Friday, 30 May 2014

Artisan du Chocolat Colombia 72%

This Artisan du Chocolat bar is a blend of lightly roasted Trinitario beans from the Colombian regions of Hulia, Tumaco and Santander. The 'robust' Santander, 'floral' Huila and 'fruity' Tumaco beans are refined with cane sugar, extra cacao butter and soya lecithin

A dark seal brown colour. It was thin and delicate to hold with a crisp snap

In the nose was coconut, light brown sugar, lime sherbet, rich vanilla and a little malt. It was very sweet. It had a low chocolate quotient which was something I found unusual

A slow start on the tongue, opening with a mild cacao bitterness. The "light roast" was so influential of this chocolate, oscillation in flavour between perfectly browned toast and caramelised sugar/créme brûlée. An overlaying touch of vanilla. There were the slightest hints of coffee and tobacco however the flavour wasn't deep enough to pronounce these more clearly. A longer, higher temp roast or higher cocoa mass to cocoa butter ratio would have developed those darker flavours as well as the overall chocolate flavour/aroma. I had a frangipane vibe once

The melt was luxuriously smooth, the added cocoa butter could not have been misinterpreted. However, this beautiful texture often distracted from the flavour, and as there was little complexity in flavours, the chocolate occasionally seemed tasteless

A long lasting finish of hot cocoa, with a sourness intervining after the initial hinting of nut, and malted rice 

Although a very low acidicity, it was mouth watering. The cocoa butter made for such a wet mouthfeel. I couldn't taste floral nor fruity notes at all, and neither did it seem robust. This chocolate was sugar-sweet and subtle in flavous. I was unsure about this Colombian blend at first, but it grew on me after trying it again at night. I guess I'm more alert around 10pm. It seems as though the additional cacao butter compromised the flavour intensity, however the light roast and sweet subtleties created a warm, soft experience which was more than likely Artisan du Chocolat's focal point

I think paying £3.50 for 45g can be easily justified. You are after all paying for quality. Though don't opt for this bar if you want expressive and loud notes. It is a relaxed, soft vibed chocolate. But that sweet softness was unlike any dark chocolate I have experienced yet, which is something encouraging for a beginner in the world of fine cocoa. I really liked this chocolate

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