Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Cacao Sampaka La Joya

Richard's Rating: 8.0
chocolate makerChocovic
barLa Joya
cacao treesCriollo
size100g ~ 3.5oz
cocoa solids70%
added fatcocoa butter
emulsifiersoy lecithin
other ingredients(none)
list price€9.30
colormedium-light brown
PANTONE 19-1331
Madder Brown
texturesmooth, semi-glossy, uneven sheen
aromaspice (cinnamon), fruit (raisin, prune, berry), roast
tastespice (chili pepper), sweet, fruit (citrus, raspberry, lime), roast (tobacco), sour
finishsomewhat sour, slightly acidic
La Joya is another single origin chocolate made from Mexican cacao by Spanish chocolate maker Chocovic for Cacao Sampaka. Thanks to the reader who informed us about Chocovic. We previously reviewed Xoconusco. Sampaka also sources cacao from other more traditional origins, but we haven't reviewed any of their other single origin chocolate bars.

The cacao beans for La Joya are not merely single origin, but also come from a single plantation, La Joya, in Tabasco Mexico. The beans are labelled Criollo Blanco, suggestive of a porcelana variety with white cacao beans.

Made with 70% cocoa solids (cocoa mass and added cocoa butter), the chocolate also contained sugar and soy lecithin. The paper box included two unscored 50 gram bars sealed in plastic and had an opening through which you could see the chocolate inside. The bars were separated with a thin sheet. The batch number was 110506 and the best before date was October 2013.

The color of La Joya was a medium light brown Madder Brown (PANTONE 19-1331). The top surface of each bar was smooth and semi-glossy, with a text imprint of "CACAO SAMPAKA". The sheen was uneven, with just a few tiny bits of adhered chocolate. The snap was hard.

The chocolate gave off an aroma of spice, fruit, and some roast. The spice included a scent of cinnamon. The fruit was a combination of a raisin, prune and berry.

La Joya's taste began with some spice and sweetness. The spice flavor included chili pepper. Fruit then came forth, with flavors of citrus, raspberry, and lime. I also tasted a tobacco roast and some sourness.

The melt was smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted about 20 to 25 seconds after the chocolate was gone, reaching a medium length. The final aftertaste was somewhat sour and slightly acidic.

You can purchase La Joya online directly from Cacao Sampaka for €9.30 in Spain, or from Caputo's for $13.99 in the United States.


  1. Sampaka is a Chocovic product.

  2. FWIW, I recently bought a 100% from Sampaka when I was in Barcelona, and it's really good.