Friday, January 26, 2024

Lonohana Estate Chocolate - 67% Dark with Nibs and Sea Salt (bar) - Jan. 26, 2024

Chocolate of the Day

Lonohana Estate Chocolate
67% Dark with Nibs & Sea Salt (bar)
Very Good 
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 178 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: Part of a $45.00 USD Island Flavors bundle (four different bars)
Purchased from: Lonohana website, online order

Aloha; and welcome to Day #26 of Chocolate and Hawaii Theme Week(s).

Today's 67% Dark with Nibs & Sea Salt (bar) was made by Lonohana Estate Chocolate, LLC (Honolulu, HI). 

Aroma notes included: rich, dark and seductive single origin chocolate (ultra dark chocolate brownie cookie and sweet green botanical aspects (cane syrup, green fig, rainforest with a waterfall, sweet green nut)), and very faint fleeting mocha.

Texture: This was a very well-executed blend of opposites: smooth and crunchy, sweet and salty, and smooth yet divinely intense.

The cacao nibs on the back side were uniform, and relatively small in size ensuring a pleasurable and delicious crunchy chocolate experience (with zero "off" flavors or funky nibs). The salt was also perfectly deployed, allowing for small, very gentle waves of sea salt. (It brought back memories of an ocean swim in Hawaii.)

The base chocolate had a smooth, uniform melt and texture, with a fleeting, very mild, very well balanced cacao bean/nib flavor (very delicate cacao bitter/nutty astringency) in the finish. 

Flavor notes included: delicious, well-executed, full cacao (nibs and chocolate) tasting experience in one bar, with some green, botanical notes (mentioned in aroma notes, above). High-quality, perfectly balanced flavors, in harmonious gentle flux.

Lonohana maker's description:

"From the fertile soils of the Big Island, the cacao for this bar grows a full three degrees further south towards the equator than our estate on Oahu. The soil and weather differences between the two islands give each their own unique characteristics. We sprinkle Alaea sea salt from Moloka'i and gently roasted chopped cacao nibs on the back of our 67% dark chocolate. It is a crunchy, salty, creamy and perfectly instense chocolate bar."

What I loved about this bar: 1.) rich dark chocolate and cocoa nib flavors and maker's roast (gently roasted nibs) and other choices; 2.) well executed crunchy nib size, taste and texture; 3.) perfect amount of sea salt that harmonized perfectly with the chocolate and make this bar slightly addicting; and 4.) the overwhelming joy and "transportation" (to an island rainforest/cacao plantation) that only a few of the very best (single origin) chocolates provide.

Ingredients: "Big Island cacao, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, Moloka'i Alaea sea salt (and) roasted cocoa nibs"

Allergen-related information: "Soy and gluten free. Made in a peanut-free environment by Lonohana Estate Chocolate, LLC...") 

Puna Chocolate Company - Kona Coffee and Puna Nibs 70% Dark Chocolate (bar) - Jan. 25, 2024

Chocolate of the Day

Puna Chocolate Company
Kona Coffee and Puna Nibs 70% Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 1.23 oz. (35 g.) in total bar
Calories: 137 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $5.95 total bar + shipping
Purchased from: Puna Chocolate, online order

Aloha! Welcome to Day #25 of Chocolate and Hawaii Theme Week(s), and Day #1 of Chocolate and Cocoa Nibs Theme Week.

Today's Kona Coffee and Puna Nibs 70% Dark Chocolate (bar) was made by Puna Chocolate Company (Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI). The company incorporates Hawaii-grown coffee and cacao into their bars and beverages. 

Aroma notes included: rich dark chocolate and roasted coffee. 

Texture: smooth chocolate and crunchy nibs texture. 

Flavor notes included: rich, hearty dark chocolate and cocoa nibs with medium (tropical fruit) acidity; and smooth Kona coffee; roasted almost nutty flavors (from nibs, and possibly coffee). 

Cacao and coffee make for a bold, often delicious partnership. 

Often the coffee is more acidic and overwhelms what are more muted cacao flavor notes. Today's chosen blend of relatively balanced bold and complex chocolate (with medium fruit acidity) and relatively smooth Kona coffee, was enjoyable, and teetered on the reverse effect, i.e. the bolder/more acidic cacao interacted with/seemed to dominate the smoother coffee.

What I liked about this bar: 1.) the thoughtful blend of Hawaii chocolate (and 100% Puna nibs) and Kona coffee; 2.) interesting, complex flavors present (that come with fresh, local and/or less processed ingredients; and 3.) the active balance achieved between two very flavor-full ingredients.

Ingredients: Hawaiian Cacao Beans, Organic Cane Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Hawaiian Cacao Nibs, Kona Coffee

Allergen-related information:  Manufactured in a facility that also processes milk, peanuts, tree nuts

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