How to taste chocolate

Fine chocolate will take you on a unique, sensorial journey.

To fully appreciate the craftsmanship in a bar, you first need to learn how to taste it.

Here’s how to use all your senses to help you get the best from your chocolate.




Chocolate is an aesthetic as well as sensory pleasure.  The moulds used in fine chocolate can be exquisite; the colour and silky sheen seductive; and a flawless finish, free from the tiniest of streaks or air bubbles, fascinating.  Looking at your chocolate prepares you for the taste experience to come.

Sensorial Tasting


Chocolate should have a clean, audible snap: not too soft and not too brittle. A clean snap means well-tempered chocolate, ready to release the full complement of flavours contained inside.

Sensorial Tasting


Always smell your chocolate.  To begin with, it may simply smell of chocolate but, as you become more experienced, you begin to recognise the additional aroma notes: citrus, spices, earthiness, toasted notes, smokiness or even off-notes. These may or may not be the notes that come through in the tasting.

sensorial tasting


Both the mouthfeel and melt of fine chocolate are something you will soon learn to appreciate.  A slow, even melt will allow the taste experience to evolve. Whatever your preference for texture, finding that luxuriant mouthfeel is one of the unique pleasures of fine chocolate.

sensorial tasting


Finally, we get to the taste. Here we are looking for length and complexity. See how many different flavour notes you can detect and how they play out. Are they fleeting, persistent or repeating?  Is the experience monochrome or full of colour? Remember, our taste buds are genetically unique and so are our taste experiences.

Learn to taste

Once acquired, the art of slow tasting will transform your relationship with chocolate.  This short video gives a taster of the understanding and techniques you will learn in a Cocoa Encounters class or experience.