Due to the Cacao beans’characteristics derived from a mix of their genetics, the soil that fed them, the weather during the tree’s life and the processes they went through, each bar is unique.
It may have just a few flavors but strong and very satisfaying ones, or it may have a multitude of aromas and scents that develop gradually while you taste the product. It is the Chocolate maker’s talent to identify the beans and to process them according to their particular flavors and to the aromatic goal s/he thinks is best for that bean.
At Cacao Authrority we use six main markers to rank chocolates :
- Sugar : The more sugar added means less cacao. Also, sugar is often used to sweeten low quality beans which tend to be acidic and flavorless. Sugar should not be identifiable.
- Cacao: There should be a clear presence of cacao. However, some beans are so fruity that the prevalent aroma may not be strong Cacao.
- Acidity: Acidity may be unpleasant, but in reasonable quantity, it may enhance other sensations.
- Roasted Nuts: Depending on its strength, this is a pleasant aroma that is often present in chocolate bars.
- Bitterness: Specific to some beans and regions, bitterness can be good, up to a point.
- Fruitiness: A very sought after characteristic which is typical of some bean varieties.
To summarize and rank the products, we try to assess four characteristics:
- Aromas: Does the chocolate product smells, feels, tastes something good?
- Texture: Is it pleasant in the mouth? Not too grainy, not too greasy and mixing well with the aromas.
- Presentation: Is it presented in an appetizing way? Pleasure starts with the yes. Is it good looking?
- Uniqueness: How commonly are those characteristics found?
Finally, we select the adjective that best describes the chocolate, either Sublime,Excellent,Very Good,Eatable or Unpleasant.
And of course, there is this fight for objecivity in the taster’s mind. A fight that is endless..