Argencove Chocolate

Updated: Apr 27

Thank you so much Argencove Chocolate for reaching out to me. I really enjoyed your samples and, after a brief introduction to this maker`s story, I am going to talk about my tasting experience in order of preference.


Argencove, as a group of friends fascinated with great food, became entranced with luxury chocolate several years ago driven by the aim to learn how to make great chocolate.This led three Australian families on a life journey that evolved into a Central American odyssey. They observed different cocoa orchards and fermentation systems in different farms and countries and conversed at length with industry leaders. After an incessant work of experimentation, continuous updating and training, they felt that an agroforestry system from tree-to-bar was the most representative of their identity. Between 20 different countries, they choose Nicaragua as their new home due to the fertility of the soil and climate and the welcoming local people. They are committed to continually strive to develop a world-class tasting experience.
Nestled between the impressive presence of Mombacho Volcano and adjacent to Lake Nicaragua (Lago Cocibolca) is situated the principal cacao orchard of Argencove on Finca Rio Grande. They believe that a balanced ecological environment will provide a fruitful outcome for the cacao orchard. This approach encompasses an agroforestry process that allows for a succession of shade species which also contributes to the nutritional requirements of the cacao via nitrogen fixation from the atmosphere.

In what consists the work of a tree-to-bar company ab-origine? Shortly:


Harvesting: Argencove harvest ripe cacao pods from October to July of each year. Great care must be taken to open the pods to extract the beans shortly after the harvesting because the clock is ticking from the moment you cut the cacao pod from the tree.


Grading: once the cacao pod is opened they can identify the quality of the cacao bean in the form of ‘wet mass’. This is one of the most important quality control steps and can affect the fermentation time and the final flavor of the cacao and, therefore, the chocolate.


Fermentation: the chemical composition of the cacao beans changes over the process which can be visually identified over the days, verified by pH, and tracked via temperature changes within the timber boxes.


Drying: once optimal fermentation has been achieved the cacao beans are then transferred on to drying racks where it is gently sun-dried over the first few days. The fermentation process is still actually taking place during the initial stages of drying.


Warehousing: through the warehouse registry farmers like Argencove ensure full and clear traceability between the beans and the source allowing them to reproduce flavor profiles that customers enjoy.


And then, after all these phases the bean-to-bar process that we all know can finally start: sorting, roasting, winnowing, grinding, tempering, molding and wrapping.


Regarding the bars that I had the privilege to try, I can already say that the general quality/performance ratio has been achieved by Argencove as a tree/bean-to-bar maker for aroma, flavor, texture. During my sampling, I also noticed some common aspects: eclectic acidity/fruitiness, elegant bitterness, and a persistent aftertaste but the Saffron Inclusion is longer lasting.


Apoyo 70% Dark Chocolate Nicaragua



International Chocolate Awards Bronze CentroAmerica 2019

International Chocolate Awards Americas Bronze 2019


Ingredients: cacao, sugar

Sharp snap ******

Texture: creamy and smooth




Aroma: Floral, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla Chocolate, ripe fruits

Tasting notes: vanilla chocolate first impression on the palate that slowly develops sweet red wine flavor, fruity- citrusy pineapple tang towards the end. The soft tannic-herbaceous aftertaste that, considering the "sweet red wine" property of this bar, is in total harmony with the overall flavor.


Batch n. 18 Limited Edition 80% Dark Nicaragua (Cacao Blend)



International Chocolate Awards Bronze CentroAmerica 2019

Academy of Chocolate Bronze Winner 2020


Ingredients: cacao, sugar, cocoa butter

Good snap *****

Texture: smooth and a little less creamy than the Apoyo 70%


Aroma: bittersweet chocolate, fresh tobacco, apricot wood, citric, floral, vanilla

Flavor profile: smooth chocolate with just a touch of bitterness. As cacao blend, they achieved a good result. Also, in this case, the immediate feeling is very chocolatey then it unfolds apricots and citrusy notes (as they mention) along with apricot wood mouthfeel, roses herbal undertones, sweet-sour citric orange taste in the background. It also delivers a creamy-fresh vanilla yogurt perception. The finish is citric leaving a sparkling effect on the palate with an intricate bittersweet sensation just like some coffee with a smoke nutty`licious character.


Saffron 70% Nicaragua Dark



International Chocolate Awards Bronze CentroAmerica 2019


Ingredients: cacao, sugar, saffron


Good snap: ****

Texture: smooth and creamy

Aroma: sweet, floral, saffron, fresh tobacco, and dried fruit



Flavor profile: the saffron-chocolate entrance is mouth-watering followed by honey, white musk, mushroom pungent taste. It delivers a more pronounced sweet-sour acidity (pink grapefruit this time). The finish-aftertaste strongly reminds saffron "risotto al cioccolato" fortified with saffron.


Just thinking about the Masaya, Mombacho, Cocibolca, Dark Milk, and Coconut Milk, I would definitely be up for another lineup of their selection to make an extensive and complete contemplation possible of their work.


It is time to update my Argencove Chocolate journey thanks to other exciting samples the maker sent me including the dark milk 75% and the coconut dark milk 70% that are already gone. Let`s begin the new "journey"!


