Sunday 8 July 2018

Ritual Novo Coffee

Ritual Chocolate are chocolate makers in Utah, USA. For this bar, the cacao had been grown in the Camino Verde farm in Balao, Ecuador, and the coffee is named Anyetsu from Novo coffee roasters, which is a sun-dried Ethiopian coffee.
The aroma was peppercorns (black, red and pink), coffee, caramel, digestive biscuits. The melt starts slow and remains a bit gummy, this is most likely because there is around 33% fat, which is considerably low. There is 10% coffee in this bar, but it is completely ground in so it gives a smooth experience.

The taste had a well balanced acidity with sweetness and bitterness. There was some yeast and earthiness in the background, but the flavours all round up in the finish, with digestive biscuits, Hobnobs and golden syrup. A chocolate of a digestive biscuit-flapjack hybrid... 

J. Cocoa 40% Caramelised Milk Chocolate Nicalizo

This chocolate won Bronze at the Academy of Chocolate 2018. During the tasting sessions, this milk chocolate was a real standout bar for me: firstly the unique method of delivering milk in chocolate (i.e. caramelised) and secondly the intense cocoa flavours (despite being 40%). Both the milk and cocoa yielded big flavours, but the chocolate maker orchestrated them divinely.
An aroma of fresh italian pizza dough, herby, whole milk, caramel. It has a soft bite. The flavour is very caramelised milk, it's a very rich whole milk taste. Huge hit of wholemeal toast. Overall impression is it's a chocolate with an impactful, deep flavour, with slightly nutty notes, nice acidity and a cooling bitterness. 

Monday 30 April 2018

Dormouse Peru 80%

Cocoa beans from Piura, Peru of the Gran Nativo Blanco type, are such delicate and fine flavour cocoa beans. The beans, from Cacao Tales, are grown by cooperatives in Northern Peru, and they are the most awarded cacao beans grown in Peru, see here for more details.

Dormouse Chocolates, Manchester's first bean to bar chocolate maker, is a ridiculously skilled chocolate maker. So basically, this bar just suggests a real synergistic experience...

An 80% dark chocolate, made with cocoa beans and muscovado sugar only, meaning no added cocoa butter.
The aroma was caramel, lightly acidic, green apples. The taste had perfect acidity, with notes of lime, wheat, ash, rhubarb, and very caramel-rich from the molasses of the muscovado sugar. The flavour was so smooth, as was the texture, which could be explained by the grind and conche time having been 54 hours, all in a 2l capacity grinder, just some fine details for 'chocolate nerds'

This bar really amazed me. Sometimes 80% can be a little too high for me, but it was such an easy going 80%. So much so that I had the whole bar in just a couple of hours. Each piece literally made me say "wow", which I first noticed I was doing when biking in the sun through London 

NearyNógs Hispaniola 70%

NearyNógs first got my attention in early February, it was with their São Tomé 70%. The chocolate, from what I remember, was very good, and more interestingly so was that it had been made in Northern Ireland! 

Onto their Dominican Republic 70% bar, the ingredients are simple: cacao beans and unrefined cane sugar.
The taste had a great acidity, somewhat rich with red currants. The texture and flavour both felt like a chocolate brownie, the texture because it was quite a thick and uneven melt, the flavour because it's just mad chocolatey. This type of melt, however, works well with a taste like that... The finish had a 'green' earthy note to it.
This bar was enjoyed during the mid April heatwave in London. For me, it's always so good to have great chocolate in hot weather

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Goldfinch 74% Belize

I took a small step back from the chocolate industry over the Summer and Autumn 2017, which meant I hadn't heard of Goldfinch chocolate, usually I am so on it with new makers. It wasn't until I met the maker randomly at my weekend job that I discovered this new UK bean to bar chocolate maker. She was looking at bean to bar chocolate; I saw that as an opportunity to spark a conversation with a stranger about great chocolate

We got talking, found out she was a fellow chocolate maker, which then lead to being given a chocolate bar, of which stayed so close to me until my shift finished. As soon as I got home, I had to try this unheard of chocolate maker!

The cacao from Belize started very juicy, flowers, blueberry, bubble gum (reminding me very much of Brazilian cacao), it was also super chocolate-y. There was a bright, lively acidity. The finish lingers a slightly bitter, hoppy flavour, but it was a long, long finish, which is always good

I can taste and feel that the chocolate is well crafted

The Goldfinch website looks very slick and at the moment has two different origins available (Belize and Dominican Republic) as well as a couple added flavours. The maker is lovely, the chocolate is lovely, and I look forward to seeing more of Goldfinch chocolate