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Domori - JavaBlond
January 24, 2008
10:14 am
alex_h
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i’ve just read your review of domori’s javablond, alex, and was surprised by the softness you describe. i found it almost pungent, sharp and acid, reminding me of whiskey.
i’ll have to go back and try it again, because strawberry and peach were not there for me either. leather, wood, earth, tobacco, yes.
a very strong bar to me. two different batches, perhaps?

January 24, 2008
12:52 pm
alex_h
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just went back and tried a piece. almost unpleasant to eat. lots of smokiness. another thread here in the forum says smoke in chocolate is undesirable, if i remember correctly.

January 24, 2008
8:02 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
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I haven’t tried JavaBlond yet, although I do intend to. Regarding the smokiness, is there any chance that the beans in that bar might have been dried over a wood fire? I hope Domori isn’t taking that approach. Pralus tried that with Vanuatu, and it just did not work….although the bar was….um…uh…interesting:))

Given the colour of the bar (light), I wouldn’t expect such natural smokiness. Criollos just don’t typically have a lot of inherent smoke.

Sean

January 25, 2008
11:06 am
Domenico
Budapest, Hungary
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Gasoline-fire heated hot air/smoke leaking out from the tube. But wood fire drying would be a nice idea for marketing…as I remember someone has already put sthing on the market with this.
The other source of smokiness would be rather called hamminess and come from suboptimal fermentation went wrong, too.

January 25, 2008
11:55 pm
Scott--DFW
Dallas, USA
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I think this is going to be one of those polarizing chocolates that come along from time to time. It’s not immediately appealing to me, but I’m open to the possibility of it growing on me. It may take me a few bars to settle my feelings on it.

Scott

January 26, 2008
12:21 am
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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quote:


Originally posted by alex_h

i’ve just read your review of domori’s javablond, alex, and was surprised by the softness you describe. i found it almost pungent, sharp and acid, reminding me of whiskey.
i’ll have to go back and try it again, because strawberry and peach were not there for me either. leather, wood, earth, tobacco, yes.
a very strong bar to me. two different batches, perhaps?


Sometimes batch variations come into play, but here I conjecture possibly differences in tasting style are involved. I was recently reminded of this when I gave a talk on tasting chocolate (to a group of professional chocolatiers) who were taken completely by surprise by my recommendation to smell the chocolate extensively before tasting. It was, literally, a step that hadn’t occurred to them. What I do is to smell, at close range, for long enough that I’m convinced I’ve “captured” the aroma profile in my head, such that I can completely describe it. Only then do I go on to taste. At this particular session I saw one possible reason why many people often identify flavour components that I isolate as being part of the *aroma* as opposed to the flavour.

Another aspect is that I’m comparatively forgiving with respect to flatness in finish than many. A lot of people find a disappointing finish to wreck a bar completely, whatever the initial flavour might be. Most of the flavours you identify are part of the finish of the bar, and this could also be a reason for differences in subjective perception. Especially with mild chocolates, my method of big-bite-first has a large impact on whether initial fruity componnents will be detected or not and so these mild qualities may have passed by unseen.

There does remain the question of overall perception – yours pungent (much more typical of the Domori style) mine mild (a la Puertomar) That one I’m not really sure of, although I remember thinking at the time that the Domori bar did taste almost suspiciously mild – as though something were wrong with the sample I got or the environment it was in.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
January 27, 2008
5:17 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Artificial drying is actually very common, and you can taste the effects of this process most distinctly in cacao from PNG and more recently with Sao Tome and a few other locations. It’s much more economical than natural drying because it speeds up the process and uses less land that in certain plantations may be limited to very small tracts. Artificial dryers can be built very cheaply with available material. Personally, I love the flavor and in several of the Pralus bars, especially where the over-roasting has killed all other flavor, it comes as great salvation.

January 28, 2008
11:49 pm
Scott--DFW
Dallas, USA
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quote:


Originally posted by Alex_RastI remember thinking at the time that the Domori bar did taste almost suspiciously mild – as though something were wrong with the sample I got or the environment it was in.


Nothing remotely mild about the ones I’ve had–more Puertofino than Puertomar, in distinctiveness. I wouldn’t expect that level of variation, but stranger things have happened.

Scott

January 29, 2008
2:07 am
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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quote:


Originally posted by Montegrano

Artificial drying is actually very common, and you can taste the effects of this process most distinctly in cacao from PNG…


PNG? (Sorry, can’t decipher the abbreviation)

Would there also be a side benefit in reducing risk of moulding? I imagine in some areas where ambient moisture is a problem artificial dryers could mitigate these sorts of losses.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
January 29, 2008
7:23 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Sorry, PNG is shorthand for Papua New Guinea. And you’re absolutely right about the issue of moldy beans. Artificial drying is favored in countries or areas within a specific country where the ambient moisture level is a threat to the beans, namely locales in which beans are harvested predominantly during the rainy season, such as Papua New Guinea and Brazil. Obviously, this method speeds up the time for a process that would normally require weeks in the open air, but at the same time, artificial drying doesn’t allow for the same flavors to develop that natural drying would favor. This is most noticeable in Criollo varieties where much of the delicate flavor is either wiped out or subdued to negligible levels. Pralus’ Java is a prime example, yet also his roasting style may misrepresent the impacts of artificial drying to a degree.