Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review: Ritual Costa Rica

Richard's Rating: 6.0
chocolate makerRitual
barCosta Rica
regionCosta Rica
cacao treesTrinitario
size57g ~ 2.0oz
cocoa solids75%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$9.00
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1431
texturesmooth, scoring, glossy, uneven sheen, uneven thickness
aromaroast (coffee), earth, vinegar, fruit (blackberry)
tasteearth, roast (coffee, cocoa), fruit (blackberry), tannin, sweet
finishsomewhat tannin
Usually we wait at least a year before reviewing another release of a chocolate bar we've reviewed in the past. However, chocolate makers Robbie and Anna explained that our original review was of a bar from under-roasted batch 7, and we should try a newer release. You can read their thoughts in the comments below that review. For this review, we picked up a bar at Chocolopolis.

Ritual currently makes bean to bar chocolate with Trinitario cacao from the 2009 harvest of an unnamed farm in Guapiles, Costa Rica. The farm was certified sustainable by Rainforest Alliance. Although their Costa Rica bar was not certified, it was made from organic ingredients and with cacao purchased at above fair trade prices.

The ingredients of Costa Rica were 75% cacao beans and 25% cane sugar. The two ounce bar was scored into nine pieces and came carefully hard-wrapped in thin gold-sided foil. Recycled brown paper with an informative label enclosed the wrapped bar. The label indicated batch 11 and a production date of 11 November 2011.

The chocolate had a medium brown color closest to Fudgesickle (PANTONE 19-1431), but more brown. The surface was smooth with a glossy top. There was some unevenness in the sheen. The thickness was also slightly uneven, with one side being thicker than the other (probably due to the bars being hand-molded). The snap was hard.

Costa Rica had a coffee roast aroma, with additional scents of earth, vinegar, and blackberry. The aroma of this bar was much better than the one from batch 7, with the vinegar reduced to a pleasant level and none of the chemical scent we experienced with that chocolate.

The taste started out earthy, followed by a strong coffee roast. Cocoa joined in the mix as fruit in the form a strong blackberry flavor developed . The taste was also tannin and sweet.

This chocolate had a smooth melt. The length was medium, with the chocolate flavor lasting about 25 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was somewhat tannin.

You can purchase Costa Rica online for $9.00 directly from Ritual, or for $8.99 from Chocolopolis.


  1. Uhhh, how can the farm be "unnamed" yet certified by Rainforest Alliance.? C'mon now.

    1. Good question. I was told by the chocolate makers that the farm has been certified by Rainforest Alliance. However, Ritual does not want to reveal the name of the farm.

  2. These guys usually have good info and say it comes from Finmac Plantation. Check this out: