Bar: Upala 70% Dark with Nibs (Costa Rica)
Maker: Potomac Chocolate (Woodbridge, VA, USA)
Price: ~$10/50g (The Chocolate House in Washington, D.C., USA)
Munch Factor: 6.5/10
Ingredients: organic cacao, organic sugar.
Appearance: the bright white packaging is a far cry from when I first tried Ben’s chocolate 6 years ago, but it tells consumers all they need to know, and the simple logo is eye-catching. The bar itself is a medium dark brown with nibs spotting the back and a stacked rectangular mold.
Aroma: very sweet dried red fruit with a touch of acidity and an earthy cocoa background. It smells like how I imagine a chocolate factory would, like cocoa with a hint of the volatile acids that both leave the chocolate during refining and contribute to its complex flavor.
Melt & Snap: okay melt & very strong snap.
Flavor: red fruits and then almost caramel sweetness comes out from underneath, while a high note of tannin rises above as you chew the chocolate & nibs. It goes from fruity to sweet to cocoa in few seconds flat and it is delectable. Even better than I remember. Long cocoa finish.
Complaints & Complements: nibs are a loveable but tough inclusion, since it forces you to chew the chocolate, but the texture it adds is incredible. This bar is now the top nibs bar out there, in my mind, and I feel bad for those of you who’ve not yet had the pleasure of tasting it. Superb.
Context: sitting in my office before heading downstairs to lunch. My office is cool, but being heated.
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