Lindy's Rating: 8.5
Richard's Rating: 8.0
The chocolate was made with 70% cocoa solids (cacao beans plus some cocoa butter made from the same beans), Zucc cane sugar from Sertãozinho, Brazil, and vanilla beans from Villa Vanilla Spice Plantation in Villanueva, Costa Rica. Taza ground the beans using granite stone mills and did not conch the chocolate. The bar was certified organic by the USDA. Taza has a direct trade relationship with La Red.
The three ounce bar was scored into 16 pieces, each imprinted with three parallel lines, in the same form as the rest of Taza's Stone Ground line. It came wrapped in silver foil-sided paper inside a textured paper sleeve. The sleeve of the bar we reviewed had a large orange sticker labeled with batch number 484. There was no best before date, but by entering batch number 484 on their home page, you can see information about how that batch of chocolate was made. For example, the beans were roasted within three months after they were received, for a total of 47 minutes at a maximum temperature of 238°F. The bars of this batch of chocolate were wrapped on 23 September 2011.
Stone Ground 70% had a medium brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015) color. Its surface was mostly smooth, with several bubbles. The bar had a medium hard snap.
The aroma of this chocolate was interesting, with scents of earth, an orange fruit with berry or cherry, bubblegum -- yes, bubblegum, roast, and sweet. Lindy also noticed a floral scent.
We tasted the same sweet bubblegum that we experienced in the aroma. Other flavors included wine and fruit, or as Lindy described it: a flavor midway between the two. She also tasted something floral.
The melt was grainy, as you would expect from a stone grind. The flavor lasted between 20 and 25 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving it a medium length. The final aftertaste was very slightly sweet, almost minimal.
You can purchase Taza Stone Ground 70% online for $6.50 directly from Taza.