Agua Grande

by A. Morin
Info Details
Country France   
Type Dark   
Strain Blend   
Source Cameroon   (+ São Tomé; + Ivory Coast)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Classic      
The child-labor saviors rear their heads every now & then. The latest: 96% of Ghanaian children & 71% in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) now attend school -- significant progress except, of course, to those activists who cite 100% as the only acceptable answer. They might wish to ponder the unschooling movement in the USA because, well, its parents say institutional education amounts to indoctrination. They tutor instead heuristic learning.

Also on the list of pet-peeves: the worst forms of child labor. Since one village in West Africa went thru a sensitivity program on the subject, one father complains that his children claim every chore is “child labor”—sweeping the floor, fetching water, cleaning up after themselves, etc.

Yep, kids the world over ain't stupid.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: Agua Grande: royal brown
Cameroun: old sepia
Guémon: mahogany
Surface: steady
Temper: dim sun
Snap: harsh downs
Aroma   7.9 / 10
Agua Grande
eggwood (re: custard egg glaze on wood)

drifts of Cameroon's historic cacao diversity...
... a horse meadow with some well-hung nuts; add must / dusty cocoa

Ooom... kaboing bam boom -- a huge 2x4 smashing into the nares
Mouthfeel   13.3 / 15
Texture: plush
Melt: abiding
Flavor   42.8 / 50
Agua Grande
woodland cocoa -> gentle brush -> egg cream -> black cherry lifts the strata -> even more so baobab & begonia -> end vanilla-banana

floral chocolate wilts under deep cocoa tannins -> ground nuts -> alights momentarily on an ever-so-slightly tart (African pear) -> reverts to its more Earthbound slant -> bushmeat -> chalk wisps + stringent swipe at the very tail

downloads easy cocoa -> butter -> copal -> mild mineralization -> faint metallic streak -> seeds of the Ricinodendron heudelotii tree -> cinnamon surprise -> bar-b-q sauce for bushmeat in Cameroun (above)
Quality   16.1 / 20
Agua Grande,
São Tomé
63% cacáo-content

So reserved; so purposeful for a this island which formed the backbone to the African mainland's future cocoa production. Morin elects a lower-than-usual 63% cacáo-content, the lowest to date, even below the Bessone 65% to soften the tags well beneath those of Cluizel's 68% Vila Gracinda. All to good effect. None of the strafing wood cuts / splinters so characteristic of this origin. Instead just dappled backdrops that, while sweet, nary cloy.
A São Tomé that goes in & down easy. Indeed the finest bars utilizing its cacáo all weigh in at sub-70% which points, like Madagascar, to a source that hungers for sugar.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin

70% cacáo-content

Roast overly focuses on the baser notes at the expense of the more fragile upper register. Then again trace chalk & astringency indicate an unequal ferment, delimiting Morin's options into an LCD of palatability. To this degree he succeeds.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin

Ivory Coast
100% cacáo-content

Unsweetened inbred from the country's southwest region.
Morin lists 'cocoa beans' as the only ingredient. Yet this bar exudes so much butter blandishments.

Ivory Coast's ambitious breeding programs -- 1.5+ million plantlets a year, largely of vapid clones -- evidently selects out flavor whereby even 100% cacáo-content hardly registers. Yes, just as certain humans on Earth are hell-bent on making the planet safe by making it uninhabitable, Big Chocolate solves the flavor riddle via the elimination of it.
That aside, this ain't a bad unsweetened... if for some bent reasons.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass

Capsule Summary
Uneven. Cameroun & Goémon a bit choppy while the excellent Agua Grande raises the curve.

Reviewed March 9, 2016


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