Friday, April 15, 2011

Review: Theo Rich Dark 70%

Lindy's Rating: 5.5 (previously **)
Richard's Rating: 5.5 (previously **)

chocolate makerTheo
barRich Dark 70%
cacao trees(unknown)
size84g ~ 3.0oz
cocoa solids70%
added fatcocoa butter
other ingredients(none)
list price$4.00

colormedium dark-brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth with scoring
aromaearthy (dry must), roast (incense), sweet, astringent
tastesweet (honey), fruit (citrus, berry), roast (malt, tannin)
meltmore smooth
finishsomewhat ashy, slightly acidic
Theo Rich Dark is another bar in this chocolate maker's Classic Collection, which also includes the Ultimate Dark 85% we reviewed earlier. Like that bar, Rich Dark is USDA certified organic and IMO Fair for Life certified fair trade and socially responsible for nearly all of its ingredients. Only the ground vanilla bean lacked a fair trade certification. The chocolate was made of 70% cocoa solids, along with sugar, added cocoa butter, and ground vanilla bean. The 3 ounce bar came wrapped in silver foil and was scored into 6 large pieces. The best before date on the Rich Dark bar we reviewed was February 2012.

While somewhat lighter than the Ultimate Dark, Rich Dark had a similar medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015) color. The snap was hard. The aroma of the chocolate was a dry musty earth smell. There was also a roast that reminded Lindy of incense, yet lacked any smokiness. We both noticed some sweetness and an astringent aroma that was vaguely suggestive of a cleaning product (yet not unpleasant).

Sweetness was the first taste we experienced, and then the strong citrus and berry fruit flavors came through. There was also a roast that Lindy identified as a combination of malt and tannin.

The melt of this chocolate was unusual. Rich Dark seemed it might have a slow start, but then it began to melt quite nicely and we decided to rate it more smooth. Yet, there was a slight graininess to the texture that had me think about it more than once. Rich Dark had a short length, with the chocolate flavor lasting 15 to 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The aftertaste wasn't bitter. Lindy found it somewhat ashy, and I experienced it as slightly acidic and slightly ashy.

Note that Theo also sells this same chocolate under the label Theo & Jane Goodall 70%. Proceeds from sales of the latter "benefit cocoa farmers, promote conservation in the tropical rainforest and directly contribute to the Jane Goodall Institute’s efforts to save chimpanzees, develop community centered conservation efforts and direct youth education programs around the world."

You can purchase both products online directly from Theo: Theo Rich Dark 70% for $4.00 and Theo & Jane Goodall 70% for $5.00.

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