This bar features a combination of cocoa beans from Bachelor’s Hall Estate in Jamaica and a honey processed coffee roasted by Monmouth Coffee Company from Raja Batak in Indonesia. The predominantly Trinitario beans with some Criollo and Forastero are grown by Desmond Jadusingh on the Bachelor’s Hall Estate, which sits below the Blue Mountains of the St Thomas Parish on the south eastern end of Jamaica. The coffee comes from Raja Batak growing various cultivars near Lake Toba in northern Sumatra. Bringing all these ingredients together Pump Street Bakery combine them at their bakery in the small Suffolk coastal town of Orford in order to create another of their marvellous inclusion bars.
I’ve tried the 75% Bachelor’s Hall Estate before and enjoyed the dimensioned dark sugar and rich spice notes that it displayed and I’m not all that surprised that – given its flavour profile – it’s been paired with an Indonesian coffee. To my mind Indonesian coffees are pretty distinct and tend to exhibit – but not always – deep dark funky tones with a tendency towards spice and dried fruit flavours, something in keeping with the cocoa from Jamaica. I would expect both the chocolate and the coffee to behave in a similar manner and my hope is that they complement each other rather than neutralise each other’s best attributes. Knowing Pump Street Bakery, there’s definitely the possibility of some decent balance as well. Opening the bar it’s the increasingly familiar 4×4 simple block mould that I’ve become accustomed to, breaking off a piece there’s aromas of roast coffee and hazelnuts along with some molasses and hint of milk on the finish, pleasant, but somewhat simple. Placing a piece in my mouth there’s a smooth silky display of caramel and toffee textures that melt evenly on the tongue. Part of me keeps expecting the melt to finish with a crunch, with an expectation of a coffee bean inclusion, but the coffee has clearly been ground into the chocolate providing flavour without noticeable physical presence. To taste this bar opens with dark roast coffee, it’s dominant and it fills the opening with dark sweet spicy notes, before moving on to the caramels and toffees of the dark milk chocolate. There’s some cream and an underlying toffee apple acidity that lead into some umami-ish flavours reminiscent of wild mushrooms. All the while there’s an interplay of sweet dark sugar notes from caramel to toffee and molasses which interweave along the long lengthy flavours to give the bar extra dimension. The separation of flavours between the coffee and the chocolate is obvious, but at the same time the blending is seamless, with each providing a distinct set of flavours that’s so complementary it’s not a stretch to call them harmonious, these two ingredients were unknowingly made for each other. As expected this bar is well balanced and overall it’s of a wonderful quality with decent degrees of dimension and complexity that help to improve upon the already great flavour. Best enjoyed when in the mood for dark, sweet and spicy cocoa, a smooth transition from autumn into winter as sweet becomes salted spice.
Ingredients: Cocoa beans, cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, milk powder, coffee beans
Colour: Milky brown
Mould: 4 x 4 mould
Snap: Crisp, thick
Temp/Shine: Matte gloss, consistent
Notes: Roast coffee, roast hazelnuts, molasses, fresh milk
Quality: Velvety, distinctive, simple
Texture: Smooth caramel, toffee, silky
Quality: Very smooth, thick, firm
Notes: Toffee apple, melon
Quality: Soft, balancing, distant
Notes: Caramel, toffee, molasses
Quality: Developed, complex, balancing
Type: Bitter, sweet, salt
Notes: Dark roast coffee(spice, molasses, burnt sugar), caramel, toffee, cream, umami
Quality: Rich, balanced, dimensioned
Flavours are long and developed rounding well on peaks of flavour and sweetness with sour molasses notes
Notes: Molasses, cream, umami
Quality: Molasses and creamy umami notes fill the end before a subtle finish that leaves lingering sweet dark cocoa notes and an undulating creamy sensation
Bar is particularly well balanced, with complementary flavours blending well seamlessly, medium structure provides both stability and room for flavour to expand
Bar has plenty of depth and dimension, especially in terms of the dark sugar notes, complexity is well balanced, structure is consistent and expression is true of amalgamation, with processing creating a harmonious blend and smooth mouthfeel
Pump Street Bakery’s Tasting Notes: These are our first bars featuring ingredients sourced beyond our bakery and chocolate manufacture. Staying true to our promise to use only directly traded, single estate beans, we are delighted to be using coffee beans from Raja Batak in North Sumatra, Indonesia roasted in London by Monmouth Coffee Company. We have chosen this coffee for its remarkable ability to harmonise with our Jamaican chocolate. These coffee beans, which were treated on the farm using the honey process method, have a distinct sweet spiciness which pairs exceptionally well with our Bachelor’s Hall cocoa from St. Thomas, Jamaica.