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

I have a couple of Cocoa Runner parcels to catch up on which has been killing me not to crack into them and when you see the sexy chocolates below you can see why! October’s parcel was made up of three new makers and old favourites and what a selection!

I’m a massive sucker for a beautiful packaging, I think it’s important and the moulding adds to the overall eating experience of the chocolate. Dick Taylor‘s Madagascar Sambirano 72% bar is both of those things as well as being a special bar. A small batch chocolate makers based in North California who used to make wooden boats and furniture have now turned to make chocolate from raw cocoa.  A batch takes about a month and well worth the weight. Clean tasting, whilst packing a punch of fruity, lime notes. We were also getting a hint of honey, a smooth intense but not over powdering bar. A gem.

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Another sexy packaged bar. Erithaj ‘s Mo Cay bar is a 58% Vietnamese bar produced in France promoting ethically produced bars. A high caramel notes to this bar and hints of smokey/tobacco but mainly the dreamy caramel that laps over your tongue. My dad didn’t find this one as changeling than Dick Taylor’s but think he enjoys the more milk bars.  A bar that won’t last long in my desk drawer.

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Another new maker to Cocoa Runners, Blanxart from Barcelona have been producing since 1954 and have sourced these delicious beans from Brazil from a single estate. My ‘tasters’ (Spam and Captain Oddball) thought it tasted wintery, with raisin and earthy notes as well as figs. A softer bar in flavour and didn’t think it was as complex in flavour as the Dick Taylor and didn’t really build the flavour as we expected a 76% bar would. Still a very enjoyable bar.

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Lastly, is a bar I have had in my first Cocoa Runners parcel back in February! Original Beans are fantastic producers with incredible ethical standpoint, where every bar of this chocolate, Original Beans donate a cocoa tree to a female cocoa farmer in Virunga and help preserving Africa’s oldest nature park, Eastern Congo (D.R), which is always such a great thing to hear due to the past corruption in the chocolate trade and fair prices and standards for the farmers. Each bar actually has a code that you can track on their website to see where your cocoa tree is going to help. But let’s get down to the bar. Incredibly smooth, silken texture paired with the slightly caramelised creamy milky notes and a touch of hazelnuts which makes this bar a treasure.

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Keep your eyes peeled for my November parcel coming soon, hopefully, I will get it written before we’re into 2015!

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