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Tasting chocolate can be a very interesting experience, but we don’t recommend you to take yourself too seriously!

  • The place: choose a calm, cool, dimly lit place to make sure you’re able to concentrate fully on the task in hand.
  • The time: Everyone has their own favourite time to taste. It could be the morning, mid-morning or indeed the afternoon. Just make sure you’re palette is in the right condition, so avoid tasting immediately after or a meal or when you’re hungry. To cleanse your palette both during and after tasting, we recommend green tea. Let it cool slightly before you drink: heat can affect your taste buds.

 

  • The tasting

Step 1

18464654Firstly, analyse the visual appearance of the chocolate. What are its primary visual features? What colour is it? How light or dark is it?

Step 2

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Smell the chocolate. This will reveal its primary taste characteristics. This step also allows you to decipher faults in the chocolate (papery or inky smell).

Step 3

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Break the chocolate: it should break cleanly, making a clear sound.

Step 4

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Put the square of chocolate in your mouth, take one bite and allow it to melt slowly, giving the flavours the opportunity to develop. At this stage, open your mouth and breathe slightly to let in some air (just like when tasting wine).

Step 5

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Analyse what you can taste, and how long the flavours last in your mouth. The longer the flavours last, the more we can talk about a lasting ‘finish’.

Be careful not to confuse bitterness and acidity. Bitterness indicates a flaw in the chocolate. Acidity, on the other hand, is a characteristic of the chocolate – one which is especially pronounced in Madagascan varieties. You may also notice fruit flavours, especially red fruits in Madagascan chocolate, as well as spices and floral notes…