Box Chocolate Review

Cocoa Chai

Info Details
Country USA   (Seattle, WA)
Style New School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
Feministas, start protesting. Chocolate vibes with the fashion industry: primarily for women, predominantly by men. Ivy Chan is a retro-pioneer, getting back into the kitchen & breaking the mold. The Hollywood screenplay reads: "Screw Title IX & gender outcomes. She just shows up, a walk-on, & competes with the big boys." Flip the script - maybe the Godfather of Soul is now wrong & it's no longer a man's world after all.
Presentation   4.2 / 5
utilitarian proletariat - cardboard shipping box, complete w/ foam padding, to wrap a serious-looking collection of nosher-sized artifacts, carefully hand cast & enrobed in varying shapes, patterns, & height (some flat-lacquer; a couple even bejeweled; but the transfer/printing process needs to be sharper) that throw in a little 3D action & overall understated swellegance
Aromas   4.4 / 5
inviting hallucinatory cant of honey, butter, & an Asian spice chest built w/ oncidium sharry wood (the chocolate-scented plant) swallowing the aromas; great encapsulation
Textures/Melt   7.2 / 10
Shells: medium gauge w/ pop & snap to the bite
Centers: dense body, almost 2:1; satin finish
Flavor   45.7 / 50
multi-layered infusions lock hands w/ the chocolate, hitting the Asian accents hard &, more critically, well... which automatically separates this from 90% of the chocolate galaxy; describing it as "New American" "flavor-forward... ba ba ba" would be too facile & mentally lazy; forms part of the growing Trans-Global Cacáo Cult along w/ DC Duby, Christian Constant, Wen, Ortrud Münch, & the fearless leader of the pack - Mack Domori
Quality   26.8 / 30
Topline; grassroots arts & crafts, the bon-bomb equivalent of American bar micro-processors ( De Vries, Rogue, Askinosie, etc.) with controlled & refined combos that can punch & break the box without destroying it.
Selections
Couverture: Cluizel, El Rey
Yuzu - stunning calligraphy ideogram; focused yuzu, balancing out both its grapefruit & orange components, lasers & infuses in a retreat-then-bounces-back-again motion a brown cake bed w/ all bodies intercoursing thru one another; sensational Black Sesame - impalpable; sesame opens only at the subliminal limits in the back as a vastly subtle condiment to what amts to an accomplished palet d'or & the highest sweetness factor of all the pieces Madagascar Vanilla Bean - liquid smooth flavor; most vanilla in the world gets sourced from the 'red island' so why call attn to this? b/c it does for boxed chocs what Domori's Vanilla Madagascar does for bars - shines the spotlight on that other bean revealing vanilla exuding more than just... well, vanilla; in this case, a study in obvious cherry tones to wonder if it's of the Tahitian variety Honey Lavender - purple power... tastes the way it smells when you disturb a lavender border in the garden; honey removes the medicinal edge; chocolate a mere canvas to the strongest infusion of the set until it tightly frames it at the finish; deft control & ratios, a real skill set piece Cocoa Chai - obligatory (& in this case eponymous) flavor from NW USA chocolate makers; here a little unique as the greatest cream quotient in the collection delivers a durian-like custard to lubricate the restrained dustings of cardamom + other masala spice FXs riding right over a firm chocolate track; yet another example of making the adjustments & staying free from working formulas Habanero Chili & Cinnamon - a Red Hot; seriously high-powered cinnamon + pepper to make Scoville proud while creamy dark chocolate tames the flames & cools the mind like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
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