Here at Ombar we’re passionate about making a healthier chocolate, but we want our chocolate to taste amazing as well. We want you to get the most out of every piece of your Ombar, so we’ve put together this simple Ombar chocolate tasting guide.
Each chocolate has its own flavour profile which is the result of a variety of factors including the cacao variety, the soil the cacao is grown in, the recipe and the process it goes through from bean to bar. We know it’s hard not to devour, but when you take the time to properly taste Ombar you can discover a range of different flavours you may have never noticed before.
At Ombar we make all our chocolate in-house to ensure that every bar is of the highest quality. Richard, our founder and resident chocolatier, spends a lot of time tasting cacao from different sources and concocting the perfect Ombar blends. And because we produce in small batches and process our chocolate from nibs to bar ourselves, every Ombar has subtle differences, meaning our chocolate can be tasted again and again revealing different flavours every time.
Sit in a room with no distractions or strong smells. Make sure your Ombar is at the correct temperature, roughly room temperature. If you are going to taste and compare different Ombar flavours have a glass of water, slice of apple or piece of bread handy as a palate cleanser between each tasting.
Be sure to decide ahead of time what order you’re going to taste the chocolates in. We recommend starting with the lowest cocoa percentage and working your way up to reduce the risk of flavours overpowering each other. So start with our Coco Mylk bar, which contains 55% cocoa solids, then move on to Coconut 60% (60% cocoa solids), then 72% Cacao (72% cocoa solids)…you get the picture.
Unwrap your Ombar from its packaging and look at the colouring. Chocolate comes in a rainbow of different browns with various tints of reds, oranges, purples and pinks. Once you start comparing between Ombars the nuanced differences in colour become clearer. With darker chocolate, like our 90% Cacao, it can be difficult to pick up the tints of the browns, but holding it up to the light or at different angles may help.
Whilst your Ombar is still resting pleasantly in its packaging, mindfully breathe in the aroma. Did you know eighty percent of our perception of taste comes from the smells of what we’re eating? That makes this stage of the tasting process particularly important. When smelling your Ombar see if you can pick up any identifiable scents, from caramel and floral to coconut and fruit.
Break a segment off from the bar. You should hear a sharp ‘snap’ when you break off a piece. This ‘snap’ is a sign of well-tempered chocolate.
Tempering is the process of crystallisation within the chocolate’s composition. In other words, it’s how the chocolate is structured at the microscopic level. Well-tempered chocolate means the cocoa fats don’t separate out, which would result in a greyish colour and waxy texture to the bar.
Take another whiff of your Ombar when you break away the segment, as more aroma will be released when you do this.
Place a small piece of your Ombar in your mouth and begin to chew a little bit. You want to allow the full flavours to release in your mouth, and then let them rest and coat your palate in flavour.
When we taste each batch of Ombar here in our factory, we assess 3 particular elements:
You may be able to discern a variety of identifiable flavour notes such as: Nutty, Spicy, Fruity, Grassy, Earthy, Molasses, etc. It is important to remember that the flavour notes develop gradually and evolve on the palate rather than opening in one single hit of Ombar. The more chocolate you taste the further you can develop your palate and begin to pick up even more distinct flavours such as cherries, jasmine, bananas and liquorice.
Is the texture of the Ombar smooth or grainy? If chocolate is ground for a longer time, like we do with Ombar, it will have a smaller particle size and smoother texture.
The finish is all about the length of time that the delicious chocolate flavour lingers in your mouth. The finish of high quality chocolate can last for several minutes. How long does your Ombar finish last? Notice if certain flavours are more prominent in the finish than they were in your initial taste.
There you have it, our brief guide to chocolate tasting and getting the most out of every piece of your Ombar. Now, what are you waiting for? Do your own Ombar chocolate tasting and let us know what you discover! Tell us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter by tagging @OmbarChocolate.