Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sale: 20% off at NewLeaf

NewLeaf Chocolates is having a 20% off sale on everything in their online store. NewLeaf carries Amano, Amedei, Blanxart, Domori, Grenada, Kallari, Madecasse, Omnom, Original Beans, Pacari, Pralus, Taza, Theo, and Zotter.

The sale is "while supplies last" through June 4th, so shop early for a better selection.

Use coupon code SPRING20 during checkout.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sale: 20% off Taza

Taza is having a 20% off sale on all of their origin bars (Belize 77%, Bolivia 87%, Dominican Republic 80%, Dominican Republic 70%, Dominican Republic 60%, and Haiti 84%) through May 6th at 3 p.m. ET. Free shipping is also available in April for orders of $75 or more.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Review: Meadowlands Venezuela

Richard's Rating: 5.5
chocolate makerMeadowlands
barVenezuela
regionVenezuela
plantationblend
cacao treesunknown
yearunknown
size71g ~ 2.5oz
cocoa solids70%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
emulsifier(none)
flavoring(none)
other ingredients(none)
list price$9.50
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1015
Bracken
appearancesmooth, scoring, uneven sheen, scuffing, bubbles
aromaroast (coffee), earth, fruit (prune)
snaphard
tasteroast (coffee, cocoa), earth, fruit (raisin, plum, berry), peanut, sweet, bitter, slightly chalky
meltsmooth
lengthmedium
finishbitter, slightly acidic
Meadowlands makes four unflavored single origin chocolate bars: Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Venezuela. All of them are made from only cacao beans and cane sugar.

Venezuela came wrapped in gold foil-sided waxed paper inside a purple paper sleeve. The 2.5 ounce bar contained 70% cocoa solids and had a best before date of April 4, 2016.

The bar was scored into 24 pieces. The surface was smooth, but had an uneven sheen, scuffing, and some bubbles. The chocolate had a medium brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015) color. The bar had a hard snap.

Fruit, mostly smelling of prune, a coffee roast, and earth were the strongest scents I noticed in the aroma.

The taste began with an earthy coffee and cocoa roast, and then fruit flavors of raisin, plum, and berry came forth. Peanut grew dominant and was present most of the time. The taste was also sweet, bitter, and slightly chalky at the end.

Meadowlands described Venezuela as "nutty overtones, hints of raisin and dried cranberry".

The chocolate had a smooth melt. The length was medium, with the chocolate flavor lasting about 25 to 30 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The final aftertaste was bitter and slightly acidic.

Best Prices Online
$9.50 directly from Meadowlands
$45.00 for five-pack from Chocolate.org

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: Meadowlands Peru

Richard's Rating: 6.0
chocolate makerMeadowlands
barPeru
regionPeru
plantationblend
cacao treesunknown
yearunknown
size71g ~ 2.5oz
cocoa solids70%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
emulsifier(none)
flavoring(none)
other ingredients(none)
list price$9.50
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1012
Dark Brown
appearancesmooth, scoring, uneven sheen, scuffing, adhered bits
aromafloral, fruit (citrus), earth
snaphard
tastefloral, earth, roast (cocoa, malt), fruit, sweet (caramel), nut, coconut, chalky
meltless smooth
lengthmedium
finishtannin, somewhat chalky, somewhat acidic
Even though their bars are not certified, Minnesota maker Meadowlands uses organic and fair trade cacao. They craft their pure chocolate bars from only cacao beans and cane sugar.

Wrapped with gold foil-sided waxed paper inside a paper sleeve, the 2.5 ounce Peru bar contained 70% cacao beans and 30% cane sugar.

The bar was scored into 24 pieces. The surface was smooth, but had an uneven sheen, scuffing, a small dent, and a few adhered bits.

The color of the chocolate was a medium-dark brown Dark Brown (PANTONE 19-1012). The snap was hard.

The aroma contained floral, fruit, and earth scents. I smelled some citrus among the fruit scents.

An initial floral, fruity, earthy taste became sweet with honey and caramel. Roast flavors of cocoa and malt grew stronger, and revealed additional nut and coconut flavors. The taste was somewhat chalky.

Meadowlands described the chocolate as "light & delicate, hints of peach & coconut". I didn't notice the peach flavor.

The melt was less smooth, and with one taste I noticed a bit of graininess. The chocolate flavor lasted about 30 to 40 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a medium length. The final aftertaste was tannin, somewhat chalky, and somewhat acidic.

Best Prices Online
$9.50 directly from Meadowlands
$45.00 for five-pack from Chocolate.org

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Good Food Awards for Chocolate 2016

The Good Food Awards published their winners for 2015. The following unflavored bars won awards in the chocolate category:

Brasstown Ecuador 75%
Dick Taylor Bolivia Alto Beni 70%
EscazĂș Piura Blanco, Peru 70%
Fruition Bolivian Wild Harvest 74%
Just Good Madagascar 70%
Lonohana Estate Kanahiku 70%
Ritual Mid-Mountain Blend
Ritual Belize 75%
Rogue Jamaica
Rogue Tranquilidad

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Review: Meadowlands Dominican Republic

Richard's Rating: 6.5
chocolate makerMeadowlands
barDominican Republic
regionDominican Republic
plantationblend
cacao treesunknown
yearunknown
size71g ~ 2.5oz
cocoa solids70%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
emulsifier(none)
flavoring(none)
other ingredients(none)
list price$9.50
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1012
Dark Brown
appearancesmooth, scoring, uneven sheen, scuffing, adhered bits, bubbles
aromaroast, fruit (berry), earth (must)
snapmedium hard
tasteearth (soil), fruit (blueberry, citrus, date), roast (burnt), nut, spice, sweet (molasses), tannin, bitter
meltsmooth (fudgy)
lengthlong
finishtannin, somewhat acidic
Clyo Howard and Beryl Wells Hamilton having been crafting bean to bar chocolate as Meadowlands in the city of the same name in Minnesota since 2013. All of their chocolate is made with organic, fair trade cacao beans that are grown sustainably and harvested ethically.

Along with all of their other unflavored 70% single origin chocolates, the Dominican Republic bar was made from nothing other than 70% cacao beans and 30% cane sugar. The bar was not certified organic or fair trade.

The 2.5 ounce bar came wrapped in gold foil-sided waxed paper inside a paper sleeve. It was scored into 24 pieces.

The surface of the chocolate was smooth, but had an uneven sheen, scuffing, a few adhered bits, and some very tiny bubbles in the corners of the pieces.

Dominican Republic had a medium brown Dark Brown (PANTONE 19-1012) color. The bar had a medium hard snap.

Scents of roast, fruit, and earth were present. The fruit scent included berry and the earthiness smelled musty.

The taste began with a earthy soil flavor until the fruit, roast, nut, and spice came forth. I tasted fruit flavors of blueberry, citrus, and date. The roast seemed slightly burnt. A molasses sweetness was evident. The taste was also tannin and bitter.

The melt was smooth, but quite fudgy. The length was long, with the chocolate flavor lasting 50-55 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was tannin and somewhat acidic.

I liked the interesting combination of flavors, but found the fudgy melt undesirable. Overall, it was a solid chocolate among single origin Dominican Republic bars.

Best Prices Online
$9.50 directly from Meadowlands
$45.00 for five-pack from Chocolate.org

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sale: 20% off Fresco

Through December 10th, Fresco is having a 20% off sale sitewide if you purchase at least $50.

Enter SANTA in the "Discount" field during checkout and click the Apply button to receive the 20% discount.

Free shipping for orders of at least $50 for delivery to the United States. International shipping is available.