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Organic / Fair Trade
March 17, 2004
10:36 pm
theobroma
MIlwaukee, USA
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Hi Folks
I really appreciate the review section, though I wonder if it would be too much to ask to add another sorting qualification.
I am particularly interested in Fair Trade and Organic chocolates, and these practices are very important to the sustainability of the cocoa industry and the well-being of its constituent organisms (which are many).
So, I’d love to see more reviews of these kinds of chocolates, as well as a way to view all of them simultaneously on something like a spreadsheet.
Just a thought.
thanks
kyle

Oh no! My Agustus!

Oh no! My Agustus!
May 24, 2004
1:51 am
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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October 10, 2003
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I find that my interest in Fair Trade and Organic food doesn’t go well with my interest for chocolate. The few bars I’ve tried of organic chocolate are simply not worth the label chocolate at all. It seems to me that it is not prioritised among chocolatiers either which is a pity of course. I have recently heard there are a few exceptions to this. Have you come across anything of interest yourself, theobroma? (I apologise for the late reply as there’s a time since the first message.)

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
May 24, 2004
4:14 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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August 1, 2006
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Dagoba is a good organic brand. I don’t know how accessible it is over there in Europe, but it’s quite common here…mainly because Dagoba is an American company. Anyway, their New Moon 74% really is a good chocolate, and I may have posted a review on this forum a while ago. Also, Chocolove makes a good organic 73%. I thought Cluizel’s bars were FT; I read somewhere that they were, but I forgot the source.

May 24, 2004
10:38 am
alex_h
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April 29, 2004
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just a short message. gotta get back to work!

i just bought five organic bars this weekend. two from the german maker vivani, one from rapunzel (which i’ve tried and like) and two others where i don’t know the name now. will keep you updated…

May 25, 2004
3:25 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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I just tried Dagoba’s 87% Eclipse bar and was quite disappointed. There was clove at the beginning, then slight cinnamon (which to me was a quite nice beginning). A fruitiness quickly emerged and remained throughout the entire melt, but it was accompanied by a smoky flavor that seemed to compete with the fruitiness. The contrast in flavors was quite distracting and didn’t pair too well, imo. It was a bit dry and quite pasty (the pastiness I love, though), and I could definitely notice the lack of vanilla. I need to try it again tomorrow, at the same time, at the same temperature [:D] It’s an interesting eat, but if anyone has the choice between the New Moon 74% or the Eclipse 87%, then go for the New Moon (which is really good).

May 25, 2004
9:29 am
alex_h
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the other two bars i bought were from naturata (71%) and gepa fair trade (70%). haven’t tried either.

the rapunzel (70%) has an immediate coffee taste. so much, that i checked the wrapper to see whether i’d mistakenly bought the wrong chocolate :-)
then there’s a strong fruity sweetness, almost like grapes, which i guess comes from the pure cane sugar they use. goes well with the chocolate.

there appear to be many different types/brands of organic cane sugar. rapunzel uses something called rapadura. maybe it’s just their tag for something someone else calls different.

May 26, 2004
7:08 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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An update on the Dagoba Eclipse 87% bar:

The beginning is quite promising: strong mint (which I’ve never tasted in “plain” chocolate), followed by slight clove and sweet cinnamon. Immediately thereafter, an iron-like fruitiness emerges and is accompanied by that smokiness I mentioned earlier. The finish isn’t very impressive because the burnt smokiness remains and lingers in the somewhat bitter aftertaste. It’s not exactly smooth but rather pasty; the chocolate tastes stronger in the aftertaste and is actually a little dry but not flat. Whew!

May 27, 2004
12:49 am
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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July 31, 2006
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You all need to try the Chocolate Society dark (made for them by a very well know French industrial sized fine chocolate producer …).

This is organic, and it is up there with the best fine chocolates around (in the top 20 on this site). It’s madagascan and somewhere between Ampamakia and Manjari, in both quality and flavour.

This proves the point that organic can be as good as non-organic – we just need to convince the mainstream organic producers of this.

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
May 27, 2004
5:32 am
blakej
San Francisco, USA
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May 16, 2004
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I picked up Dagoba’s Conacado 73% bar a few weeks ago. It’s touted as being Fair Trade certified, with beans from the Conacado Cooperative in the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, it’s pretty nasty chocolate – significant grit, dry mouth feel, and pretty strong puckery Forastero flavor. At one point I remember thinking it tasted like asparagus (!), but I think my imagination may have been getting away from me.

The Marie Antoinette in me wants to say “if you want chocolate made from cacao beans bought at sustainable prices, just get Amedei Chuao!” But that’s pretty hard to justify.

May 29, 2004
7:02 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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I didn’t think the Conacado bar was that bad. It is indeed gritty and a little dry but not as dry as Eclipse (Eclipse not being flat either, unlike a lot of other 80%-range chocolates). It’s hard for me to place any particular flavors on this bar (Conacado) too, only a fruitiness that I can’t describe either, and it’s rather one dimensional. Despite these “flaws,” as it were, it’s still not that bad of a chocolate. The grittiness doesn’t bother me at all; anyone familiar with Bonnat and El Rey probably wouldn’t mind Conacado’s texture either. This is just an average chocolate; there’s much worse out there, and there are also a lot of better bars too.

