Bean and Goose Tanzania 75% 84/100

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In the mid African continent on the east coast lies the relatively large country of Tanzania, north west of cocoa favourite Madagascar. Once these beans are grown and harvested they are shipped to Last Tree Farm in Wexford, part of the Irish countryside. There sisters Karen and Natalie Keane help to turn these beans into their handcrafted chocolate bars.

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This is the first bar of chocolate I’ve tried from Tanzania, the only experience I’ve had with Tanzania as an origin so far is with coffee. In terms of my experience with coffee I’ve seen citrus and yellow fruit acidity, which tastes a little like sunshine, with some additional complexities such as cocoa or the likes of pomegranate. The only other observation I would have here is that in terms of Tanzania’s recent move towards specialty coffee or chocolate, I suspect there isn’t always the knowledge or the infrastructure to allow for quality post harvest processing and so some crops are prone to unusual ferments or difficulties in the drying process. In terms of my expectations for the chocolate though, I’m pretty limited, I’d expect yellow fruit of some sort, but beyond that I wouldn’t like to say. Opening the bar, there’s some simple moulding and a slightly unrefined but interesting yellow stonefruit aroma with tail end notes of smokey tobacco. Moving forwards there is clearly good processing here, which creates the smooth creamy mouthfeel, the consistent tempering and quality snap, along with the bars balance and length. The problem is that this processing takes up the forefront of the bars experience and relegates the individualism of terroir to the back of the experience. While there is clear development of acidity and flavours coming from tropical and stonefruit notes, these are dwarfed by the creamy and malty tones of the bars processing. The added cacao butter and vanilla have helped improve characteristics of this bar, but they haven’t helped to showcase its potentially exciting flavour. There are indications in the aroma and in the flavour of cacao that the beans themselves may not have been of the most refined flavour, with a smokeyness hinting at possible issues with the drying process, which makes me suspicious of such strong processing techniques, but at the same time there appears to have been great yellow fruit flavours that could have been taken further to their conclusion. In fairness to this bar though the creaminess and general milkshake like sweetness is pleasant and enjoyable and the processing is not to dissimilar from the bars I’ve tried from Chocolate Bonnat, which says a lot for a small craft bean to bar producer, it’s just lacking small but integral parts of its originality.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Darker milky brown
Texture: Very smooth
Mould: 4 x 6 Simple squares
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Matte gloss, consistent, some air holing

Aroma 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: Yellow stonefruit, tropical fruit, cocoa, smokey tobacco
Quality: Acidic, unrefined

Melt/Mouthfeel 9.5/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Clotted cream, malt, smooth
Quality: Refined, full

Acidity 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 5
Notes: Passionfruit, peach, apricot, kumquat
Quality: Distinctive, Short but rounded

Sweetness 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: Milkshake, vanilla caramel syrup
Quality: Balancing, lacks dimension

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10):8
Type: Sweet. Salt
Notes: Cream, malt, passionfruit, peach, kumquat, apricot, vanilla
Quality:

Length 8/10

Creamyness and dominant flavours are long and round fairly well, acidity and distinctive flavours fall a little short in the background

Finish 8/10

Notes: Tropical fruit, cream, cocoa, vanilla
Quality: Tropical fruit tones round away and leave cream and cocoa to fleetingly linger before vanilla stays on a while

Balance 8.5/10

Bar is well processed and so there is an overt balance from the creamy sweetness, but balance is achieved by superseding acidity and flavour, medium structure provides consistency

Overall 8.5/10

Bar has a depth of flavour, but lacks dimension in its distinct flavours, structure is uniform and there is an expression of terroir, but expression of processing is much stronger


Bean and Goose’s Tasting Notes: Powerful, fruity, sharp

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