USA, Finca Elvesia, Dominican Republic, 74%
Dick Taylor’s sturdy black rimmed envelopes are distinctive and house chocolates that have strong personalities. Their 74% Dominican Finca Elvesia is no exception; layering bright flavors over a bitter centre.
The bar also feels and looks as sleek as the packaging it comes in as it’s covered in a repeating damask pattern. That, combined with its thin depth, gives the bar a very premium feeling first impression. Luckily the bar is just thick enough to not seem too precious or dainty. This extra thickness also must aid its already robust snap.
That interplay between brightness and bitterness begins when you smell the chocolate. A lightly roasted aroma is just barely covered by a thin skin of neroli. In fact, at every stage of the experience, citrus fruits come along for the ride.
Even the bitter beginnings have more of the character of a citrus pith (though the bar does sweeten by the end) though you’ll have to taste fast. The melt in the chocolate is on the thinner side so it transitions really quickly, though that same thinness really gives this chocolate a juicy mouthfeel. Like a very ripe nectarine. As the bar loses some of its bitterness more delicate citrus related faces emerge: tangerine and orange blossom. Even a bit of limeade. The sweetness is earthy and dark like molasses.
This chocolates final offering is a herbal mix of hibiscus and lemon tea, not a bad way to end the day, and that bitterness stays with you pleasantly for some minutes. Though the journey to the end was closer to a race than a walk.
This bar does a great job of showing the range of citric flavors you can find in cacao. Fans of bright chocolate and/or citrus fruits would enjoy this quite a bit. It would also work well in a tasting either as an American craft style bar or a trinitario. What it does lack in depth it makes up for in height.
Jasmine co-founded Chocolate Codex as a way to share her enthusiasm for chocolate. She has a certificate in Chocolate making from Ecole Chocolat and she runs a foodblog called The Blenderist.