Atlantic Forest
Amazon Rainforest

by Harper Macaw
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   
Strain Blend   
Source Brazil   
Flavor Earthen   
Style Rustic      (x retro-American)
A couple bars from Sarah & Colin Hartman of Harper Macaw in concert with cooperatives such as Cacauway right on the Trans-Amazonian Highway in Medicilândia, Pará (Brazil) that planted thousands of cacao saplings & hundreds of other trees (mahagony, brazil nut & ipe) in a campaign to help preserve tracts in the Amazon threatened with deforestation. Another, headed up by Darcirio Vronski, of 23 families harvest organic cacáo to find its way into chocolate bars from the likes of Austrian barsmith Josef Zotter.

The recent COP21 (Paris Agreement on climate change) calls for rainforest conservation & reforestation as the central pillar in reversing atmospheric carbon levels. Chocolate, the lead tree in the jungle, might just save the planet afterall.
Appearance   3.7 / 5
Color: purpling magenta
Surface: finely scored
Temper: hypo-thermoluminescence
Snap: juddering
Aroma   8 / 10
Atlantic Forest
dried fruit
dry forest
settles into leather back + molasses with a balsamic center point

Amazon Rainforest
unusual caramelized bramble supported by considerable cocoa backbone
Mouthfeel   11.9 / 15
Texture: in defiance of its Snap
Melt: easy granulars
Flavor   44.3 / 50
Atlantic Forest
that molasses-balsam strikes right aft the touchdown on the tongue, sacha inchi in support -> pivots more raisinous, then pings pitanga -> a wild green string as pulled straight from the jungle vine... trolls the under-depths of both terra & marine (riverine) -> bonkers out on Brazil nuts

Amazon Rainforest
roasted cocoa -- that classic basal cocoa -> flickering fruit spot of a white streak (starfruit + cupuaçu), increases in presence as the progression lengthens -> chestnut 'n cream -> late berry rush (caza) & pear
Quality   16.1 / 20
Atlantic Forest
Vale do Juliana Estate, Bahia; 74% cacáo-content

Juliana stages a bit of a utopic sharecroppers' haven, one of the few places in the world to experience reverse migration from the city to the farm. Perhaps the agroforestry attracts, intercropped with rubber & banana trees + hearts of palm. Enough so that it boasts a patron of cacáo.
This particular bar a force field straddling that fine line twixt rough / refined.
If Bonnat's Juliana of the same estate forms the classic compliment, this bucks up the retro-movement of chocolate. Given the mix of varietals on the property, the differentials between the bars could easily owe to varying seed lots, equipment, formulations, + over 100 years of craftmanship... all factors that add up to each's singularity.

Amazon Rainforest
Tomé Açu, Pará; 77% cacáo-content

From an area colonized by Japanese immigrants in the 20th century.
Ultra simple & deceptively so as those fruit-cream streams add a complex to this bar's otherwise single dimension -- cocoa.
And so finely comported for the percentage.
This too has its antecedent: the Scharffen Berger bar of 2010. Where that twanged away at just 68% cacáo-content, this stays poised, even mild mannered, a testament in all likelihood to the differing vintage, the fermentation &, of course, the sugar level.

Capsule Summary
Passion-driven as much as product-related. A label doing it their way, sticking close to its Brazilian heritage, staying sensitive to the local wisdom of growers & agronomists on the ground. Eschewing the obvious go-to destinations (Madagascar, Ecuador, D.R., etc) rewards those looking to jump the well-beaten paths of premium chocolate. For that alone, this merits attention; & the craft a bonus for some serious consideration.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed March 25, 2016


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