May 30, 2004
7:09 am
blakej
San Francisco, USA
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I thought the Conacado was grittier than El Rey that I’ve had. The description at Chocosphere suggests Dagoba is aiming for a “more rustic texture”, but who knows. (If you want rustic texture, try Scharffen Berger’s “Jamaica a l’ancienne” bar. At least there it’s obvious that it’s deliberate and not just poorly conched.)

It’s certainly not the worst chocolate out there, but IMHO it’s also not a very good advertisement for Fair Trade chocolate. I ended up throwing part of my bar away, because I decided I just didn’t want to eat it.

June 2, 2004
9:23 am
alex_h
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i’m pretty much rushing through my organic bars right now. my overall impression in this “haste”: organic’s ‘ve got a ways to go! vivani’s 70% with tea leaves? nah! the others? fair ’nuff, but almost all taste of forastero. at least what i imagine forastero tastes like. can that be the case in many an organic? overall practice?

btw, how do you differentiate forastero from nacional, etc.? i think i’ve got the hang of it, but want to make sure.

care for gritty? go bonnat!

<<ce qui fait du bien au palais ne fait du mal à l’âme>>

June 5, 2004
9:12 pm
blakej
San Francisco, USA
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I think of Forastero as a woody, tannic, puckery flavor – the flavor that makes most super-dark chocolates bitter. It wasn’t until I started trying the Italian wonder-chocolates which seem to only use “fine and flavor” beans (Criollo, Trinitario, Nacional/Arriba) that I understood that dark chocolate didn’t need to be bitter at all. Puertomar is probably the best example of that – not only can I not “believe it’s not milk”, I can’t believe it’s 75% dark! On the other hand, Valrhona’s new “Le Noir Extra Amer” is so bitter, it’s like eating straight coffee beans. To me it tastes of Forasteros, and they do say they’re using “beans from Africa”, so that’s probably why it’s so harsh.

I don’t know if there is a characteristic taste for Nacional cacao. I’d expect there isn’t – no more than there is a characteristic Trinitario flavor. I have one bar on hand that uses Nacional, namely Chocovic’s “Guaranda” varietal bar. To me it has flavors of tropical fruit, and little to none of the bitterness I associate with Forastero.

June 5, 2004
9:45 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Forasteros do have a natural bitterness to them, but roasting for a longer time will reduce the harshness; however, consequently, the flavors of the cocoa will diminish, and the end product might taste flat or even sour (resulting from over-roasting). The Italians tend to over-roast, whereas the French tend to under-roast or lie somewhere in the middle. Longer roasting time = less bitterness.

June 6, 2004
10:22 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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April 24, 2004
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quote:


Originally posted by martinc

You all need to try the Chocolate Society dark (made for them by a very well know French industrial sized fine chocolate producer …).

This is organic, and it is up there with the best fine chocolates around (in the top 20 on this site). It’s madagascan and somewhere between Ampamakia and Manjari, in both quality and flavour.


I agree – it is in fact the best choc I have tried so far. Extremely fruity, I think it is muych better than the two from the Big Frenchman. But I am curious to the origin. The rich fruity taste, the mould, 67% cocoa content, French make, and characteristic red colour; all are exactly the same chocolate as one I have bought in Denmark: Claus Meyer 67%. The chocolate is described on Meyer’s website:

http://www.meyersmad.dk/meyers…..ageID=3498

The site is in Danish, but according to Meyer, the chocolate was developed as a cooperation between him, cocoa buyer Frank Vidal and roaster Isabelle Burrence.

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
June 8, 2004
5:08 pm
alex_h
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April 29, 2004
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16

i want to try chocolate society!

sitting here at work (still!) and just tried a bit of naturata extra noir 71% organic (www.naturata.de). not so bad. no bitterness and smoothe enough.

June 10, 2004
5:25 pm
choca
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March 3, 2004
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many beans are organic but the growers have not been certified . in the U.K. green and blacks is the main organic brand , but as they do not make anything themselves I am reluctant to promote them . the chocolate society and rococo make an organic bar ( i think using callebaut ). try the cocoa tree bars for organic and fairtrade . i hav’nt seen any plain bars by them but am a fan of their roast almond bar and drinking chocolate .

November 15, 2004
1:43 pm
alex_h
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18

just bought all three chacao organics (say domori): puro, crystal and absolute. that’s 100%, 90% and 70% respectively. all nice and rich. crystal is like domori’s gem and has sugar crystals in it.
i like these bars more than domori’s other 50gs (gem, green, blend, etc.). very warm chocolatey flavor, like drinking warm liquid chocolate.

December 1, 2004
10:02 am
alex_h
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aha! finally got my hands on chocolate society organic and it’s good! best organic yet. and you say it’s from the big v?
nice and fruity: my style exactly. madagascar? way to go! smooth? damn right!

January 18, 2005
4:00 pm
alex_h
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i was wondering: does fumigation of shipped beans effect their being labeled organic?
and: isn’t high-end chocolate pretty much organic anyway?