Brasstown Ecuador Manabi 75%

I found this new (to me, at least) brand of chocolate inside the Intrigue Chocolate shop in Seattle.

This bar was delicious! It was very chocolatety (expected for 75% cacao) and the singular notes were strong! I thought it tasted citrus-like, but my co-workers also noted honey, fruity and metallic notes. Everyone liked it.

I especially loved the INSIDE of the label.

I love old maps, and I also love the sepia style of the artwork. It reminds me of my old game, Arcanum. We used lots of similar art in the manual and the game itself.

I bought two more of these bars, both from different countries, so expect more Brasstown reviews!

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Seleuss 77.76% Cacao Dark Chocolate

I found this bag of dark chocolate at the Seleuss store in Seattle (that I finally managed to find open, since the place has some odd hours).

Robert had given me some Seleuss truffles last year, and they were really good. So I expected good things from this bar, and I was not let down. It was very good, tasting even darker and more chocolatey than I expected from a 77% cacao bar, and it was very smooth and creamy too. Despite being single origin, there were no singular notes, but that didn’t make the bar any less tasty.

Like the truffles, the back of the bag listed the cacao percentages to the second decimal point, as if they actually measured it that carefully.

Still, I liked that this bar was a combination of arriba, forastero, and trinitaro cacao. That’s pretty much all of the three major species of cacao that we eat!

Seleuss sells an even darker bar, but they were out when we visited the shop. I will have to get some on my next trip to Seattle.

Indi Ecuador Chocolate – Costa Esmeraldas

I found another bar at Indi from Ecuador (making this my fifth Indi bar from that country). This bar was made from cacao grown on an estate near Ecuador’s northern coast.

This bar was delicious. It had a tangy almost citrus-like aftertaste, that reminded me of their Fortaleza Del Valle bar. But this bar definitely had a tangy aftertaste and not a foretaste like that other bar. Again, Robert and I both loved it. Indi is really making some fantastic single origin (even single farm) chocolate that highlights the unique flavors of the cacao.

Pump Street Chocolate Sourdough & Sea Salt

My co-worker Nicole E. brought this bar back from a trip to London.

I have had this brand before, an 85% cacao bar also from Ecuador, and while that one tasted like bread because it was made in a bread oven, this bar actually had bread in it! The chocolatier added sourdough bread crumbs and salt, which makes the bar taste malty and extra crunchy. I liked it and so did my co-workers. One said it was the best chocolate he had tasted in at least a month!

Thanks Nicole!

Blue Bottle Chocolate

My co-worker Dan H. let me try some of this chocolate he got from Blue Bottle Coffee.

This chocolate was very good, being nice and dark and not too sweet. The bar was made with chocolate from Ghana, Madagascar, Ecuador and Peru, so while it was not single origin, it had the hint of some special notes to it, which my palate interpreted as vaguely floral.

The bar is supposedly good to eat while drinking coffee, and it turns out this chocolate was made for Blue Bottle by Tcho. I have had several chocolates from that brand, including some made to pair with wine. I wonder if chocolate pairing is the “new thing”? If so, I predict chocolate and fruit pairings, or chocolate and beer. You heard it here first, folks.

Thanks Dan!

Dilettante Double Dark Chocolate Trufflecremes

My producer Shana B. brought me these chocolates from Seattle.

This box contained two dozen or so individually wrapped truffles.

The box said these truffles were made from West African cacao mixed with cacao from Ecuador, but the truffles are made in Kent, WA. They are 54% cacao but they tasted much darker and chocolatier. I would have guessed around 65%. And they were super creamy and buttery, which I think comes from their patented Ephemere mixture of caramelized cream and sugar. Whatever it was, these were delicious, and there were enough for everyone to have seconds.

Thanks Shana!

Tcho Chocolate + Wine Pairing Party-In-A-Box

My sister-in-law gave me this box of Tcho chocolate tablets for Christmas. It was meant for pairing with wine, but I took it to work and shared it at a chocolate eating meeting.

Inside were six different Tcho chocolate tablets, in stacks of five each, along with some wine pairing pamphlets and a booklet.

The booklet explained what each chocolate was. I had had the Ecuador tablet and Ghana tablet before, individually. The other four I had had in a box of Tcho chocolates from the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Bay Area.

All of these Tcho tablets were very good, Needless to say, I liked the Ghana dark chocolate the best, for its extra fudgy notes, but the Ecuador and Madagascar tablets were very close runners up. Then the Peru tablet was third, followed by the two dark milk tablets. Based on the order the extra tablets were eaten by my co-workers, they agreed with me (although Madagascar slightly edged out Ecuador).