Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: Taza Stone Ground 70%

Lindy's Rating: 8.5
Richard's Rating: 8.0
chocolate makerTaza
barStone Ground 70%
regionDominican Republic
cacao treesTrinitario,
size85g ~ 3.0oz
cocoa solids70%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$6.50
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth with scoring and lines, surface bubbles
aromaearth, fruit (orange, berry), bubblegum, roast, sweet, floral
snapmedium hard
tastesweet, bubblegum, wine, fruit, floral
finishvery slightly sweet
Taza made their single origin Stone Ground 70% with a mix of Trinitario and Criollo cacao beans from La Red de Comercializacion Loma Guacanejo cooperative of the Dominican Republic.

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.


  1. texture is not smooth. wtf.

    1. Texture in our reviews describes the surface texture and appearance of the chocolate. We use melt to describe the feeling sensations and texture when the chocolate is melting in your mouth while tasting. You can read more about the difference on our Tasting Reference page.

      The melt of this chocolate was definitely grainy, which was Taza's intended effect with its stone grind.

      Sorry for any confusion.