USA, Liberia, 72%
If you asked me to guess the percentage of this bar, I would have put it higher than its 72%. First, I was hit with a burnt sugar sweetness, next it was kinako (roasted sesame flour) and cocoa powder. Finally, a dark espresso aftertaste. Notice a theme here? All these flavours are in the “roasted” family. Some bars take you on a journey, but this one followed a very straight path. I would have liked a few twists and turns along the way. Still, the journey was pleasurable (if a little one-note).
This is my first experience with chocolate made from Liberian beans. Manoa purchased these beans from Liberation Chocolate, a company dedicated to “getting child soldiers out of poverty through cocoa production” in Liberia. I can get behind this social venture, but good quality chocolate is made from more than just heart. This is chocolate with potential, but it hasn’t quite hit the mark. Not to put too much focus on the beans, the flaws could be on the production side. I had a great dark milk bar from Manoa, so I’m convinced they are capable making truly excellent chocolate.
I’ve heard that Dandelion has a bar from the same container of beans. I would love to get my hands on one for the sake of comparison. I wouldn’t rush to buy this bar again. It wasn’t particularly moreish. It needed something. It would be great as part of an inclusion bar with dried fruit added, but as a plain bar it just didn’t speak to me. It’s a likeable bar and Liberation Chocolate seems worthy of supporting. For that reason, I rate this a 4 on my personal scale.
Mānoa, Liberia, 72%, CX#87334
Ingredients: cacao nibs, cane sugar, cocoa butter
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.