Cocoa Atelier Papua New Guinea 70% 90.5/100


North east of Australia facing the Pacific Ocean lies Papua New Guinea a relative newcomer to the single origin chocolate fold. Here on its north eastern coast its grows cacao of the trinitario variety renowned for its fruity and earthy qualities. Here we have beans supplied by the De Loisy family of Chocolaterie de l’Opera fame, who carry an interesting chocolate history all of their own. These beans once grown, shipped and supplied make their way to Dublin, where they find themselves with Cocoa Atelier, Dublin’s infamous chocolate boutique, to be turned into single origin chocolate bars.


I’ve tried both chocolate and coffee from Papua New Guinea before and it has been distinctly earthy above anything else. It has this distinct flavour of soil, as if the beans directly imparted the flavour of the land on which they grow. My expectations for this bar are informed by those experiences and I’m left expecting a rustic and intense experience.   Refined, this bar is not. It has a flavour I can only describe as sour tan leather, like an umami flavour of sorts, which resembles miso, but is closer to the taste of bbq, its earthy and intense, but with an irregular acidity that cuts in and sweetens the proceedings. This is a wild and erratic bar that doesn’t stay in any one place for long, it’s exciting and enjoyable while lacking any refinement save its smooth and juicy mouthfeel. Everything this bar lacks in elegant balance it more than makes up for in terms of deep and dimensioned flavour, this bar might be a wild child, but it’s certainly one with great ability and character.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier: soya lecithin

Appearance 9/10

Colour: Medium brown, light purpling
Texture: Very smooth, dry
Mould: Thick square block mould
Snap: Very crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy, consistent

Aroma 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Smoke, leather, roasted almonds, lemongrass, dill
Quality: Rich, full, honest

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Smooth, juicy
Quality: Tactile, rich, a little pasty

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 6.5
Notes: Seabuckthorn, tart yellow fruit
Quality: Tart, sour, not unpleasant

Sweetness 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Dark caramel, molasses
Quality: Balancing, uplifting

Flavour 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Type: Sweet, salt
Notes: Smoke, hazelnuts, roasted cocoa, leather, seabuckthorn, miso, sour mash
Quality: Complicated, developing, full, dimensioned

Length 9/10

Big bold flavours take up a lot of space, flavours start with earth before moving onto acidity rounding nicely towards the end

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Smoke, sour, sweet, leather, cocoa
Quality: Big smoke before the finish that sweeps through sweet, sour, leather and then ends in a cocoa that develops a long while after the finish

Balance 8.5/10

The bar is intense and erratic, changing and developing all the time, somehow the bar remains complementary and the sweetness helps to hold the bar together providing a consistent backbone, even the dense structure can’t seem to hold the bar in balance though. This is more of an enjoyably unbalanced bar

Overall 9/10

Bar has huge depth and dimension and a great degree of developing complexity, structure is a little unbalanced, but bar is highly developed if a little unrefined. There is earthy expression from the bars origin, while its trinitario heritage makes itself known in a wild yet exciting acidity

Cocoa Atelier’s
Tasting Notes: Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean has rich volcanic soil perfect for the rare trinitario cocoa beans of the “Papua New Guinea Plantation” variety. A complex structure with combined flavours of fresh herbs, leather and earth. Enjoy this single origin chocolate which is lingering and aggressive but also harmonious and sensual


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