July 2014 Bean to Bar Tastings {Review – Cocoa Runners Parcel}

Another month has passed and another fantastic Cocoa Runners parcel has landed on my doormat before the neighbours upstairs spies what treasure lies within.  What a great selection there was too in my July parcel! Some I had tried from the producers before, others completely new to me. As ever all have beautiful packaging which only enhances the whole eating experience.

Chocolat Madagascar 50% Milk Chocolate

Made by Chocolaterie Robert on the island of Madagascar and actually kept as a fairly local secret treat. This super creamy milk chocolate was an utter delight.  Being a fruity milk chocolate there isn’t any a high sugary note you would have got with cheaper mass produce bars of the same cocoa solids. A nice caramelised milk, toffee flavour that made is my Mum’s favourite bar of the parcel.

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Dandelion Mantuano Venezuela

A beautiful bar of chocolate from the San Francisco Dandelion factory. Made from cocoa beans from a female-run co-operative on the Caribbean coast of Venezuela, roasted at high heats for a short time to get a super intense chocolate experience. Smooth, without being overly sweet as the roast really comes through the bar. I was getting notes of espresso beans, this would be delicious paired with an after dinner coffee. My parents are heading to San Francisco in February next month so I have already requested that they go on the Dandelion factory tour and fill their suitcases with bars and bars of these fabulous bars. My favourite bar in the parcel this month.

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Pacari Fig

I’ve tried Parcari chocolate before at Paul.A. Young chocolate making class and as well in my first Cocoa Runner parcel back in February which I really enjoyed the topical flavour from the beans that never reach higher than 42C when roasted to give the bars a green, fresh flavour and with a high antioxidant content. I’m not sure if it was the seeds and chewy nuggets of the figs set in the bar but I wasn’t really a fan of this bar. I don’t know whether the fig was jarring with the grassy notes of the chocolate, just wasn’t for me. My mum really liked it though.

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The Chocolate Tree Peru 80% Nacional

I was very excited to see where the last bar was made. The Chocolate Tree is based in Edinburgh where I’m heading to this weekend for the Fringe Festival. Which means I plan on paying their shop a visit and stocking up on their amazing bars. Unfortunately, I have show tickets planned or I would have loved to take part in their guided tours through the process. I love food equipment. Very nerdy. One of the rare few British companies that are producing bean to bar chocolate.  Smooth bar with interesting apple and tea notes makes for an interesting and very pleasant eating experience.  Can’t wait to try more of their chocolates on the weekend!PicMonkey Collage4

Probably by the time this post goes live my August parcel will be waiting to be tucked into. Are there any producers you think I should try out too?

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