By now you probably already know the basics of a professional chocolate tasting: engage all five senses, melt before chewing, drink water in between chocolates, write down and collect all your notes. But today we have some more tips to bring your tasting game to a whole new level:
Stay far from meals
Allow at least two hours after a meal before you enjoy a chocolate tasting. This way your palate will have enough time to get rid of residual flavors and you will enjoy an uncorrupted and unbiased experience.
Don’t be afraid to take a second bite
Although our palate tends to flat and round off any unpleasant flavors, a second bite of the same chocolate during your tasting can often reveal new nuances that didn’t come out during the first bite.
Taste the same chocolate bar over time
As chocolate constantly changes in flavor, try tasting the same exact chocolate bar months or even years apart, to see how the chocolate has changed. Maybe the chocolate maker started using a different cacao and you can detect the difference, or perhaps your tasting skills have sharpened over time and you can now detect new nuances, or what you liked before might not be your favorite right now.
Start pairing chocolate with beverages
Not only wine, but also beer, spirits, coffee and tea are a fun way to experience chocolate. Take a sip of your chosen beverage (preferably at room temperature or even warmer), and place a piece of chocolate in your mouth right after. Notice how the different flavors interact: if they are similar, complimentary or even contrasting.
Regardless of your tasting routine, remember that there is no wrong or right answer when it comes to chocolate. Each palate is different and we all have the right to express our opinions and preferences. Fun is the only right answer at a chocolate tasting!