Thursday, March 16, 2017

DURCI Chocolate Annihilates Cacao Origin Stereotypes

DURCI chocolate is relatively new in the bean-to-bar chocolate industry, but definitely a fine example of craft chocolate. I have written a little about DURCI chocolate, having just tasted one bar by this chocolate maker. More recently, I picked up a few more of their chocolate bars at the Northwest Chocolate Festival and have been tasting them slowly ever since. So with a few extra bars under my belt, what's the 'big picture' when it comes to this chocolate maker? My opinion so far is: DURCI is good chocolate.

Comparing DURCI's bars directly to a few other bean-to-bar chocolate brands, I noticed the difference in the roast. To me, it seemed a medium roast was applied to DURCI's cocoa beans in the two bars I tasted: the Corona Arriba (Ecuador) and the Empyrean Sabor (Carenero, Venezuela) 70% dark chocolate bars, in comparison to chocolate made with darker roasted beans. And I found this slightly lighter roast truly highlighted the bean flavours, like the very bold floral and spicy flavour in the Ecuadorian chocolate bar, and the fruity cherry notes with a rustic, organic intensity in the Venezuela-origin chocolate.

Both chocolate bars were delicate, yet bold in flavour. They offered a nice balance of just three ingredients (single origin cocoa beans, cane sugar and cocoa butter), not stiff in texture, yet not overwhelmed by creamy cocoa butter. I also found both bars had a sweeter profile than many other 70% chocolates, with some bright acidity showing in the Venezuela chocolate. Overall, these were great chocolates for including in chocolate tasting parties or workshops.

The 70% Ecuador (Coronoa Arriba) surprised me. I have tasted many Ecuador-origin craft chocolate bars over the years, and most are nutty, have limited fruit flavours and usually a straight up chocolate flavour. The very bold floral flavours of this chocolate, a pleasant roast taste, with an aftertaste of spice, and a little fruit, threw all my mental stereotypes of Ecuadorian cacao out the window. It was a refreshing take on single origin chocolate.

The 70% Carenero, Venezuela (Empyrean Sabor) also surprised me. Often, a Venezuela origin chocolate will have the taste of cream, some nuttiness and a cocoa taste (think Porcelana's and Chuao's, and a few other popular Venezuela origins) and occasionally subtle fruit flavours. But not this one - it was bold in its fruity, cherry-like flavours, and held a smoky, organic, rich chocolate taste. I like being surprised.

Thanks DURCI for opening my eyes and tossing out my preconceptions on cacao origins!

To find out where to buy DURCI chocolate, visit the chocolate maker's website at:


  1. Ingredients used by the Durci are simply amazing, real quality of chocolate with so much variety and quality chocolate.

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