This was the first chocolate in a Taza tasting flight that flew in this order: Chocolate Mexicano – Vanilla, 70% Dark, 80% Dark, and Chocolate Mexicano – Guajillo Chilli. I’ll add some general comments on the Taza flight as part of the 80% review. Let’s start with the Vanilla, but before we do, you might want to read a bit about Taza in “A Conversation with the Founders of Taza Chocolate.” Also, you’ll need to throw away any preconceptions about how chocolate is supposed to taste and feel if you are to full appreciate this stuff. Most of us have been raised on European-style chocolate that aspires to be smooth, velvety and shinny. Taza makes a traditional Mexican chocolate using Molinos – Mexican stone grinding mills – to bring the cacao nibs into chocolate liquor stage. Some of their chocolates are then mixed in a refiner, some are not (such as the Mexicano), but none use conching, the process that produces smoother mellower flavors. Taza believes their minimal processing philosophy leaves more of the bold fruitiness of the original cacao bean in the bar. Let’s find out…
WHEN: 26 May, 2009.
WHAT: Taza Chocolate Mexicano, Vanilla. (Cacao content not specified). 2.7oz (77g). Price Range: $$
OVERALL RATING: 79
AROMA: Grapefruit, clean citrus, vanilla.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Caramel; assertive, but pleasant sugar – not sticky-sweet; creme brulee.
MIDDLE TASTE – Pine, cappuccino, bright flashes of raspberry, orange, papaya. No significant astringency.
FINISH: A short, pleasant finish accented by creme brulee, caramel, cappuccino, vanilla.
TEXTURE: Granular, grainy, coarse. This was a very interesting part of the experience and what a nice surprise! As I felt the particles breaking up and dissolving away, the transition from initial to middle tastes were going on at the same time. It wasn’t clear if this unique texture was from the sugar granules or from the unconched cacao. I suspected mostly the sugar, but a little of both. There was only one way to tell – taste some stone ground chocolate with high cacao content. Next: Taza 70% dark.
Disclosures: I paid for this chocolate myself.