Here are a few tips to ensure that your chocolate tasting is an enjoyable experience:
Make sure your palate is clean before each tasting session. White bread and mineral water are good for neutralising the palate. It is also advisable to avoid smoking and eating spicy foods before the tasting.
Begin your degustation with white chocolate, before moving on to milk chocolate and finishing up with dark chocolate.
Allow the chocolate to engage all five of your senses:
Look carefully at the shape, colour and shine of the chocolate, and then examine the object in its totality. First impressions are key.
Feel the texture of the surface. Does the chocolate quickly melt in your fingers? Can it be broken into pieces without applying much pressure? The break should create smooth edges without crumbling.
Hold the chocolate to your ear and break it in two. High-quality chocolate breaks with an audible snap.
Hold a piece of chocolate directly under your nose and smell it. Close your eyes and concentrate on the aromas that drift into your nose.
Chocolate releases its flavour best at room temperature. Place a piece in your mouth and allow it to melt slowly on your tongue. What do you notice?