Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of sharing a Friday evening with the owner and operator of Soyboy. My voracious desire for chocolate and Megan led me to Joe Bean Coffee on University Ave. With the initial intentions of carrying out a single origin chocolate tasting by myself (paired with a delicious golden Belgian beer courtesy of Megan) I thought to myself: “What could make this experience more enjoyable?” Surely offering up the shared activity to Andy AKA Mr. Soyboy himself would.
So naturally we shared photography stories, borrowed each others cameras to snap a few indoor shots and began the tasting. His drink of choice a deep red wine and mine a beer. We even had the pleasure of sampling a chocolate by an upcoming Rochester chocolatier. The night crowd of romantic couples rolled in to experience artisan coffee at its finest and we warmed up chocolate between our fingers, taking note of flavor characteristics.
While many of our featured chocolate tastings have consisted of a primary additional ingredient, these chocolates allowed the bean to speak for itself. Guittard Chocolate Company focuses on the quality and flavor characteristics of the cacao. More specifically, how the origin, climate, soil and plant effects the final product. (A high quality chocolate bar) The only notable variation being in percentage of cacao and country the beans were grown in.
Here are some details found on the flight card as well as our tasting notes:
1. Ecuador – Los Rios Province, Quevedo
Quevedo’s extremely dark color foreshadows its powerful, but flowery chocolate taste. The intensity of this rarified Forastero varietal produces rich, green forest, tea, and slight nut flavors with a lingering banana and pound cake finish.
Our Notes: High snap, well tempered, consistently creamy/oily. Hints of cookie, bread flavor notes with a lasting sweetness.
2. Colombia – Santander, San Vicente de Chucuri
Long, deep slow chocolate flavors are accented by pleasant hints of spice. The Trinitario cacao beans used to make this chocolate were grown in the San Vicente de Chucuri Valley of Santander in Colombia.
Our Notes: Medium snap, high resistance to melt, grain, floral earth flavors.
3. Venezuela – Northwest Sur De Lago
Complex chocolate flavors underlie subtle hints of red berry fruit. Cacao beans used to make this chocolate were harvested from trees of Criollo and Trinitario in Venezuela’s Sur De Lago region.
Our notes: High snap, barley malt flavors, fruit, berry, mild tang. Rich creaminess.
4. Madagascar – Ambanja, Sambirano Valley
You’re in for a mighty rich chocolate experience! Made primarily from rare Criollo beans from the fertile Sambiran Valley in Madigascar, it mingles tart essence with deep, rich chocolate flavor.
Our notes: Light snap, malt, flax/seed, subtle pomegranate undertones.