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Taza 80% Stone Ground Organic
January 12, 2010
1:59 am
Eshra
Southgate, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 178
Member Since:
February 14, 2006
Offline

Taza chocolate is all sourced from a small cooperative in the Dominican Republic. The beans are sun-dried and minimally processed on a stone mill to preserve more “natural flavors” as Taza indicates.

The ingredients for the 80% bar are as follows: cacao beans (Dominican Republic), cane sugar, cocoa butter, and whole vanilla beans.

Out of the wrapper, the bear bears a nice mahogany color with a mediocre sheen. Given the fact that the beans are stone ground, this should not come as a surprise. What is surprising is that fact that the smell of the chocolate hits the taster before the bar is able to be more carefully examined. There is definitely a heady note of wine and citrus coming off a darker background of cedar. Perhaps a nicely oaked cabernet is to come?

Snap is surprisingly crisp. I expected a ‘thud’.

Flavour is slow to develop and indeed the large particle size works to a disadvantage. A woodsy, almost worrisome cardboard note hovers while the natural heat of the mouth dissolves some of the cacao solids. Fortunately, the wine sneaks back in with citrus. The wine and citrus enter into a sort of menage a trois with a lesser toffee and/or sweet cream butter note. This does not last long, however, as most menages do not. The flavour falls somewhat flat and the length is disappointing.

I am not exactly sold on the whole “stone ground” hoopla. As I have not had many stone-ground chocolates, it is difficult to make comparisons. I feel, however, that the larger particle size tends to hold a lot of the flavour ‘prisoner’, thereby not allowing the full expression of the cacao. Nonetheless, Taza’s 80% bar is a decent entrant into the organic field. Perhaps by tweaking the cocoa butter or more finely grinding the beans, the beans can release more of their potential.

Aroma: 8/10; 8/100
Look/Snap: 7/10; 3.5/100
Taste: 7/10; 24.5/100
Length: 4/10; 6/100
Melt: 5/10; 2.5/100
Opinion: 7/10; 21/100

Total: 6.55/10; 65.5/100

January 14, 2010
11:45 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 283
Member Since:
October 13, 2009
Offline

quote:


Originally posted by Eshra

Taza chocolate is all sourced from a small cooperative in the Dominican Republic. The beans are sun-dried and minimally processed on a stone mill to preserve more “natural flavors” as Taza indicates.

Aroma: 8/10; 8/100
Look/Snap: 7/10; 3.5/100
Taste: 7/10; 24.5/100
Length: 4/10; 6/100
Melt: 5/10; 2.5/100
Opinion: 7/10; 21/100

Total: 6.55/10; 65.5/100


I tried it and my “objective” notes are rather similar to yours, but I’m somewhat more generous on the marks. So here’s how it went.

Out of the wrapper, the bar looks surprisingly well-finished, considering that it’s “stone-ground” (i.e. coarsely milled rather than refined). The colour is a nice medium brown with hints of red. Unevenness is apparent but not severe, and if it does not have the lustre of many chocolates this is to be expected given the processing.

Aroma is strikingly piquant, starting out citrussy and spicy, with hints of pepper and clove, then moving to currant and raspberry. Faint hints of woody appear. On the whole it suggests minimal processing and if exciting, warns of possible aggressive sourness. Certainly it livens the interest but in rather the same way that an unexpected bang and flash might – possible fireworks, or a bomb?

As it happens, fireworks are more in order. The flavour starts with a very nice strawberries and cream hint very reminiscent of Domori, then asserts the components so noticeable in the aroma, spicy and clove along with an acid hint of balsamic. Some sourness is apparent but it’s not overbearing. A woody finish likewise confirms the basic makeup of the aroma again without becoming excessively tannic or harsh. Not unexpectedly, the texture, however, is truly abysmal, and something you have to be able to look beyond in order to appreciate the flavour: rough, grainy and dry in a way that is completely unappealing.

From a flavour point of view, this chocolate seems to be what might happen if you blended a Domori Porcelana and Puertofino: a noble combination indeed. While similar to Domori on flavour, however, the bar diverges on the texture, and this style choice, although prominently featured on the outside, may not sit well with a majority who expect effortless creamy melt. From that point of view the “stone ground” ideal – which, it must be said, is a bit of a misnomer; “coarse ground” is more descriptive – doesn’t offer anything new. The flavour is fine, but the same can be said of any other fine chocolate that goes through a complete refining and conching process, many of which lose no detectable flavour components through this extra step. That said, on its own this is a good chocolate, but it is an acquired taste.

Aroma: 8
Look: 7
Taste: 9
Melt: 1
Length: 8.5
Opinion: 8.5

Total: 8.2

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com