Richard's Rating: 6.0
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.