Lindy's Rating: 5.0
Richard's Rating: 5.0
At present, Ritual makes one chocolate bar: Costa Rica. Ritual purchased the Trinitario cacao beans for this chocolate directly from a single unnamed farm in Guapiles, Costa Rica. Thus, it is not only a single origin bar from Costa Rica, but also a plantation bar. The farm where the cacao was grown was certified sustainable by the Rainforest Alliance. Renown chocolate maker Steve DeVries oversaw the fermentation and sun drying of these cacao beans from the 2009 harvest.
Costa Rica was crafted from 75% cacao beans and 25% cane sugar. Both ingredients were organic, but the chocolate was not certified. The two ounce bar was scored into nine pieces. It came enclosed in thin gold-sided foil wrapped inside recycled brown paper with a product information label sealing it closed with double-sided tape. There was no production or best before date.
The color of the chocolate was a medium brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The surface was smooth, but had an uneven sheen (though not as dramatic as it appears in the photo above). The thickness of the bar was uneven, with the pieces on one end being substantially thicker than those on the other.
The bar had a hard snap. The initial aroma was a disagreeable chemical and vinegar. As we smelled the chocolate, strong scents of cocoa roast and earth were present. I also noticed some fruit.
Fortunately, the taste of Costa Rica had none of that initial aroma. Instead, it tasted fruity, and more specifically of a berry that Lindy identified as blackberry. We both experienced strong tannin and floral flavors. I found earth and sweet flavors as well, while Lindy found it bitter.
The melt was smooth. The flavor lasted 20 to 25 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving it a medium length. The final aftertaste was somewhat tannin.
You can purchase Costa Rica online for $9.00 directly from Ritual, or, to buy it along with other brands of chocolate, for $8.99 from Chocolopolis.