Cocibolca 70% Nicaragua

Ingredients: cacao, cane sugar

Smooth texture, flavor notes of cardamom, Turkish coffee, cherry, and brown sugar with a mild tobacco finish.


- Commended Dark Bean to Bar of the 2020 Academy of Chocolate Awards in London.

- Bronze Award-winning micro-batch – Plain/origin dark chocolate bar of the 2019 “Americas” Bean-to-bar and Chocolatier Competition category of the International Chocolate Awards.

- Silver Award-winning micro-batch – Plain/origin dark chocolate bar of the Central American Support Competition (Tercera Competencia Regional de Chocolate de Centroamérica) 2019 category of the International Chocolate Awards.


Delicate aroma: floral (cherry blossom), brown sugar, freshly grounded coffee


Flavor profile: the maker nailed the description (except for the cardamom presence). I still would like to add a few details such as the warm mouthfeel with a very creamy (almost buttery) and silky texture which is an incredible property of this bar considering the absence of cocoa butter. I find welcoming the cherry-like aromas perfectly matched with the cherry-tart flavor (imparting a leveled fruity-like acidity) and the Turkish espresso bittersweet flavor in the background significantly affecting the aftertaste.

Mombacho 70% Nicaragua

Ingredients: cacao, cane sugar

A slow melt developing flavor, dark and finely balanced it possesses notes of ripe fruits, raisin, and cranberry with a peppery body and blackberry finish.


- Bronze Award-winning Dark Bean to Bar (under 90) of the 2020 Academy of Chocolate Awards in London

- Bronze Award-winning micro-batch – Plain/origin dark chocolate bar of the 2019 “Americas” Bean-to-bar and Chocolatier Competition category of the International Chocolate Awards.


Aroma: pungent, fruity (cranberry), raisin paste, spices

Flavor profile: there is a huge difference in texture compared to the Cocibolca dark. In this case, the absence of cocoa butter is evident but the bar is still smooth on the palate melting slowly and gradually releasing pleasant-tasting notes such as sweet raisins, ripe yellow fruit, cranberry jam, blackberry candies on a bittersweet peppery background.


Masaya 70% Nicaragua

Ingredients: cacao, cane sugar, cocoa butter

Delicate citrus character, not too bitter, well-balanced dark chocolate that is slightly creamier than its counterparts with the addition of a small amount of cacao butter.


- Gold: Growing Country Award Micro-batch – Plain/origin dark chocolate bars 2020-2021 International Chocolate Awards for the Americas

- Silver Award-winning micro-batch – Plain/origin dark chocolate bar of the 2020-2021 and 2019 “Americas” Bean-to-bar and Chocolatier Competition category of the International Chocolate Awards.

- Bronze Award-winning Dark Bean to Bar (under 90) of the 2020 Academy of Chocolate Awards in London

- Silver Award-winning micro-batch – Plain/origin dark chocolate bar of the 2019 “Central Americas” Competition of the International Chocolate Awards.


Aroma: delicate chocolatey, a hint of tobacco-smoke welcoming note, lemon peel

Flavor profile: this is definitely my least favorite. The harmonious citrusy character is undeniable, sequentially the palate is "flooded" with smooth and mild chocolatey flavors leaving just a touch of citrusy zest in the aftertaste.


Caramelized cacao nibs 70% cacao Nicaragua

Ingredients: cacao, cane sugar, cocoa nibs, cacao butter

The addition of caramelized cacao nibs provides the perfect sweet balance and crunch to the bar.


- Silver Award-winning Dark chocolate bars with inclusions or pieces 2020-2021 International Chocolate Awards for the Americas.

- Commended Dark Bean to Bar Seasoned of the 2020 Academy of Chocolate Awards in London


Aroma: floral, a hint of sweet tobacco-wood, caramel, coffee

Flavor profile: nutty, raisin, citrusy, rosehips, unmistakable and ever-present caramelized coffee flavor, a hint of green mouthfeel towards the end, and orange peel finish.

Aftertaste: herb liqueur, sweet essences of rose combined with fresh citrusy complexity. Menthol-like freshness is the last remaining trace of this unanticipated tasting experience. `


I spotted a connection between the 4 bars, an aromatic sense of woody-like astringent back taste that for the Caramelized Nibs 70% is strengthened forward due to the complexity of the flavor profile (citrusy zest and menthol freshness).


Last but not least...

Dark milk 75% dual origin cacao (NICARAGUA AND COLOMBIA)


A balanced combination of cacao from both Nicaragua and Colombia with a creamy milk finish. Destined to excite both dark and milk chocolate lovers.


An intense-classy chocolate taste extended by the calming dairy notes. It is less creamy and "sweet" than the coconut milk "sibling".


Coconut milk 70% dual origin cacao (NICARAGUA AND COLOMBIA)


Rich and creamy with a velvety texture this coconut milk bar has all the traits of a dark milk bar without the dairy. A balanced combination of cacao from both Nicaragua and Colombia with a coconut milk finish.


Smooth and creamy. Unlike the dark milk with milk, the profound-classic chocolate flavor is involved in tropical coconut notes and some acidity.


My favorite is the Dark-Milk with Milk because it speaks so kindly of elegance as a virtue of fineness and expressions, understated balance, style, grace, sobriety, avoiding opulence, and extravagance. In any case, both bars are very tasty and pleasant. It is just a matter of preference!