolate back to its source as a whole food, not just a candy.

This tasting will feature drinking chocolates made by top-tier artisanal chocolate makers using beans grown in Madagascar and Venezuela. You’ll have the opportunity to invent your own cup by combining various cocoa varieties with flavorings like coconut palm sugar, chilis, and lemon zest. We’ll sample Cocoa Spirits, which are chocolate liqueurs made from Cocoa Rustica and a variety of liquors and liqueurs, as well as non-alcoholic natural extracts. And because cacao in liquid form combines better with other flavors than just about any other food, we’ll also be serving several desserts for drizzling purposes.

Cocoa Rustica is not yet available in stores and this event is limited to the first 25 RSVPs. Admission is $10. Please reserve your spot on the event’s Facebook page and leave your e-mail address so we can send you the exact address and payment info. Cheers!