CWG BEAN TO BAR COMPASS
This logbook is a fantastic way to exercise and enhance your fine chocolate tasting skills. The two-sided worksheet offers you a frame from which to form your interpretation of the chocolate, but feel free to think beyond what is presented. Keep these pages for your record, and refer back to them to see if your ability to discern flavour has changed over time.
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Continuation from your compass
I have placed the “Flavour Analysis” page first in order to have you pay attention to flavour first. Flavour should begin your judgement of whether you like the chocolate or not.
The best judges of chocolate conduct blind tastings. Knowing who the maker is, the origin, or interpreting some of the marketing jargon will persuade your judgement of the chocolate.
Although it may not always be possible to conduct a blind tasting, unless someone else always opens the bars for you, it’s best to analyze the flavour first, and then go from there to come to your conclusion.
Although flavour is the most important component of chocolate, it’s arguably equally important to be informed about the cacao, the farmers, and the makers who produced this chocolate bar.
The chocolate specification page may contain more entries than you have information for, and that’s okay. These suggestions could help you realize what to consider if you haven’t already, and perhaps visit the makers website or even contact them to learn more and answer anymore questions you may have.
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Don’t overuse your logbook!
I understand you may want to be a chocolate connoisseur. You truly want to hone in on your skills to be able to discern which chocolate is fine, which is not, and what flavours are contained with it. This is all wonderful, but this isn’t how you should eat your chocolate every time. In fact, I don’t recommend using your logbook everytime you receive a new chocolate. Taste it a few times before using the logbook, just enjoy it in the moment, and think about whatever first comes to mind.
I guarantee overusing your logbook, over analyzing your chocolate will seem fun at first, but eventually you will grow tired, and maybe even resent dark chocolate. It happens to many people who feel they need to analyze every chocolate to death the first time they encounter it. The logbook is a tool to help you better judge your chocolate. It’s not a tool to be used every time you eat chocolate.
Why does flavour matter so much?
Flavour is an indicator of quality. It’s not the only indicator, but it should be your first judgement when eating a chocolate bar. If you so happen to enjoy it, then you can read more into it and see if it is a chocolate or company that you wish to support and encourage.
Not all delicious chocolate is high quality. You may agree a chocolate was tasty, but after analyzing the ingredients, you might determine fine quality cacao wasn’t used, or vanilla was added to mask mediocre cacao. Even though you enjoyed it, perhaps you don’t feel as though it was worth $10 or $15.
You may also want your chocolate bar to be fair trade, direct trade, organic, or know more about the people who were involved. Even if a chocolate bar tasted delicious, if there is no indication that the cacao was fairly traded, maybe you don’t want to purchase it again next time.