Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Blend   
Source (Costa Rica; Panama [Bocas del Toro]; Ecuador)
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style New School      
An American proverb advises “before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most”.

This robs the cradle right from cacáo’s birthplace (Ecuador, possible home to the species origin; & Central America rich in chocolate lore & history) but gives back perhaps more than it takes, making friends in the process of making money. It’s the closest bar in the craft niche to a Girl Scout™ Chocolate Mint Cookie.

And who can possibly say ‘no’ to that?
Appearance   4.6 / 5
the power of seduction
Color: vermillion brown
Surface: hi-class; designer scratchetti out back
Temper: misty sheen
Snap: broken-hearted / despondant; soft-sand edge
Aroma   5.4 / 10
ATTN: Glue-Sniffers... industrial chem lab ahead: epoxy, varnishes, resins, polyurethane, stains -> manure -> time-released wood, root extracts, cellulose, & cocoa powder -> glycerin -> almond oil
Mouthfeel   13.2 / 15
Texture: lace; very uniform lightweight glide
Melt: relatively short-lived to rob the length some; resinous astringency the minor speed-bump
Flavor   44.3 / 50
full-throated linden-honey chocolate -> bullrushes bitter bark & resins -> regains poise over raisins (golden + red flame) -> eucalyptus-mint bonded to juniper berries by those presentiments of doomsday featured in the Aromatics (epoxy superglues) -> clove oil -> kiwano melon -> hits a brownie patch in the finishing stroke
Quality   17.8 / 20
Well-coordinated blend-selection with out-of-the ordinary tags to highlight the shifting fortunes of cacáo.

This bar an adaptation of another Theo release swaps out Kumasi Ghana for Costa Rica, sacrificing core-chocolate flavor as underlying cocoa here randomizes once past that spectacular opening. And where in the past Ecuador’s sacrosanct cacáo would’ve made for an animated & profound offering, it now produces a generally dull crop. This melds some of its off-notes to create weirdly good flavor however. Ecuador’s legume bean, bark, & green overtones blend into Central America’s genetic pool for pronounced mints, eucalyptus, evergreens, etc., all those volatiles rolled smoothly into the butter conche instead of being driven off entirely. They cool the roast down too.

Also, Theo apparently abandoned beet sugar in its Origin bars, exchanging antique warmth for cleaner, more direct but spare taste.

This 70% accomplishes what Theo’s prior blend failed in: better mix & integration. Whereas that was once easy pick apart, this is more difficult to tease out due to advanced technique but also, alas, the narrowing of cacáos types found around the world attributable to severe hybridization.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter, vanilla; CBS (Cocoa Mass/Butter/Sugar ratio): 7:8:6

Reviewed Autumn 2009


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