Chocolate Tasting: Now Taste!
FLAVOR is the ultimate criterion for quality in chocolate. Because texture is so distracting some tasters focus on flavor first, before considering texture. Either way, flavor begins to fill your mouth from the moment the chocolate begins to melt on your tongue.
At first there is so much pleasure in tasting the chocolate, it may be difficult to focus on the specifics of flavor. As with aroma, your first perception may be simply described as “chocolaty” or even just “yummy”! As you begin to focus, notice several things:
- Does the flavor come on quickly or slowly?
- Does the flavor build and peak or remain constant?
- Does the flavor change character from the beginning to the middle to the end?
- How long does the flavor last in your mouth? Professional chocolate tasters often look for a “long finish.” This is simply flavor that lasts a long time in your mouth.
Describing flavor is the most fun and most challenging aspect of chocolate tasting. Everyone gets better with practice.