Cru Virunga, Netherlands, E. Congo, 70%
Raffi has a great song called Joshua the Giraffe. It’s a silly song, one of my favourites from childhood. The chorus of the song goes “Nothing can go wrong-o, I’m in the Congo”. Despite the absurd sentiment (plenty can go wrong-o in the Congo), the song always puts a smile on my face. I couldn’t help but hum the song to myself as I enjoyed this Original Beans Cru Virunga bar. This is the first single-origin bar from Eastern Congo and I am feeling it. During my first quick tasting of the bar I found it straight-forward but enjoyable. It’s not a complex bar, but don’t take that as criticism. Not every chocolate needs to be a challenge or a flavour roller-coaster. During my second (more focused) tasting of the bar, I picked up dark, ripe cherry notes, black tea with milk and toast and butter, roasted almond butter and some dates on the finish. The feel was very creamy without hitting the point of being fatty. It’s worth mentioning that this is one of the rare occasions that the tasting notes on the bar wrapper actually matched my personal experience with the bar. They mention “warm notes of morello cherries, deep chocolate and black tea”.
The wrapper for this bar has a lot to say. It’s got pull-quotes from important people on the back and all types of expository text on the inside. Here are the Coles Notes as summarized by me: this chocolate is luxurious but it’s also sustainable, buying it supports vulnerable communities in the Eastern Congo, this chocolate is climate positive, Original Beans cares about Mountain Gorillas and their habitat, fancy chefs love this chocolate, this bar has won some awards. All this context makes it a good gift for your most socially conscious friends. I’d gladly recommend this to someone who was just starting to explore chocolate as it’s a good gateway to more challenging flavors. Would I buy this again? Absolutely! I’ll probably pick one up for my mother as part of a Mother’s Day package (don’t read this mom). I rate this a 6 on my scale of personal preference. Try it!
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.