Chocolate Tasting Success!
On a side note, Arriba is my mother's favorite origin! Here are my notes from the chocolate tasting I held using Millcreek's bars, following my usual format: Appearance- Somehow both matte and reflective(?) surface, dark brown typical of Forasteros, mostly smooth surface with a few small bumps. Snap- Resounding thud. Texture- Contains a few tiny bubbles, the grain is slightly rough (which may give extra body to the chocolate compared to a smaller particle size). Aroma- Oak, cherry (fruit & wood), lavender, grass, and leather. Lots going on here, and a good balance of the earthy, floral, and fruity notes typical of Arriba cacao. Melt- Slow start, and slightly rough when melted (like the grain suggested): to notice this, rub some against the roof of your mouth! Full body may be due in part to this texture. Bends very easily, and yet still has a solid core when bitten. Very nice! Flavor- Cherry! Seriously, this note hits right at the beginning and hits hard, though it is quickly followed by a hint of rose and darker, richer flavors like plum, custard, oak, and leather. Sweetness resembles malt, and there's a tart bit of lingonberry right near the end. That is all of the expected notes in an Ecuador bar with a few pleasant surprises to boot! Flavorings- No added flavorings here, this is all due to the bean, the fermentation, the roast, the conch, and perhaps the tempering! Finish- Mostly berry and floral notes, with strong cherry, medium lingonberry, and a more easily detected rose note (now that the heavy, earthy flavors have faded). Everyone at my tasting and everyone who I shared this chocolate with were very favorably impressed by the whole selection. Keep up the good work!