Review: Coup De Chocolat – Jerome 85% (***1/2)

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The Creator:

Coup De Chocolat Is the cocoa love child (*) of two Belgian chocolate enthusiasts. Tom Geens and Isabelle Quireynen run their small chocolate factory (12m²) in the center of Antwerp. They won th hearts of a lot of people with their Gusta – Peru bar, myself including. The bar was a little rough around the edges, but what it lacked in technical execution, it made up for in flavor. And how!

Earlier this year, Coup De Chocolat stepped up their game by improving their production capacities and launched three new chocolate bars. Today we try Jerome – their boldest bar so far, featuring a hefty 85% of cocoa content. Isabelle and Tom want to create a chocolate revolution. By eating their chocolate, you support good agricultural methods, assure that the farmers are paid 4 times the normal price for their cocoa and keep ancient varieties of cocoa in existence. High quality, direct trade and bean-to-bar production are the pillars of their product.

Coup De Chocolat fell in love with Colombia as a new origin. Today we try the Jerome bar made of cocoa beans grown in the Colombian Sierra Nevada. The beans are collected by the Arhuacos, indigenous people in Colombia, near Santa Marta. Colombia cocoa is miles away from Peru, not only in geographic terms but also in flavor notes. Let us find out if we can find the distinct flavors of Colombia in this bar.

The Bar:

Coup De Chocolat calls themselves hardheaded and it shows in the way they present their bars. No luxurious package with stylish cocoa related art-work. The Jerome bar comes in a envelope style cardboard box. It is decorated by a dark painting design with a modern art feel. Inside, a foil hugging the bar tight. The design of their chocolate bar can be found with other chocolate makers aswell, but the irregular design still works for me. The bar is scored in what feels like a random pattern of lines, meaning no piece will be alike. The chocolate looks smooth and shines like it just has been polished. Nearly no imperfections to be found. Not surprisingly, the bar seemed to be a little hardheaded as well, it decided to break up in the package before I could discover it.

Tasting:

Bean: Not mentioned

Origin: Colombia – Arhuacos

<Maker: Coup De Chocolat – Antwerp – Belgium

Price: Sample – 45 g

Batch: Best before 11 February 2020

Color: A deep and dark ebony

Aroma: roasted cocoa, sweet tobacco, spicy, leather. Enticing

Taste: Slow start. Then deep chocolate tones start rolling in. They are deep and overwhelming. In the back a distinct espresso coffee bitterness starts flowing along and a flash of wallnut pops up.. While the melt goes on, suddenly a touch of gentle acidity shimmers through. Slight red currant fruitiness, but even more the sourness and lactic feel of unsweetened cottage cheese. Not profound, but enough to break through the main flavor and add depth to the overall flavor. Near the end of the melt, slight leathery, woody flavors emerge with a faint, almost floral top layer. When the chocolate is gone, some of the bitters remain in the mouth and the flavor of a very high percentage chocolate emerges – chestnut and roasted cocoa beans. The dry finish dries the mouth slightly.

The step forward in technical execution is clear. The chocolate melts with some resistance, but when it starts, the meld is smooth and no coarse particles are to be found. It isn’t clingy on the tongue at all, showing Coup De Chocolat uses a lot of cocoa solids and only the cocoa butter needed to make the texture nice and smooth. This certainly adds to the flavor.

Jerome is not a chocolate that will seduce you with delicate aroma’s. It is bold and direct. It is dark and powerful. Some people will be taken by surprise, but when you give it time and pay attention, the chocolate reveals more notes every single time you take a piece. It actually gives you all the flavor notes Colombian cocoa is renowned for. Subtle fruits and floral notes and hints of spices.

It is waiting for you to be discovered! Real Belgian chocolate for fine chocolate lovers.

(*) Isabelle and Tom just recently received their real love child. Beantobar.be wishes them a heartfelt congratulations with the birth and hopes their little wonder will bring them joy and lots of love for decades to come!

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