Saturday, June 13, 2020

Crow & Moss - Brazilian Santos Coffee 67% Chocolate bar - June 13, 2020

Chocolate of the Day:

Crow and Moss
Brazilian Santos Coffee 67% Chocolate bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.23 oz. (35 g.) / 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 185 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.75 for 1 bar
Purchased from:, online order

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Today's Brazilian Santos Coffee* 67% Chocolate bar was from Crow and Moss (Petoskey, MI).

This bar had a rich, roasted coffee aroma, with notes of roasted nut, chocolate and a very faint wisp of umami/savory/hickory smoke. There was a wonderful, naturally sweet aroma to the coffee that I've not found in cacao. (Sweetness in chocolate can be perceived via "fruit" flavor notes from cacao, but often comes from sugar or added sweetener.)

The Honduras-grown cacao Crow and Moss used to make this bar complemented the Brazilian coffee very well, offering a bit of tart, fruit or berry flavor, a faint green note, and a bit of the nut and roasted notes.

The texture was a blend of smooth and crunchy with each bite triggering a cascade of rich, lovely flavor(s). The grind was uniformly perfect (not too gritty, fresh-tasting--thank you!). This was a truly great bean-to-breakfast-bar.

And yes, 67% cocoa chocolate does have a fair amount of sugar, but the coffee helped reduce and balance the sweetness. The bitterness/bitter acidity level of this three-ingredient** coffee bar was relatively low allowing subtle flavors to be savored.

Coffee History, Parallels with Cacao
Brazil is currently the largest producer and exporter of coffee (more than 2.6 million metric tonnes per year in 2019). Coffee originated in Ethiopia, and made its way to Europe.

The Dutch and the French brought coffee to the Caribbean/Americas in the late 1600s and early 1700s and by the early 1700s, the first coffee plants were growing in Brazil. For cacao/chocolate fans, coffee's origin story will sound familiar. Sadly, slave labor was part of the spread of coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea and other crops to European colonies in the Caribbean/the Americas as well as to African, Asian and other island nations close to the Equator.

In 2020, (West) Africa is the largest producer/exporter of cacao--a crop that originated in Central and South America. And Brazil is the largest producer/exporter of coffee, a crop that had its start in (Northern) Africa.

*Santos Coffee from Brazil is said to be a descendant of Bourbon coffee (Coffea arabica) originally grown on the Isle of Bourbon (Reunion), east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Santos is also the name of a port city in Brazil, through which a high volume of coffee exports have moved.

**Ingredients: Honduran cacao beans, organic cane sugar, Brazilian Santos Coffee.

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