Review: Feitoria Do Cacao – Jamaica Blue Mountain 76% (***1/2)

The Creator:

I’ve reviewed quiet some bars since the day I’ve started this website. Yet today we have a bar which represents three first times. A Portuguese bean-to-bar chocolate, a European all lady chocolate company and cocoa grown in Jamaica. Where do I even start?

Thanks to the wonderful mission of my friends at bean2bar2you.be – who want to present their customers with origin chocolate made in every country of the European Union, I learned about Feitoria Do Cacao. This Portuguese small scale chocolate maker sees it as a quest to educate Portugal and by extension the rest of the world about fine chocolate being so much more than a simple candy. They work directly with farmers who produce the cocoa, in order to provide them with a better product price.

Tomoka Suga and Sue Tavares combined forces to create their product. According to their website, they started their voyage in the chocolate world after visiting Sao Tomé. Later on, they joined forces with a professional chocolate maker to learn the skill of creating chocolate from the bean.

The origin of the first bar I tried from Feitoria Do Cacao is Jamaica. I choose this one, because next to chocolate – coffee is another passion. The Blue Mountain line added to the origin of the bar rings a lot of bells. It is one of the most sought after coffee origins. High quality and equal prices. But coffee and cocoa seem to be more closely related then I ever expected.

Jamaica is an origin a lot less know for it’s cocoa than nearby countries like Grenada or Venezuela. Think of Jamaica and you imagine all sorts of green herbs, maybe some quality coffee, but cocoa? Not until today.

Let’s see how these three first times combine together in a small chocolate bar.

The Bar:

The chocolate arrives in a small cardboard box. Different from anything I’ve seen so far. It’s a sleeve in a lens like shape. Reminding me of the kind of box used to wrap one or two quality cigars. Push the sides and you can slide out the bar.

The design is elegant and simple. A big logo of the company with a Portuguese feel to it. On the right, Chocolate Negro, the origin and the cacao percentage on a silk paper wrapped around the sleeve. On the back the ingredients list in Portuguese and Japanese. Unfortunately, I’m a bit rusty in both languages.

The bar is found sealed in a cellophane wrapper. It is a popular mold, used by many small scale chocolate makers. Yet surprisingly, this bar is at least twice as thick as the bars that are normally made using this design. Though the bar is just 50 grams, it feels quiet hefty in your hand.

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Tasting:

Bean: Trinitario

Origin: Jamaica

Maker: Feitoria Do Cacao – Aveiro – Portugal

Price: Sample (€ 4,99 on the producer’s website) – 50 g

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Colour: Dark brown with a red shine

Aroma: Earthy, deep cocoa,

Taste: Starting sweet with imminent roasted nuts, combined with a liquor like tone. Dried yellow fruits and pear shimmer in the background. Poire Williams in a chocolate? Bread crumbs turn over swiftly to deep chocolate. Near the end of the melt, all the sweet tones are gone and earthy flavors take over and a small bitter, smoky note appears. Think of taking a walk in dense, misty autumn forest. All through the melt, there is a vague, slightly salty sensation present. Some refer to it as umami, but it is hard to describe. The aftertaste isn’t as intense as I expected but keeps on carrying the earthy flavors while roasted hazelnuts and the pear liquor note still float around,

This is an intriguing piece of chocolate. It packs lots of earthy flavors, but surprises with a sweet start. The flavor changes a gentle and mellow and the intensity is nicely in check. Perhaps it could be even better if the flavor notes would be brighter and more pronounced.

From the very first piece on, the start of the flavor immediately reminded me of Claudio Corallo’s chocolate bars. He has a very distinct roasting and flavor profile and given he is active in Sao Tomé, an has a shop in Lisboa, Portugal – it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if he teamed up with the ladies of Feitoria Do Cacao.

Europe certainly has one more exciting chocolate maker on offer!

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