Mike Orlando, founder of Twenty-Four Blackbirds in Santa Barbara, CA, talks about the brand’s bean-to-bar chocolates with Candy Industry Senior Editor Liz Parker.

Twenty-Four Blackbirds Chocolates is inspired by traditional chocolate-making techniques, and it endeavors to make artisanal confections that are handcrafted. The brand sources raw, unroasted cocoa beans from single origin estates, growing co-ops, and plantations, and then hand-sorts to remove any beans that are flawed or otherwise do not meet its strict standards of quality. 

They then develop roast profiles to accentuate the subtle flavor characteristics inherent in beans from each origin. Its ingredients are then refined in a traditional stone melangeur, tempered, and molded by hand. It makes every effort to use the highest quality ingredients available, and its chocolate, made in Santa Barbara, CA, is always prepared in small batches with no emulsifiers or additives.

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