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Complex aroma notes make flavour cocoa
a treat for chocolate lovers

There are more and more chocolate products made with noble cocoa on supermarket shelves nowadays. Also called fine or flavour cocoa, noble cocoa comes from the Criollo and Arriba beans. It tastes more aromatic and complex than the bulk coffee normally used in chocolate products which can sometimes have an acid or bitter note. Characteristic of the flavour cocoas are their unique reddish colour and distinct, complex flavours. Flavour cocoas can command up to ten times the price of bulk coffee.

So what’s the difference?

Fermented and dried cocoa is divided according to its origin and characteristic aromas into flavour and bulk cocoa. Both types of cocoa have the typical cocoa aroma, but in addition the aromas in flavour cocoa typically include fruity, flowery or nutty. Other words used to describe the flavour notes in flavour cocoa are raisins and caramel, as well as earthy or woody. Flavour cocoa accounts for around 5 percent of world production.

The best know flavour coffee types

Criollo is probably the best known flavour cocoa. There are almost no acid or bitter notes and it has a mild, long-lasting cocoa taste with complex and powerful overtones. The flavour cocoa category includes Nacional Cocoa from Ecuador and many Trinitario cocoas. Trinitario cocoas usually have a strong flavour, little acidity and distinctive aromas. The aromas of different cocoas depend not only on the genetic information carried by the plant, but also on the soil they grow in and the local climatic conditions. This is why cocoa traders also need to know where the beans are grown.

Flavour cocoas mostly come from Central
and South America

Flavour cocoas are often added in small quantities to premium chocolate products to enhance and round out the aroma. Some manufacturers also offer chocolates made of pure flavour cocoa. The labels usually draw attention to the type of cocoa and its origin – often the best are single-plantation cocoa beans. Countries producing flavour cocoa include Costa Rica, Ecuador, Jamaica, Columbia, Trinidad, Tobago and Venezuela. Some of these countries, for example, Ecuador produce both flavour and bulk cocoas. 

Source: Dr. Jörg Häseler, www.aid.de