Kaoka Dominican Republic

Guidance & tips – How to taste chocolate

At Kaoka, we are passionate about cocoa and of course chocolate. In this article, we reveal our tasting guide, so you can taste chocolate like an expert.

Tasting chocolate, awakening senses

A chocolate tasting carried out in the proper manner is done in stages and by using all our senses. We start by observing the chocolate, touching it, listening to it, then smelling it. Finally we taste it, to discover its texture and perceive the flavours.

Appearance

The appearance of chocolate plays a key role in the interpretation of our taste sensations. Indeed, our brain interprets the information received and influences our perception of taste by already drawing its conclusions. So, even if the desire to close our eyes in pleasure is tempting, let’s keep them wide open and observe the different criteria of its appearance:

  • The form,
  • The colour,
  • The shade,
  • The shine,
  • The opacity.

Touch and sound

Now it is time to break a piece off, to touch its texture and to observe its shine. The storage temperature and ambient air can influence this aspect.

We then invite you to listen to the sound of the chocolate as it breaks. Is it a clear snapping noise? Yes? This is a sign of quality.

Taste the chocolate Kaoka® : a unique sensory experience.

Smell and taste

The two are intimately connected. We can perceive savours (flavour) thanks to the combination of the taste perceived by the taste buds and olfaction by the nose, through inhalation. Both are essential. If you block your nose while tasting an intense chocolate, you will have the taste but not the aroma! Try it! ;)

Smell the chocolate then bite into it to release the aromas and let it melt in the mouth to analyse its texture and feel the different notes.
Take the time to properly sense the different aromas and notes and try to verbalize your sensations.

did you know? Each person has a different palate sensitivity, depending on the food they ate during their childhood and eating habits, etc. We can develop our palate throughout our lives.

Tips for optimal tasting

  • Avoid smoking 30 minutes before tasting.
  • Avoid consuming strongly aromatic products 30 minutes before, such as coffee and chewing gum (perfume can also interfere with your tasting).
  • Be careful not to consume cold products (iced water, ice, etc.). The cold could “anaesthetize” your taste buds and prevent the proper release of aromas.
  • If you taste several chocolates, we suggest you to start with the lowest percentage and then work your way up. We also advise you to drink water at room temperature or better still, bite into a piece of apple to rinse your palate between each square and avoid saturation.

 

The aromas of chocolate

As with perfumes, the taste of chocolate is made up of 3 different notes. The top notes comes first, followed by the less prominent, but warmer, middle (heart) notes. And finally the back notes appears on the finish.

Top notes

  • Floral: jasmine / rose / orange blossom / honey
  • Fruit:
    • Yellow fruits: peach / apricot
    • Red berries: raspberry / blackcurrant / redcurrant
    • Citrus fruit: orange / lemon
    • Nuts and dried fruit: almonds / hazelnuts / prunes / raisins

Heart notes

  • Sweet: honey / vanilla / malt
  • Spicy: peppery / cinnamon
  • Cocoa
  • Chocolate

Back notes

  • Woody: liquorice / dry woody / hint of ambergris
  • Tobacco
  • Grilled: roasted cocoa / caramel

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