These trinitario cocoa beans are grown by Arthur and Eduardo Carvalho at Fazenda Camboa, the largest organic cocoa farm in the Brazilian state of Bahia. Once available they’re shipped to Bonn in Germany where Georg Bernadini and Ramona Gustmann of Confiserie Coppeneur fame help to turn them into one of Georgia Ramon’s chocolate bars.
I’ve had this cocoa before, just not on its own, it was in Notes Coffee Roastery and Damson Chocolate’s collaborative Café Brazil bar. There the combination of ingredients obviously had a large effect on the flavour, but I think I still managed some insight into the chocolate. For the most part it contained atypical flavours that I would associate with Brazil and chocolate in general, such as cocoa, nuts and cane sugar sweetness, but the bar was noticeably fruity, similar to some of the Bahia grown cocoa I’ve tried from Chocolat Bonnat. I would expect something similar here, an atypical cocoa base with fruit driven flavours, but low acidity. My hope is that it offers good balance and some refinement and dimension to the flavour. Opening the packaging I’m presented with the slightly darker cocoa I’ve begun to expect from Brazil, breaking off a piece reveals intense and distinctive aromas of cocoa, leather and spice, with nuanced hints of ferment and cherry cola. Placing a piece in my mouth, the melt is a little short or should I say quick and the texture isn’t exactly refined but the full and thick creamy/fudgey nature of the melt pleasurably suits and grounds the bar in thick chocolateyness. To taste the bar is sweet up front with cherry cola notes filling the opening before moving on to notes of sultana. Moving forward the bar begins to take on a spicier tone, before dark sugar flavours begin to dominate and the bittersweet rivalry of flavour begins to play out. It’s almost like burnt baked goods with good flavour, like slightly overfried cinnamon doughnuts or burnt spiced chocolate cake ends. The flavour’s good and it’s dimensioned like spirits aged in charred casks and it somehow finds a way to maintain a balance over the bittersweet rivalry going on, leading to a long dimensioned bitter flavour finish. In the end I feel this bar is better than the sum of its attributes, it comes together well and the balance of sweet and fruity helps to lighten the dark and rich notes creating an enjoyable bar of two halves. Best enjoyed for balance, when you’re not sure what kind of chocolate you’re in the mood for.
Ingredients: Cocoa liquor Brazil, raw cane sugar, cocoa butter
Colour: Darker brown
Texture: Fine grain, fudge
Mould: GR Ramon alternate bloc slab
Temp/Shine: Glossy matte
Notes: Intense cocoa, leather, ferment, spice, cherry cola
Quality: Distinctive, nuanced, dimensioned
Texture: Creamy, fudgey, buttery
Quality: Full, thick, pleasurable
Notes: Cherry, sultana
Quality: Fruity, uplifting, rounded
Notes: Cherry cola, burnt treacle
Quality: Developed, bright, dark
Type: Sweet., bitter
Notes: Cherry cola, sweet leather, sultana, cinnamon, clove, bakers chocolate, cream
Quality: Distinctive, subtly complex, dimensioned
Flavours are present and long developing over the course of the melt, rounding on long waves of acidity or peaks of sweetness
Notes: Sultana, burnt treacle, spiced doughnuts, clove, bourbon, char
Quality: Strong fruit and burnt treacle notes fill the end with a burnt spiced doughnut finish and warming notes of bourbon and charred wood that linger on after the finish
Bar is highly complementary, with all attributes complementing and improving each other, levels are well equalised with sweet and bitterness counteracting each other, medium to heavy structure provides a large anchor for flavour.
Bar has plenty of depth and dimension with deep nuanced flavours, subtle complexity is well balanced, structure is consistent and expression is honest and individual, processing helps to provide a creamy and fudgey thick base complementary to the flavour
Georgia Ramon’s Tasting Notes: With flavours of raspberries and jasmine tea, with nutty notes