Wait a moment! Before you scoff all your new craft chocolate at once, take a moment to read our thoughts on how best to taste and savour your chocolate.
Slowing down and savouring will allow you to discover amazing flavours and textures you’ve never experienced before. Did you know that chocolate has over 400 distinct flavour compounds? That’s even more than a fine wine!
We also recommend that you have multiple bars on the go at the same time. Good chocolate keeps very well (in an airtight container or one of our Cocoa Runners storage pouches), so there’s no need to worry about having multiple bars open for a long time. That’s the joy of it! Savour the bars, compare bars side by side, compare them at different times of the day…
Before you start, find somewhere quiet and free from strong smells.
Download our flavour wave. We’ve assembled this guide to help you articulate the sensations that are, quite literally, on the tip of your tongue as you taste chocolate. (Think of it a little like stabilisers on a bike.) Most of us aren’t used to articulating these things, so we’ve found that it really helps to have a vocabulary in front of you as you go.
Now without further ado, let’s get started:
If you’d like to find out more, please join us for a Virtual Chocolate Tasting. Attendance is free, but a lot more fun with the chocolate tasting kit. We’ll go into more depth about how to taste chocolate, how chocolate is made, the history of chocolate (what beards and armpits have to do with the production of chocolate bars), and much, much more.
If you’re tasting more than a couple of bars, you’ll want to have a palate cleanser handy for between tastings. We recommend you try crackers, water, fresh bread, or slices of apple.
Every stage of the chocolate making process has an impact on the flavour of the final bar. Natural factors such as cocoa variety, soil type, topography, and climate are only the beginning. Compare and contrast these Original Beans bars from Piura (Peru) and Virunga (DRC).
How a farmer treats the cocoa beans during fermentation and drying can also have a marked impact on the flavour of your chocolate. And small changes in all steps of the making process – from the roasting temperature to the length of conche – can have an even greater impact. Try the bars from Fresco to experience this in person.
These little details create inconsistencies that generate the diversity and differences of craft chocolate. Every batch made by a maker may have subtle differences, so even if you’re enjoying your favourite bar for the twentieth time, it’s worth tasting it carefully to see if you can detect something new.