About chocolate:

I tasted a 66% cocoa chocolate bar origin of Caribbean coast. And then, I tasted a 66% cocoa chocolate origin of Alpaco (Ecuador).

The only thing I've noticed it, that the Ecuadorian was stronger. The cacao taste last for long minutes in my mouth. But the Caraiban one, was subtle and delight.

The both have the same cocoa percentages.

On the manufacturer site they wrote:

This "Mariage de Grands Crus" from a small plantation along the Caribbean Sea has an exceptionally long nose and the soft aromas of nuts on the palate. CARAÏBE 66% is a perfect balance of smooth chocolate and roasted dried fruit notes with a slight oaky finish. Its opulent and soft, melody unveils subtle almond and roasted coffee flavors.


A Grand Cru whose subtle floral aromas melt exquisitely into supremely intense chocolatey notes. The majority of the cocoa used for ALPACO 66% comes from the Ecuadorian Arriba bean. It combines strength and sophistication, and offers delicate floral aromas of jasmine and orange blossom, intimately and intricately intertwined with deep cocoa notes. The subtleness of floral aromas exquisitely melting into supremely intense chocolaty notes. Pure Ecuador.

How could I improve my tasting skills. I couldn't taste the orange blossom and jasmine aromas from the Alpaco. How chefs knows that a cacao has nutty or dried fruit notices ? And how just by changing the planting soil and environment will produce the same nibs but with different aromas ?

After all, if a meat cut coming from Australia, will taste the same as the one coming from America right ??

  • 2
    Your meat analogy doesn't really work. Grass fed and corn fed meat of the same species and even breed will differ, and plants "eat" nutrients from soil, sunlight and rain, which vary with location
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 7:24
  • Correct. But from dried fruit aromas into jasmine ? Huge scale of flavors, which made me curious to know more about. Thanks for the comment
    – alim1990
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 7:40
  • 2
    A comparison to wine-tasting notes might be interesting: another heavily-processed plant-based product with its own vocabulary used in strange (pretentious?) ways
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 9:01
  • 1
    Like wine, the products of (single-origin) chocolate will be different from place to place, year to year, and batch to batch, since it is at its roots an agricultural product - the differences will come from the land it's grown on, the year's growing seasons, and different fermenting conditions, even batch-to-batch. Blending from multiple places/batches (as many large chocolate companies do) will tend to mask those individual differences for a generic chocolateish flavor.
    – Megha
    Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 2:46

1 Answer 1


The cocoa plants/grains were grown in different areas, the soil they grow in will have different mineral content; the heat and humidity will be different, the plant will grow in different ways resulting in cocoa pods and grains will be different.

They will have different flavors, sometime it is subtle, sometimes it is obvious.

This is what people, in mostly wine countries, call terroir.

The only way to train yourself tasting chocolate is to taste more and more chocolate and taking notes.

The most difficult thing when tasting is to find the proper words; sometime you will taste of smell something subtle, but you cannot make the connection with the actual corresponding word.

You will smell something that smell like nutmeg, but your brain is not trained enough to make the connection.

You can find Wine Aroma kits containing small vials of "flavors" that you can use to train your nose. This can be used even for chocolate, just as a training tool.

(Anecdotal) I'm part of a wine tasting group, most of the other attendants are translators, writers, and they are better than I am in finding words corresponding to what they smell and taste.

  • I think because they can memorize the flavors in their brain and directly make a connection between them. As you said, it may be nutty as a nutmeg, but can't know it because the flavor of it it's not in mind at all. Thanks for your answer.
    – alim1990
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 11:55

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