Ecuador 85%

by Pump Street
Info Details
Country UK   
Type Dark   (85%)
Strain EET   
Source Ecuador   (Los Rios; Cotopaxi; Moraspungo; Hacienda Limón)
Flavor Earthen   (with Naked + Spices/Herbs)
Style Neo-Modern      
The Journalist (“J”) showed up more in club than business attire.

What was scheduled in the late afternoon as an appointment for a proposed article on heirloom cacáos acquired the trappings of an interview-cum-first-date in a candlelit cave that passes for so many urban lounges these days.


In the age of digital, J brandishes one of those throw-back wire-bound note pads, mock beat reporter style, when newsstands actually sold papers & magazines before Drudge.

After very brief small talk, the sampling began.

Unimpressed with the initial bite, a predecessor to this bar, crafted with designated heirloom cacáo from Samuel von Rutte’s Hacienda Límon & configured to a semi-sweet 66%, J snorts, “Huh, kinda like some orgasms, you can take it or leave it.”

Well, the C-spot® prides itself for daring, salacious riffs off chocolate but this was so quick, to-the-point &, frankly, welcome for an opening shot.

What an entrance / intro. Bravo.

Session on.

Naturally J deserved a retort. “Ahhh, some orgasms may be better or more memorable than others but they’re all good, no?” Hell, with numerous research studies indicating a high percentage of people who self-report a terrible inabilty to climax at all, any orgasm might do.

J sits unmoved.

The very next comment out of J’s mouth is… show more »
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: raven brown verging on black
Surface: plaque scored into 4x4 tiles
Temper: twilit
Snap: sharp & short
Aroma   8.7 / 10
hops micro-brewed with Cinnamon Red Hots® at ridiculous levels
stone & legumes (typical Ecuador)
very dilute rosewater (intriguing)
Mouthfeel   11.9 / 15
Texture: hallmark Ecuadorian wax
Melt: a bit choked
Flavor   43.2 / 50
plain, dark, tannic cocoa… cheese stick pokes in & around it (mostly breaded with curdled cream element) -> brownie char -> lightly caustic / bitter -> gentian herb -> green walnut -> wants to caramelize, then stalls… back to bittering -> faint eucalyptus -> herbal Oreo® sandwich
Quality   15.4 / 20
Rather unremarkable, until taking into account the percentage.

What teases of DeBondt's stellar 90% in the Aroma turns into regular fare on the tongue.

A curious configuration for a seed mix that benefits from a (un)healthy dose of sugar. To compensate, Pump St. injects add'l cocoa butter -- the emollient on some wild bitters -- & a good choice at that.

Altogether this bar lacks sufficient diversity, even as tiny surprises keep popping up.

Quite unique from Mill Creek's rendition of the same cacáo type, but vanilla-free here & 15% less sugar. The twin facets these bars share are the brownie char & cookie aspect (the later common also to the Heirloom III entry). Otherwise, they're worlds apart.

Overall clean in its exposition; no astringency whatsoever for instance (a rarity for Arriba-ish cacáos) to suggest a conching that lifts the volatiles while retaining the heavier molecular weight polyphenols responsible for those embittered points.

As far as the 85% class goes, Pump Street hurdles a few bumps & a catches a couple others on the way to a respectable release.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed August 20, 2014


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