Thursday 30 October 2014

Artisan du Chocolat Java 72%

Java is one of the largest islands of Indonesia and it's landscaped by a chain of volcanic mountains. Artisan du Chocolat's Java dark chocolate was of a lighter shade of brown with a slight reddish tint when compared to their Colombian bar

The acrid, harsh aroma was seriously smokey, with ash, charred wood, burning rubber and peat coming to mind. I would have thought the beans had been dried and roasted over a fire with poor ventilation, but Javanese cocoa is naturally known to have a bold, smoked, leather flavour profile. I guess the volcanic soils of Java has so much influence over its cocoa beans. To breathe in the aroma of this chocolate was like inhaling the smoke from a blown out candle, it irritated the throat and was seemingly dangerous 

Initially the taste didn't offer much else than what the aroma did. It wasn't as pungent, but it still was overwhelmingly smokey. In regards to smoke in chocolate, subdued tobacco hints are rather nice, but this bar wasn't tobacco, it was the smoke from burning wood and car tires. There was also a hammy flavour, which I did not like. The middle-end taste surfaced a beautiful olive oil and a fruity, citrus acidity with some hints of blackberry. Strong bitter cocoa notes and an astringent feel followed, and then the unpleasant smoke returned for the finish

The added cocoa butter and soya lecithin made for a buttery smooth texture. The snap sounded great, showing the chocolate's excellent tempering

I found Artisan du Chocolat to have a distinctive style, as there were hints similar to the Colombian, like a sherbet aroma, as well the luxurious texture. I think I would have been better off trying their Java milk chocolate instead. I doubt such intense flavour could be that affected by milk solids. I imagine the Java milk bar to be actually rather tasty

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