Cocopotamus Chocolate

How to Taste Chocolate

Tasting Chocolate

Much like fine wine, tasting chocolate is an art form in itself.


The first step in tasting chocolate is to look.  Chocolates will have a variety of textures, shines, and colorings.

During this step, ask yourself questions like these:

Does the chocolate look "matte finish" or shiny?  

Shiny chocolate is well tempered and will have more "snap" to it!

Does the chocolate have any discolorations such as small white dots or streaks?  

These can be caused by "sugar bloom", but they don't actually hurt the chocolate.  In fact, many people throw out perfectly good chocolate thinking it has spoiled when in fact it merely has some harmless bloom.

Does the chocolate have any special textural look to the color?  

This can indicate the part of the world where the cacao beans used in production were grown.  However, it is very difficult to identify.  You will do better to learn how chocolates from various regions taste.


Next, when tasting chocolate you will need to touch the chocolate.  Pay attention to its texture again, and also to how quickly it melts between your fingers.

During this step, ask yourself questions like these:

Does it feel creamy?  Grainy?  Hard?  Softer?  

The desirable "feel" to the chocolate depends on what you are dealing with.  For example, fudge should feel very soft and creamy. Comparatively, a molded chocolate bar should be firmer.  Neither should feel grainy, unless it is due to items such as dried fruit, chocolate nibs, etc. which have been added for flavor.


The next step is to smell the chocolate.  Fragrances can be as varied as a nuttiness, floral tones, sugary or caramel scent, or even a fruitiness.

Ask yourself questions such as these:

Does the chocolate have a pleasant fragrance?  Does is smell sweet?  Nutty?  Earthy?  

You want to look for a pleasant and perhaps intriguing aroma.  Avoid an overly smokey or acrid smell.  If chocolate has spoiled for some reason, it may also smell "off". 


Finally, the step in chocolate tasting we have all been waiting for:  actually tasting the chocolate!  Be sure to notice the subtle tastes and flavors.  Some will hit you with the first touch of chocolate on your tongue.  Other nuances of chocolate flavor will show up more slowly, or even as an aftertaste.

Tne fun idea is to hold a chocolate tasting party for your friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors.  You can get a range of darknesses or flavors of chocolate, as well as water or plain tea for cleansing the palate between tastes.  Follow the steps of Look, Touch, Smell & Taste.  See who likes which chocolate best.  Be sure to note which percentages or flavors of chocolate are your own personal favorite.