Nathan Miller Boxcar Coffee Bar

After yesterday’s wonderful mint bar, I wanted to try a coffee bar from the same brand.

This bar was very good. It had a smooth chocolate and coffee flavor mix, but it was a tad too sweet for me, even with 70% cacao, but my co-workers liked it. The cacao beans were from Oko Caribe, a cacao farming cooperative in the Dominican Republic, so this was a single origin bar, but I couldn’t taste any specific notes underneath the strong chocolate and coffee flavors.

Tomorrow I think I will try the pure chocolate bar, with no additional flavoring.

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Nathan Miller Dark Mint Bar

I found this bar at a grocery story in Seattle. BTW, they have great chocolate all over that city, in grocery stores, coffee shops and specialty food stores. It pays to look around a little.

This bar was very good. It was nicely dark at 70% cacao and nicely minty. Not overpowering so you couldn’t taste the chocolate, but still quite minty. And it was crunchy too, with cacao nibs all throughout it, which helped make the bat taste even darker and richer. My co-workers liked it, and most of them had seconds.

The back label said this chocolate was from the island of Hispaniola, which contains only two countries, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I don’t know which country this bar was from, so I just marked both of them. Maybe it has beans from both.

Cacao Prieto Dominican Cacao 72% Dark Chocolate With Brined Almonds And Salt

I found this bar in Seattle, right next to the same brand’s orchid bar.

There was a wonderful story on the back about how the chocolate maker’s great-grandfather started the business, back in the Dominican Republic. The story is very sweet, and it made me realize that this bar is not just single origin by country or county, but it is a bar from a single farm!

There was also a cute postcard included with the bar.

The back of the postcard explains that it is the chocolate maker’s parents, riding a bike on the Coney Island boardwalk.

So after all of these touching stories, how was the chocolate? Really good! Very chocolatey, with an unusual aftertaste. Unlike with the orchid bar, I couldn’t taste any floral notes at all. It was a little bit of a citrus note, or perhaps a touch of vinegar. Maybe the brined almonds contributed to that, but I ate one alone and it just tasted salty. My co-workers couldn’t identify it either, but they really liked this bar, going for seconds and sometimes thirds (it was a big bar at over four ounces). I think they liked it better than the orchid bar!

Cacao Prieto Criollo Dominican Cacao 72% Dark Orchid Bar

I found this unusual bar at the high end grocery DeLaurenti in Pike Market in Seattle.

Not only was this bar a single origin Dominican Republic bar, but it was also infused with orchid oil! This oil gave the rich chocolate an unusual floral finish which I loved, but one of my co-workers thought it tasted “like the smell of cat litter”. I don’t think she liked it as much as I did.

Letterpress Chocolate Dominican Republic 70% Dark Chocolate With Sea Salt

My co-worker Dini M. brought in another Letterpress chocolate bar.

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I liked this bar. It was nicely dark with a good salty flavor. I think their Dominican Republic bar without salt was a little better, but the co-worker who thought that bar tasted like latex couldn’t taste that flavor in this bar, so I think she liked this one better. Oh well.

Thanks Dini!

Raaka 71% Dominican Republic & Bolivia

My boss Feargus U. (that’ll keep him anonymous, huh?) gave me this bar of chocolate to try at an eating meeting.

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This was interesting! It was a double-origin bar, using cacao beans from just two countries, the Dominican Republic and Bolivia, blended together. It was quite good. There were no single origin notes like with their Belize bar, but I liked it, and so did my co-workers. It was very chocolatey, more than 71% cacao would suggest. Maybe it was the salt amplifying the flavor. I guess it was even a triple-origin bar, since the sea salt was from Peru. So worldly!

Thanks Feargus!

Letterpress Chocolate Dominican Republic 70% Dark Chocolate

My co-worker Dini M. brought in a whole bunch of chocolate bars from a small artisan chocolatier called Letterpress Chocolate. She had met the couple that runs the business at their sales table at the farmer’s market in The Grove in Los Angeles. She took a picture of their “About Us” sign.

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This sounds very promising! A bean to bar maker, right here in Los Angeles! They also had a sign that explained exactly how they made their bars.

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Dini bought a dark chocolate 70% cacao single-origin bar from each of five different countries, so we decided that for one week, each day at the chocolate eating meeting we would try a different country. We started our adventure with the Dominican Republic.

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First off, let me just say that I love this label. That big stamp makes me feel like I am really going on an adventure, flying by aerojet to my first country. And second, the chocolate was really good too! It was very dark and rich, with a somewhat metallic aftertaste, as if I was tasting the chocolate off a metal utensil. One of my co-workers tasted latex, but other co-workers thought the bar was a bit fruity. Everyone liked it, though, and went for seconds. I had thirds!

Unfortunately this bar will never be made again. The cacao came from a farm called La Red Guaconejo, which closed in 2015. Sadly, this bar was made from the last bags of cacao the farm will ever produce. Still, I felt fortunate to have tried it.

Thanks Dini. I cannot wait to try the other countries!