Blog post How to Taste Chocolate - Original Beans

 
written by
Milena Solot
 

How to taste chocolate

... a guided tour through rare tastes and flavours

Because you’re curious and conscious about the complex world of taste; because you, like us, believe memory is infused with rare tastes and flavours, come along with us and indulge in this tasting experience.

Let’s say chocolate is like a lover whose heart we wish to discover. The more we know, the more we want to know. There are more than 600 flavours in good chocolate (of course!) and you cannot always tell what is amiss with chocolate when it doesn’t taste quite right. It could be over roasting, or under roasting, or so many other things. What you know for certain is that good chocolate makes you smile. It portrays different layers of pleasant flavours and a long aftertaste. It’s not sour and not astringent; it’s not dry but it’s not too buttery either; not too fatty or too sweet. 

We think eating good chocolate should feel like traveling across the rainbow. From a single beginning to a single endpoint, with all the aroma spectrum of this chocolate opening along the way. Chocolate isn’t bound by borders and national styles, like, for example,  “Belgian chocolate¨ doesn't mean much. Beans come from across the globe and every chocolate maker has her own style. It’s best to get to know and experience chocolate with an open mind. Let it be approached with curiosity and mindfulness. Taste it in silence, preferably without music or telephones. As with a lover, chocolate doesn’t like disruptions. Close your eyes and let it happen. 

Later, when you want to reflect on your experience and understand, we offer you the Original Beans Flavour Wheel. It’s like a map: it isn’t the journey, only the route. If you get lost, you can always find your way back. 

smelling cacao
To start on the journey:
select four or five different chocolates.

Try not to mix white, milk and dark chocolate. The milk fat sticks to your tongue and diminishes the other more subtle flavours; you might also wish to focus on chocolate with the same cacao percentage, or, at least, no more than a five percent difference.

So, how about Piura 75%?
Flavours of raspberry, dried prunes and pecan

…. Did you pick up some of these notes? Or others? More a character? Is it  bright like the butterflies of Piura? The Piura Blanco cacao from which this chocolate is made from is known for its fruitiness. It has also  become one of the most prize-winning cacaos worldwide. Cacao genetic experts believe it  is an “albino” form of a native cacao that survived the dry desert climate of Piura over millennia.

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Flavours of raspberry, dried prunes and pecan divulge the secrets of this ultra rare white cacao—nature’s delicious mistake— we found along Peru’s coastal desert, the habitat of a diverse and bright butterfly collection.

Be warned: questions may arise and you might not be able to answer them in the first tasting. Consider coming back to the same chocolates during the day or, better yet, in the next couple of days. You will be amazed by the tasting combinations and how your palate finds new and surprising nuances.


Begin your tasting by ... unwrapping 🙂  Good chocolate has a shine. Snap off a piece. Listen to the sound, a sharp snap indicates quality. Smell. What does its smell evoke? What memories does it bring forth?

Place one square in your mouth. Let it melt. Slowly. Once the chocolate has melted away wait for the aftertaste. Create a sequence of your four selected chocolates: one, two, three, four. Then go back: three, two, one, four. Go back again to two.  Wait. Which one do you prefer? Go back to it. New flavors will come to light. 

Be aware of the texture of the chocolate. Is it smooth or rough and uneven? What’s the mouthfeel? Intense or buttery? Do not, however, confuse creaminess with sweetness or astringency with bitterness. Astringent taste puckers the mouth while bitterness is sharp and pungent. Does it make you smile? Does it make you happy? Your senses will heighten as you become an expert and discover the furtive taste of very rare cacaos. 

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Feeling more like honey?
Turn the wheel and go with Beni Wild 66%.

It’s always a great way to begin serious tasting. It’s very mild and offers a full vivid flavour spectrum.

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Hints of floral honey, apricot and jasmine tea are present in this rarest of rare cacao. The taste leads to the wild cacao trees on Amazon forest islands, home to the vivid blue-throated macaw.

You will want to remember that every bean is unique because they all carry the smells and tastes of their surroundings along with the specifics of the fermentation and drying processes. This is why we don’t want to overwhelm our senses. If you select different origins from the same chocolate maker, you will taste how the maker interprets the beans, which is always a fascinating task. Or you will want to taste chocolates from the same origin but made by different makers; by doing this you will discover how the processes of cacao makes a difference in taste. 

Enjoy your chocolate tasting! Remember to take it slowly. The slower you go the deeper the love, as the song goes. Or as we put it: taste the rare and preserve it.

 


THE ORIGINAL BEANS
FLAVOUR WHEEL

The art and fun of tasting starts with experiences. If you have never tasted a cherimoya fruit, you will not find its flavours in a chocolate. So jump right in! Moods play a role, time of day, the ingredients of your prior meal, even your own body chemistry.

Of course the product, too... Our chocolates are hyper-local and every harvest tastes a bit different. With our flavour wheel we have tried to capture each bean character in broader strokes.

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