Box Chocolate Review

Cocoa Chai

Info Details
Country USA   (Seattle, WA)
Style New School      
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.
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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