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least bitter 100% or 99% chocolate?
January 10, 2006
3:56 pm
asmokemezzo
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Just tried the Chacao Absolute (70%) and all I can say is WOW, what a difference a little sugar makes! This is fantastic chocolate – coffee, red fruit, plums – delicious! It’s really amazing to see how little bitterness a 70% can have. I am now very excited to try the 90% with sugar crystals and see what others think of it as well – Monte, will there be a review in the near future?

January 10, 2006
5:03 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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A review of Crystal? It’s hard to say because the site’s emphasis is on unadulterated dark chocolate, and the way in which the sugar crystals are embedded in the bar might be regarded by some as “flavored” since the flavor of the chocolate is affected slightly.

January 12, 2006
9:13 am
Domenico
Budapest, Hungary
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Last time I met a Lindt Excellence 99% there were demerara sugar crystals listed among the ingredients as well as cocoa powder besides cocoa mass. This made me think about whether it can be regarded as unadulterated chocolate. However it was correct, flat and sometimes feeling overroasted but ok.

January 12, 2006
4:12 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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Oh really? Where was this? When I was in NY last July, I stopped by the Lindt shop and discussed with an employee various things chocolate, including the 99% entering US territory for retail sale. He said it was due soon, though, so if anyone lives near NY, go check it out.

January 13, 2006
10:23 am
Domenico
Budapest, Hungary
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On the back side of the packaging…Well here in Hungary you can get the Lindt Excellence line in all shops, even in large ones. I think that one came from a Tesco. Yesterday, just to check it out, I jumped to the usual local food store and bought a 85% also because I was excited about the reviews read here and wanted to recheck it (last time I tasted it a year ago but was not very fond of, as the texture was like eating flour). They did not have 99% and as I remember the 99%’s ingredient list was different, but the 85% is made up of: cocoa paste, defatted cocoa powder (I wonder whether it is dutched or not!), cocoa butter, demerara sugar, and vanilla. Even if we consider the use of cocoa powder forgiveable in in making a chocolate bar, the use of simple demerara sugar is also questionable, as it can alter the taste. That’s why Amedei and others use refined cane sugar to avoid possible taste fingerprints of unrefined sugar. But back to the ’99% there were crystals as I remember, and the cocoa powder is sure.
Am I too much of a purist?
Forgot to tell that checked CuoreNero: this is a bluff of an artificial sweetener maker company to sell more. All the bars I have seen are made with 100% cocoa paste and the well known tripeptide: NutraSweet, some containing also other sweeteners. Do they put it into the 101th percent? ;)

January 13, 2006
4:40 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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Interesting. The ingredients list on the 85% is totally different here. It’s like you’re tasting an entirely different chocolate in Hungary. Anyway, when you check the review for the ingredients of the bar I tasted, you can clearly see that just about every component is different and so your bar will be dramatically different from mine.

Cocoa powder is an acceptable ingredient in chocolate (or it is at least imo) since it is still a cocoa solid and nothing that would impose any “unnatural” flavors to the chocolate. As I commented on previously, the use of unrefined sugars (such as Demerara) will unfavorably affect flavor and I tend to look down on the use of brown sugars. However, I also believe that if you’re seeking to produce a round and consistent flavor, with total disregard to the chocolate’s inherent flavor integrity, then brown sugars do have major value since they can enhance and hide flavors that a manufacturer may or may not want to show up in the chocolate’s final flavor. But of course, since we’re concerned about the “true” taste of the bean, the use of brown sugars is not dismissible.

January 13, 2006
5:12 pm
asmokemezzo
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FYI, I stopped into the Lindt store on 5th Ave in NYC today and they didn’t have their 99% bar in stock; however, the salesperson assured me that it didn’t contain sugar crystals of any kind. I can’t imagine Lindt chocolate in 99% – the 85% is more than strong and acid enough.

January 13, 2006
5:41 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Keep in mind that the same bean ratio is not always used for different percentages. For example, an 85% might have a slightly different bean makeup (beans might be the same but the ratio might be alered) than its 70% cousin to compensate for the sheer strength of the bar.

January 13, 2006
8:13 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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At last something becomes clearer. It must be some regional difference in 85% Lindt formula, and not a major difference in our palates! Lindt here, in UK has that additional “fat reduced cocoa powder and demerara sugar among the ingredients, so taste we keep complaining about here, may not reach you at all, Monte. And 99% Lindt here lists demerara sugar as well.

January 13, 2006
9:59 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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Hmm, interesting. What does the ingredients list state on the 70% bars? As I’ve previously mentioned, I acquried some 70% from Europe, and the ingredients are exactly as stated in the reivew, which if you’ve noticed, is the same as the 85%.

January 16, 2006
12:21 am
Domenico
Budapest, Hungary
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Really interesting. 70% is just cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar, soy lecithine and vanilla. At least, here. I can imagine everything from Lindt after I have seen their one of their immense factories near Milan.

January 16, 2006
7:18 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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So it seems that there are at least three different formulas floating around for the 70%, then. Even the one in Hungary is much different than the one available in England.

January 17, 2006
1:50 pm
Domenico
Budapest, Hungary
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Ellie wrote about the 85%. Its composition is the same in Europe but different in the US. I wrote now about the 70% that is different from both the 99% and the 85%. The 85% contains cocoa powder that is not there in the 70%.
Back to the 100s-what is your opinion about Rovira, and what do you know about the cocoa he uses for the bars? I know that he uses Sao Tomé single plantation cocoa only for his 2 showboxes, KKO and Making Off Cocoa. I liked his 100s a lot, although Slitti 100 remains my favourite.

January 23, 2006
11:53 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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I never tried the Rovira 100% mainly because it’s hard to find over here. However, I did try the 70% years ago but forgot what it was like. I don’t know where Rovira sources from either; I have some ideas, but I’m not going to point any fingers yet.

January 24, 2006
5:41 am
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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I think Rovira still sources from Choco Vic.

“Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos” (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
January 24, 2006
5:47 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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That’s my suspicion too, but it’s just that: a suspicion.