How To Taste Craft Chocolate

  1. Never taste chocolate when you are hungry or full.
  2. Close your eyes to enhance concentration and focus. Always taste chocolate at room temperature.
  3. Smell the chocolate before tasting. Use small “bunny niffs”, as it takes approximately 15 – 30 seconds for your nose to recover after each sniff.
  4. Make sure that the chocolate is in contact with all areas of your mouth and tongue in order to activate the maximum number of taste buds.
  5. While the chocolate is melting in your mouth, close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose before swallowing. Breathe out after swallowing. This allows the aroma of the chocolate to pass through the retro nasal passage twice, thereby maximizing flavor impact.
  6. Flavor occurs in waves in your mouth – sweetness within 2 seconds; bitterness after about 5 seconds; salty and sour within 3 – 9 seconds.
  7. Chocolate melts exactly at body temperature, creating a unique velvety smooth “melt-in-your-mouth” texture (aka “mouth feel”), unlike any other food substance.
  8. Store chocolate in a dry and cool place, never in the refrigerator (moisture ruins chocolate).  


Taste With Your Senses

Eyes: Appearance – chalky, dull, glossy, black, dark brown, walnut, medium brown, amber, cream, white
Ears: Snap – loud, soft
Nose: Rub the chocolate with your fingers to release the aroma. Sniff and smell the chocolate through your mouth and nose.
Mouth: Take a bite and let it melt in all areas of your mouth and tongue. Take a
deep breath through your nose before swallowing. Breathe out after swallowing.


Attributes To Look For

Mouthfeel: The texture of the chocolate as it melts in your mouth – chalky, course, creamy, crumbly, dry, gritty, rough, smooth
Acidity: Tart or bright flavor
Bitterness: Sharp or acrid taste
Astringency: Tannins that dry the mouth out
Finish: The flavors that linger after tasting and swallowing the chocolate
Color: Black, dark brown, walnut, medium brown, amber, cream, white
Appearance: Glossy, shiny, dull, sugar bloom, fat bloom, crazing (cracks)
Balance: How well the flavors in the chocolate work together


We recommend tasting chocolate at room temperature and storing your chocolate bars in a dry and cool area between 65°F - 72°F. Storing them in the refrigerator or freezer is not recommended as the moisture may ruin the chocolate flavor and/or texture.


chocolate flavor wheel  
Printed with Permission Seneca Klassen / the C-spot®© 2006, 2011

Download Tasting Guide & Flavor Wheel PDF

Download Chocolate Tasting Sheet