Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shaman Organic Chocolates 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate with Green Tea & Ginger



2oz (57g) bar
Ingredients: Organic sugar, o. chocolate liquor, o. cocoa butter, o. soy lecithin, o. vanilla, o. ginger, o. green tea
9g sugar/28.5g serving (31.6% by wt.)

I liked Shaman's 82% bar, but I didn't think the light flavor of the chocolate tasted as good down at 60% cacao in the açaí, lemon, and orange bar. Will it work better with bitter green tea and spicy ginger?

Corporate Info: (Copied from two weeks ago.) As of this writing Shaman's website is under construction, but the bar packaging explains that the point of the company is to support Mexico's indigenous Huichol people. I've found a lot of positive commentary on assorted unfamiliar-to-me websites and an A rating by the Better World Shopper; I hope this organic, fair trade chocolate's actual practices live up to the hype.

Appearance: Same red-brown and gloss as the other Shaman bars, with even more air bubbles.

Smell: Not a lot. Some of the same fresh, unripe smell as the 82%, but very muted. Not getting green tea or ginger per se.

Taste: Still sweet like the açaí, lemon, and orange bar, but with a more interesting flavor. Ginger is in a scattering of little crystallized pieces, which make the chewing texture gritty. I'm still not really getting green tea, but there is a little bitterness that counters the sweet, and I figure that's the tea. I wouldn't buy this again, but I like the taste more than the açaí, lemon, and orange bar, and others might like its sweetness.

Conclusion: Shaman Organic Chocolates 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate with Green Tea & Ginger is sweet, though the flavorings contribute some balance and complexity. All the same, I think Shaman's 60% bars are too sweet for my taste.

2 comments:

  1. I've had a couple of green tea bars where the tea flavor didn't come through at all (such as Vivani), and one where it came through way too much (Dolfin). I wonder if it's a tough flavor to balance well in chocolate?

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  2. I like that observation. In chocolate bars I often get bitterness but not green tea per se, whereas I once ate a matcha-flavored tea cake (which means both added fat and heat) and the flavor came through well. Maybe chocolate itself mutes the tea or adds its own bitterness, so if you add too little it's merely bitter, and if you add enough to get the tea flavor, the bitterness is overwhelming. I've had chocolates filled with black tea-flavored ganaches, and if I recall correctly I liked them....hm. Let me know if you find a successful green tea bar!

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