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

I’m a tad behind posting this as we are now well into July but I’ve been savouring and pondering what to write about this month’s amazing chocolates in my Cocoa Runner parcel. This month was a selection of award-winning bars that have wowed judges from around the world. So they may have wowed judges but what about me and my friends….

First was Askinosie San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador 70% – 2011 Academy of Chocolate Awards – Gold. I loved the packaging on this bad boy. Based in the USA, started by an old criminal defence lawyer who started the company in 2005. Shawn Askinosie has also set up a ‘Chocolate University’ which sounds awesome, for children to learn about business, sustainability and chocolate making. I want to sign up! As soon as you open the pack you are hit with a strong floral and orange aroma to the bar. There was a slight medicinal flavour to the bar with an intense jasmine/floral after note. Creamy mouthfeel but a slightly acidic finish. Wasn’t the favourite of the group but that might be due to the unusual flavour.

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I’ve loved the next companies chocolate for a couple of years so I was really happy to find a Michel Cluizel bar in my month’s parcel. This one was the  Los Anconès bar – 2011 Academy of Chocolate Awards – Gold and 2012 International Chocolate Awards Europe – Gold. Super creamy for a dark chocolate, slight honey flavour and floral after note. A slight sweetness but not detracting from the depth of flavour. Was the first bar to be polished off and left wanting more. Superb bar of chocolate, one of my new favourites.

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This is my second bar from Marou. I had the Tien Giang 70% bar in my first Cocoa Runner parcel and fell in love. This month it was the turn of the Ba Ria 76%. I thought it had a strong honey aroma that you could almost hear the bees buzzing around it. A beautiful complex flavour of a slight grassy/hay and coffee, that melts like a dream. Another divine bar that won’t be around for a long time. Delicious and sexy packaging.

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The last bar was another favourite of mine and my housemates. TCHO is some serious smart chocolate making. Probes within the fermenting beans upload detailed temperature and humidity data from low range wi-fi transmitters. This data can then be analysed alongside local weather reports to influence the directions they give to the farmer to achieve a consistency of flavour.  SeriousMilk Cacao –  is one seriously amazing chocolate bar. Where other milk chocolate bars hide behind high levels of cheap vegetable oil and sugar, the high-quality beans really shine through to make something very special. Labelled as creamy and fudgey, I would agree as well as a hint of raspberry in the background to keep it from being overly sweet.

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Bring on next month!

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June 14 Choc Pin

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