Friday, February 8, 2013

Review: Nova Monda Green Label 75% Nicaragua

Richard's Rating: 6.5
chocolate makerNova Monda
barGreen Label 75%
cacao trees(unknown)
size53g ~ 1.9oz
cocoa solids75%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$5.99
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1012
Dark Brown
texturesmooth, scoring, uneven sheen, adhered bits
aromaearth, spice, roast, sweet
snapmedium hard
tasteearth, sour, spice, acidic, fruit (raisin, hint of cherry), sweet (molasses)
finishsomewhat sour, somewhat bitter, somewhat acidic
Nova Monda makes three single origin unflavored chocolate bars: Purple Label 70%, Green Label 75%, and Gold Label 80%. Purple and Green are made with cacao from Nicaragua; Gold is made with cacao from Ecuador. Nova Monda participates in direct trade with farming cooperatives and supports sustainable cacao growing.

Green Label 75% is the first bar we've reviewed made with Nicaraguan cacao. The cacao bisiesto beans were grown near La Dalia. Green Label was made with 75% organic cacao and 25% organic cane sugar. Although both ingredients were organic, the bar was not certified. Nova Monda's website indicated that the cane sugar was evaporated cane juice.

The 52.7 gram (1.86 ounce) bar was scored into a dozen pieces. It came wrapped in gold foil sided wax paper in a paper sleeve. The best before date was October 2013.

The color of Green Label was a medium brown Dark Brown (PANTONE 19-1012). The bar had a smooth surface with an uneven sheen and some adhered bits of chocolate. There were also barely noticeable bubbles in several corners of the pieces. The snap was medium hard.

Green Label had an aroma of earth and spice. I smelled secondary scents of roast and sweetness.

The chocolate tasted initially of earth, sourness, and spice. I then experienced some acidity that gave me the odd sensation of carbonation. As Green Label melted, fruit flavors of raisin and a hint of cherry were revealed, along with a molasses sweetness.

The melt was smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted about 40 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a long length. The finish was somewhat sour, somewhat bitter, and somewhat acidic.

Overall, I found the flavor and carbonation sensation interesting, and the length was remarkably long. However, I didn't like the aftertaste. I expect to try Green Label again next year, if only to check if that sense of carbonation is still present.

You can currently purchase Green Label 75% online directly from Nova Monda for $4.99, a $1.00 discount from their regular $5.99 price.

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