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Coppeneur Venezuela Ocumare 72% Cacao Criollo
May 29, 2007
11:53 pm
karashi
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Forum Posts: 21
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May 22, 2007
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This was my ‘chocolate shopkeeper’s recommendation’ bar. I sampled this in the store alongside “Java”, also by Coppeneur. The acidity appealed and I chose the Ocumare to try more of. First impressions can be deceptive though!

It’s packaging is quite stylish – matte grey and black with the name of the chocolate “Ocumare” being the splash of color in blue. A plastic ‘seal’ holds the envelope closed. It’s also practical – it opens and closes easily along the long side of the bar, with a tab and slot configuration in the middle of the bar.

The bar itself also looks promising – a deep reddish brown. This is the glossiest bar I’ve had – I can clearly make out the shape of the windows and lights around me. Despite being molded in a single slab, which I tend to dislike, it’s easy to break large pieces as it is pretty thin.

Aroma is strong and chocolatey – with an sour tinge. I like a bit of acidity, so this doesn’t discourage me, even though the smell is different than the fruity acidity that I’ve come to expect from chocolate. I’m having trouble placing it until…

I taste the bar. An initial kick of bitterness quickly subsides to a sweet acidity that’s pretty strong (approaching Lindt 70% territory). As the chocolate continues to melt, though, the bitterness comes back accompanied by a sour acidity that reminds me of vinegar and sour milk – the smell that I was having trouble identifying. Not pleasant.

The bitterness and sour milk lingers for minutes after the chocolate is gone and leaves my saliva tasting like bile after the bitter fades. Obviously, these are NOT the acid notes that anything should be striving for.

It’s not all bad (really!) – the smooth texture and melt are superb. A fast easy melt is easily the glossiest, most slippery texture that I’ve experienced. By comparison, the Valrhona that I had in the morning seems on the pasty side. Unfortunately for Coppeneur, the Valrhona tastes infinitely better. The rich glossy texture might be the result of the cocoa butter listed in the ingredients.

I’m left wondering if something went rancid in the bar. The expiry date listed is 2009, though, so that’s somewhat doubtful. This chocolate joins the (harsh, bitter, inedible) Lindt 85% in the baking chocolate cupboard. It’s nowhere near as inedible as the Lindt 85% but I have the feeling that it’ll taste better in cupcakes or ganache that it tastes straight.

(Since there’s no formal review…
Ingredients: cacao, cane sugar, cocoa butter)

July 26, 2007
4:20 am
Tchaikovsky
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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
June 24, 2007
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The sour acidity of my Coppeneur Ocumare reminds me of sour cherries. I also get peat (earthy) and a trace of almonds. Simple and simply great.

I bought it at Cacao Drink Chocolate in Portland Oregan. The owner of Cacao Drink Chocolate told me the Pastry Chef on the Canadian Culinary Olympic Team is now using Coppeneur couverture. The first time I saw Coppeneur was at Fog City News in San Francisco.

August 27, 2007
8:22 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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Forum Posts: 283
Member Since:
October 13, 2009
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quote:


Originally posted by karashi

This was my ‘chocolate shopkeeper’s recommendation’ bar. I sampled this in the store alongside “Java”, also by Coppeneur. The acidity appealed and I chose the Ocumare to try more of. First impressions can be deceptive though!

I taste the bar. An initial kick of bitterness quickly subsides to a sweet acidity that’s pretty strong (approaching Lindt 70% territory). As the chocolate continues to melt, though, the bitterness comes back accompanied by a sour acidity that reminds me of vinegar and sour milk – the smell that I was having trouble identifying. Not pleasant.

The bitterness and sour milk lingers for minutes after the chocolate is gone and leaves my saliva tasting like bile after the bitter fades. Obviously, these are NOT the acid notes that anything should be striving for.

I’m left wondering if something went rancid in the bar. The expiry date listed is 2009, though, so that’s somewhat doubtful. This chocolate joins the (harsh, bitter, inedible) Lindt 85% in the baking chocolate cupboard.


Did something go rancid in the bar? No, or at least not in the sense that it started out in great condition. See the previous discussion on Coppeneur and Ocumare. It just happens that Coppeneur’s Ocumare is a disaster. Other of his bars (e.g. Tsachila and Iara) are much, much better. I think Coppeneur has made a serious blunder because almost everybody who thinks to explore him starts out with the Ocumare, presuming (as I did) that as the bean with the most elite pedigree among Coppeneur’s offerings, it ought in principle to be the best. But in fact it’s the worst, by far, and it makes it far too easy for the potential customer to give up on Coppeneur right away, figuring that if this one is this bad, they don’t want to find out how bad the others are. IMHO Coppeneur should withdraw this bar until either he can make a *massive* improvement to it or until he can find a substitute. Otherwise he may find (or indeed already be finding) that the bars aren’t successful as a line due to the shortcomings of its “flagship” member. That’d be too bad, because in the others he does have something interesting and unique to offer.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
August 28, 2007
5:41 am
deb
Calgary, Canada
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Forum Posts: 146
Member Since:
May 29, 2005
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I tried the Ocumare this past weekend. This is my first sample of a Coppeneur product and I did not think it was a typical criollo flavour from that region. I think perhaps they were over roasted. Who knows, but not impressed. I will try the other bars that Alex has mentioned.

November 20, 2007
12:53 am
karashi
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Forum Posts: 21
Member Since:
May 22, 2007
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Thanks for the thoughts – heh, I may go back to Coppeneur in the future, but… I’m a bit gunshy, like Alex said. My choc budget has been a bit squeezed by other stuff, so…

November 29, 2007
5:48 am
Tchaikovsky
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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
June 24, 2007
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At the 2007 New York Chocolate Show (Sat, Nov 10, 2007) I talked with Coppeneur. I asked them about their Venezuala Ocumare 61 bar. They admitted their first attempt wasn’t very good but said their new bar is excellent. The second process (conching, roasting etc.) was identical to their first. The only difference was the quality of the Ocumare 61 beans. The new beans grew under better conditions (like grapes can be better depending on the year) and they improved the fermentation process.

I thought their first attempt was good but their new bar tastes much better.

Has anyone tasted their second batch?

August 7, 2008
12:38 am
Bittersweet
Calgary, Canada
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Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
November 29, 2007
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My Coppeneur Venezuelan Ocumare 61 bar expires on 15.01.2010, so I must have bought their latest creation. My impression;

Roasted pecans with long dried summer grass on the nose. Then creamy with great melt and mouth feel. Deep notes of cherries, ripe pineapple and butter. Long finish as pineapple notes linger.

A chocolate Tsunami! Coppeneur is beginning to get it right?

Next up; Coppeneur Trinidad with habanero and lavender. Got to be in the mood for this…maybe with sweet white wine.