If you know how to taste chocolate this is an opportunity to validate your method or to teach me things that I did not write into this guide. If you don’t know how to taste chocolate and you can just say that is good or bad, sweet or not, this is your chance to learn.
Like good wine or craft beer, craft chocolate has plenty of flavors, thousands it is said. If you’ll taste methodically, in time you’ll be able to make the difference between cocoa beans, chocolate bars or producers.
- Choose the chocolate you prefer: dark, milk or white (pink, maybe in the future), with cocoa from South America or Africa, single origin or not. Read the bars wrap (cocoa percentage, origin), choose craft, handmade, artisan, bean-to-bar or small batch and pay attention to the ingredients. Remember a craft chocolate has few ingredients: dark (cocoa beans, cocoa butter, and sugar), milk (cocoa beans, cocoa butter, sugar, and powder milk), white (cocoa butter, sugar, powder milk).
- It doesn’t matter how many; you decide how many you want to taste.
- Which moment of the day? It doesn’t matter actually. Choose whatever moment you prefer, choose a quiet or a noise place, inside or outside, alone or with family, friends, colleagues, because what matters is you feel cozy, relaxed, feel good actually.
- If you want to keep a journal of chocolate bars that you taste, take a piece of paper and a pencil, or use your electronic device in order to note the flavors that you’ll feel, otherwise you’ll forget.
- Your palate should be clean before tasting because you want to feel only chocolate’s flavors, texture, not mixed with the food or drinks you had before. You can clean it with sparkling water, a piece of apple or bread, or you can make the tasting in the morning before eating.
- If the chocolate is not white, take a moment and look at the color of the bar. The color could indicate the region from where cocoa is coming or how much the beans were roasted.
- Smell the chocolate to discover the cocoa beans, fruits, plants, wood, roast and other influences.
- Break a piece of chocolate and listen how it snaps. The louder the snap the better the chocolate is.
- Taste and let the chocolate melt slowly into your mouth, feel it on your tongue and identify the flavors: creamy, fruity, nutty, earthy, etc.
- Think about the impression that chocolate made on you: color, texture, smell, snap, flavors.
I’ll give you below two links for chocolate tasting maps which could help you to develop your tasting skills. Enjoy!