Provo’s Taste chocolate shop to start mass production

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Provo’s Taste brings any one that ventures through the doors a “taste” of chocolate from all over the world, greeting customers with the sweet smells and a high level of sophistication.

Morgan Coleman (left) and Phil Davis in their real life Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. (Alexander Balkman)

Celebrating one year of a “soft opening,” as owner Phil Davis described it, is a huge feat for the company. But Davis and his partner Morgan Coleman are just getting started.

Together, these chocolate connoisseurs have brought over 100 different types of chocolate, from Italy, France, Germany, England and other nations, each with different flavors. They’ve also brought along some of the world’s best balsamic vinegars and olive oils to Provo’s streets.

Davis and Coleman are beginning to ramp up the production of their chocolate, going from a couple hundred bars a day to over three tons of chocolate a week. This increase will allow them to distribute worldwide and keep up with demands for their brand.

Phil Davis found his love for chocolate at 8 years old, eating any high-quality chocolate he could get his hands on.

Davis developed a specialized palate for flavors and eventually started writing aroma profiles for the back of chocolate boxes.

Morgan Coleman spent a large portion of his life painting, with his artwork being displayed all over the world, including a painting currently on display in the United State Embassy in Kuwait.

With the goal to create the world’s finest chocolate, Davis and Coleman created Coleman & Davis along with Taste. These next-door establishments create an environment in which they make their chocolate and taste it too.

One of the goals in opening Taste was to offer customers the opportunity to “educate (their) palate” with a wide variety of high caliber chocolates.

Both of the Coleman & Davis chocolate bars, accompanied by what they call some of the world best vanilla beans. (Alexander Balkman)

“The chocolate was good, but the ambiance was what I really liked,” said BYU student Lucy Myers, who attended a Taste chocolate event for a bachelorette party. “The hostess/teacher really made it feel like a special experience for us rather than just another, everyday experience. It felt like an ‘event’ in a way.”

Davis said that to pull of their vision, they needed equipment that didn’t yet exist.

So they had all their equipment custom–made, helping to give Coleman & Davis its unique tastes and aromas of their chocolate. All chocolate work is done in house, from the selection of the cacao beans all the way to the wrapping of the chocolate bars.

Coleman & Davis have created two different bars: Sambirano and Del Oro. Del Oro features hints of banana and walnut, while the Sambirano bar features hints of red berries and citrus. Both feature subtle yet complex flavors from the different types of cacao beans used.

Raw cacao means from Madagascar lying on the sorting table before getting shelled for production. (Alexander Balkman)

“Many say they have the best chocolate in the world, but no one can back it up. We can back it up,” the owners said.

With the specialized equipment they designed, they can produce quantifiable data about the roasting process that shows how they get their signature flavors.

These two friends said they can achieve flavors that are not even possible to get in the Swiss Alps, where some of the world’s best chocolate is made. This is because of the high altitude and humidity in Utah Valley and the equipment they own.

“How you taste the chocolate is just as important as the chocolate you taste,” Davis said before going through his taste-testing process.

Describing every little motion during the tasting process with care and emphasis, Davis went through several of the types of chocolate that he loves, commenting on flavors and even going into the detail about the textures.

Coleman and Davis are not only going after the title of the world’s best chocolate but also some of the world’s best chefs. By bringing in chefs with the best ingredients, they believe they’ll continue to excel in their craft.

The exquisite architecture of the Taste building that greets people walking or driving down University Avenue. (Alexander Balkman)

Coleman & Davis are heading to this year’s Salon Du Chocolate in Paris. This competition features some of the best chocolate makers in the world and will provide opportunities for these partners to secure distribution worldwide.

Taste offers 15-minute chocolate tastings any time of the day with one of its many trained employees. On Thursday evenings, Taste offers 45-minute tastings, and on Friday evenings, Taste offers two-hour in-depth tastings with crowds of up to 40 with Coleman and Davis themselves.

“Its classiness almost lets you forget that you’re a college student,” Myers said.

Customers can make chocolate tasting reservations on Taste’s website.

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