Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Potomac Upala 82%

Richard's Rating: 5.5
chocolate makerPotomac
barUpala 82%
regionCosta Rica
cacao trees(unknown)
size57g ~ 2.0oz
cocoa solids82%
added fat(none)
other ingredients(none)
list price$8.00
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth, scoring, uneven sheen, bubbles
aromaearth, roast (coffee), sweet (molasses), fruit (berry), vinegar
tasteroast (coffee, cocoa), earth, tannin, acidic, fruit (berry), sour
meltmore smooth
finishsour, somewhat tannin
U.S. bean to bar chocolate maker Potomac makes two single origin unflavored chocolate bars with cacao beans from Upala, Costa Rica: Upala 70% and Upala 82%.

Upala 82% was made with only 82% cacao beans and 18% sugar. The two ounce bar was scored into 10 pieces and came wrapped in foil-sided paper inside a paper sleeve. The sleeve was stamped with a best before date of February 2013 from batch # 12050.

The color of Upala 82% was a medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The surface of the bar was smooth with an uneven sheen and tiny bubbles. The bar was formed better than the 70% we reviewed a few days ago, without the larger bubbles and unevenness on the bottom. The bar had a hard snap.

Upala 82% had an aroma nearly identical to that of Upala 70%, with earthy, roast, sweet, and fruit scents. The roast seemed to be coffee, the sweetness molasses, and the fruit some sort of berry. The primary difference was an added vinegar scent.

The taste was less similar. It contained the coffee and cocoa roast and a strong earthiness, but the berry fruit flavor was less obvious, and there was sourness along with the tannin and acidity. I tasted none of the caramel sweetness of the 70%.

The chocolate melted more smoothly, again in a sort of "fudgy" manner. The length was short, with the chocolate flavor lasting about 15 to 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was sour and somewhat tannin, which I found slightly unpleasant.

You can purchase Upala 82% online for $8.00 directly from Potomac or, to combine it with other brands of chocolate, for $7.99 from Chocolopolis or World Wide Chocolate, or for $8.00 from Cocova.

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