Richard's Rating: 5.0
All Gnosis chocolate is processed below 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48°C). Although the bars are not certified fair trade, founder Vanessa Barg has taken trips to farms in Belize, Grenada, Mexico, and Indonesia to verify fair labor practices. Note that Gnosis is in the process of switching their sweeteners from agave nectar and coconut palm nectar to coconut palm sugar.
Each Gnosis bar has a theme, and the theme of Simplicity was Energy. Simplicity was USDA certified organic and made from 70% cacao beans and 30% agave nectar and/or SweetTree™ [coconut] palm nectar. The thick two ounce bar was scored into six pieces, each with an imprint of Vanessa's stylized dove. The bar came sealed in a clear biodegradable wrapper inside a recycled paper box. The best before date printed on the box was 20 December 2012.
The color of Simplicity was slightly redder than a medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The surface was smooth with several bubbles. The bar had an unusual medium-soft snap.
The chocolate gave off an aroma similar to that of Dazzling Dark. It was strongly smoky, with scents of earth, tobacco, and spice, along with hints of floral and sweetness.
Simplicity had an underlying taste like that of Dazzling Dark, but it unlike that chocolate, this one was dominated by sweetness. The sweeteners used in this bar are stronger than cane sugar, so this chocolate was much sweeter than a typical one with 70% cocoa solids. The other flavors I tasted were coffee, cocoa, and tobacco roast, along with earth, bitterness, and fruit.
The melt was less smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted 10 to 15 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a short length. The finish was a coffee flavor with some bitterness.
This chocolate would be good for someone who likes the sweetness of milk chocolate and doesn't mind some bitter flavor, but wants the health properties of organic raw chocolate and increased cocoa solids.
You can purchase Simplicity online for $9.25 directly from Gnosis or for $8.49 from Premium Organic Cafe either directly or on Amazon.com. All three sites appear to ship internationally.