Updated: Mar 10

2020 Academy of Chocolate GOLD Winner

Ingredients: Cacao Beans, Organic Unrefined Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter

Tasting Notes: Buttercream, espresso

For the first time, Letterpress Chocolate released a bar that required not only new packaging but also a new mold. Their first custom mold since we started nearly six years ago, with the incredibly detail-oriented team at Micelli in New York.

Tranquilidad is wild-harvested cacao from Bolivia and fermented by a world-renowned cacao expert from Germany, Volker Lehmann, who since 2000 moved to Bolivia as a trained agriculturalist. Throughout the Beni Department, Volker works with local indigenous communities to harvest wild cacao in the area and personally oversees the fermentation process to ensure the highest quality possible. The Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund had these beans genetically tested by the USDA and it's been verified 97.3% Boliviano, also known as Beniano cacao. You've heard of Criollo, Nacional, Porcelana? Beniano is in a class all its own.

Shiny and homogeneous on the surface

Brown color ******

Aroma: fresh tobacco, honey, sweet espresso

Mouthfeel: warm with refreshing undertones

Texture: creamy and smooth

Snap: *******

Structure/Hardness: ****

Texture: *******

Roundness: ********

Sweetness: *****

Aromatic finesse: ********


Astringency: **

Bitterness: ***

Intensity: ********

Complexity: ********

Length/Aftertaste: ********

Flavor profile: after the first glimpse of sweet chocolate, the palate develops complex tasting notes as honey, Sicilian soft giant dates, ripe-soft vanilla persimmon, buttercream, golden oats, lychee sweet fruity taste, sparkling juiciness, chamomille-like undertones in perfect balance with the elegance and tannin character of "honey orchid dancong hongha tea". In the aftertaste, the tasting experience builds a tea-like astringent mineral quality richly structured by the long-lasting tingle on the tongue of pepper-tart liveliness.

This is an outstanding product in the craft chocolate market, marking the evolution of a great, unending tradition.

About the honey and "honey orchid dancong hongha tea", I think the flavor spectrum can be described wrongly as an example of clover honey, black olives, and/or chicory flavors. But believe me, it is more than that! If you will ever try the Fossa Honey Orchid Dancong Hongha Dark Milk Tea Chocolate, you will understand my point.

Letterpress raises the art of "bean to bar" to a new level of sophistication wrapped in an iconic "peaceful" motif. Day after day, enraptured, I loved this bar. And the maker served the Beniano cacao with solicitous love, singing its magnificent hidden treasure.

Values expressed in stars from 1 to 8. If the bar is extraordinarily close to perfection, I can go up to 10.