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Various Bars

by Chi Bui
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (70%s)
Strain (various)
Source (Peru; Venezuela; Madagascar)
Flavor Earthen   (x withered Fruits/Flowers)
Style Rustic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
A CHOCOLATE BLAST –- 4 REVIEWS IN 1. THE FOLLOWING PERTAINS TO AN UNRELEASED PROTOTYPE FROM A BARSMITH YET TO LAUNCH. IN KEEPING WITH the C-spot's® 2 KEWL 4 SKOOL POLICY, IT IS UNRATED.



A tall woman, very tall, & taller still wearing pumps, navigated the avenues of Gotham during so-called Blizzard Juno, forecast as the worst storm in history on the East Coast. She & other hardcore NYers defied the travel ban -- imposed by the Gov & mayor who placed citizens, in effect, under house arrest in the name of "safety" – as well as gravity & the forces of imbalance (ice, wind, snowdrifts). Perhaps in her case just lost too deep in the shoe closet, as far as she knows.

Starting yet another artisanal chocolate label in the city requires a similar acrobatic ballet in a crowded field, long monetary odds, plus the usual turbulence called logistics (sourcing from the tropics, regulatory red-tape, mastering the craft, not to mention the business end of sales & marketing). Passion abounds. No one embodies this quite like Chi Bui. She strategically plots her course to standout in a space that increasing grows conventional.

Before anyone goes off & snipes about kung-fu qi-gong MMA chocolate with a name like that, beware: yes, expect assiduous seed selection, technical excellence, & gastronomics from this budding barsmith who figures to kick-box mouths everywhere.

Appearance   -- / 5
Color: toward the dark end
Surface: meticulous (excusing somE back scratches)
Temper: soft shimmer
Snap: on the sensitive side
Aroma   -- / 10
Peru Tumbes
totally darksome

Venezuela Canoabo
unique -- fruit in the barrel of a smoking gun

Ocumare
very identifiable varietal with a difference: flint-fruit (another sign of roasting on high)

Madagascar
another of those 'sniffing thru the bar darkly'; in this particular bar, dark berries
Mouthfeel   -- / 15
Texture: right around the slick / grit borderline of 20 microns
Melt: metered
Flavor   -- / 50
Peru Tumbes
deep mocha backed in brazil nut -> plain sweetness (cane juice) -> mite char

Venezuela Canoabo
cream entrée -> heavy toasted nut & the robustness holds from there…. -> rear & rare pink grapefruit blossom -> coffee grinds

Ocumare
stewed chocolate-raisin -> dries up / out fast as if the heat evaporates all juiciness -> putters between licorice root & molasses sap -> black burnt raisin

Madagascar
heavy treacling citrus sap -> those telltale Madagascar vetiver & ylang twins (especially the latter's licorice tag) -> rear filbert oil -> glorious cocoa-neroli in the aft-shaft
Quality   -- / 20
Peru Tumbes
2013-14 Vintage of reputed "Criollo" lineage. Relatively monochromatic or bi-chromatic at most (dark brown / clear white) & out of bounds for a Tumbes. Functionally overdone in the processing phase, stripped of its upper tags, such as those experienced in even Fruition's version that incorporates Nibs no less (usually a downcast addition to a profile).

Venezuela Canoabo
2013 Vintage; Batch #2
This varietal belongs to a genuine Criollo structure group which begs for fair & even gentle treatment. The parameters here overshoot Canoabo's threshold, particularly too much heat.

Ocumare
2012 Vintage
Once more, over-processed. Ocumare, as Coppenneur proved also early on in its move to single-origins, takes fire well… to a degree. But its optimal outcome favors a more moderate coarse.

Madagascar
2013 Vintage; feels buttered up. Though a 3-part harmony by the end, a peculiar stasis for the origin... for it hardly journeys much. All told, best of the series nonetheless.


Robust roasting; an equalizer of sorts to practically negate origin and varietal distinctions. Some in the field erroneously might liken to Pralus except he possesses that rather unique ability to roast high while still preserving a modicum of volatiles -- no easy feat. Perhaps best exemplified by Chuao (granted, it can take the heat but also the less amenable Tanzania). Some of that owes to his gear which allows for even / thorough heat dispersion; & some to his savor-faire in calibrating the Maillard Reactions inside the roasting curve versus further flavor development in the refiner. Hence, despite what any think of his house-style, he ranks among the masters of the craft.

Chi Bui, a Cacao Prieto alum, just setting out on her own & orienting her chocolate, already exhibits wisdom & exactitude in what she aims to accomplish. The implementation of it awaits.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter,

Reviewed March 5, 2015

  

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