Richard's Rating: 5.5
Raaka buys beans from cooperatives, always paying above fair trade prices. They use only organic ingredients and make their chocolate in a nut-free environment. They purchased the cacao beans for their Ecuador 85% Dark bar from APROCA. The other ingredients were cane sugar and cocoa butter.
The bar was double-wrapped with silver foil sided wax paper and craft paper. It was sealed closed by a large product sticker on the back. There was no best before date. The batch number was 20.
Ecuador 85% had a medium-dark brown Seal Brown (PANTONE 19-1314) color. The unscored bar was uneven, with one side thicker than the other. The surface was smooth, with an uneven sheen, some scuffing, one bubble, and a some adhered bits of chocolate. The snap was hard.
The aroma of the chocolate contained floral, earth, fruit and spice scents. The earth was musty. I also smelled just a hint of mint.
The initial taste was earthy and sour before the fruit was revealed. I tasted mostly melon with a little berry. I also experienced flavors of wine, floral, and nut in form of almond. The back label listed tasting notes of "almond, melon, molasses", but I didn't taste the molasses.
The chocolate had a smooth melt. The chocolate flavor lasted 15 to 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a short length. The finish was tannin, somewhat sour, somewhat acidic, and slightly chalky.
You can purchase Ecuador 85% Dark directly from Raaka for $8.00 for a 2.5 ounce bar (or $5.00 for 1.2 ounce bar).