By Denise V

If your entire body craves this delicious, creamy, and healthy treat, chocolate, you might want to pursue a career as a professional chocolate taster. Just as professional wine tasters have a specific procedure to follow to judge the quality of a fine wine, there is a specific procedure for judging the flavor and texture of quality chocolate.

A fun way to find out if this is the career for you, host a chocolate tasting party.

Here are the things you will need to do:

  1. Select a place in the house or outside that is quiet and relaxing for the tasting area.
  2. Have a minimum of four different brands of chocolate.  (Dark chocolate is the healthiest.)
  3. Store the chocolate in a dry, dark, cool place until you are ready for the tasting party.
  4. The chocolate must be room temperature when tasting begins.
  5. Serve the chocolate from the lowest percentage of cocoa content to the highest percentage. (When you read the ingredients on the package, the percentage of each ingredient is listed from highest to lowest.)
  6. Provide a small plate of apple pieces for each person so they can cleanse their palate before and between each chocolate piece.
  7. Prepare the score cards. Here is a sample card.

1)      Is the piece of chocolate
a. Shiny______________________
b.  Glossy_____________________
c.  Consistent in color___________

2)   Breaks with
a.  Sharp sound________________
b. Crisp sound_________________
c.  Clean Edge__________________

3)      Feels
a. Smooth_____________________
b. Even_______________________

4)      Aroma
a. Pleasant_____________________
b. Inviting______________________

5)      Melts in the mouth quickly_____________

6)      Tastes rich__________________________

7)      Smooth texture on the tongue__________

8)      Velvety texture on the tongue__________

9)      Grainy texture on the tongue___________

10)    Bitter or unpleasant after taste__________

YES TOTAL _________

Here are the steps for tasting chocolate:

  1. Begin by cleansing the palate with a piece of apple.
  2. Next, study the piece of chocolate. It should have a shiny, even, glossy surface. The color isn’t what makes one chocolate better than another, but it should be consistent. (Where the beans were grown and the technique used to roast them determines the color.)
  3. Break the piece of chocolate in half and listen to the sound it makes as it breaks. The sharper and crisper the sound, the better the quality of chocolate. (The higher the cocoa quality, the louder the snap sound.)
  4. Look at the broken edge to see if it has a clean break. The cleaner the break, the better the quality.
  5. Take time to feel the chocolate. It should feel smooth and even as your finger moves gently across it.
  6. Now smell the chocolate. As you rub your finger over the chocolate in Step 5, the chocolate might start to melt. As it melts the aroma is released.
  7. Place the chocolate in your mouth and let it melt. Do not chew.  Quality chocolate will feel smooth with a velvety texture while melting in your mouth. Close your eyes and concentrate on the flavors that come into your mind. Take time and enjoy this step.
  8. After the piece of chocolate has completely melted, pay attention to the last flavor that is lingering in your mouth. Quality chocolate will not leave a bitter or unpleasant taste. This last step is referred to as the finish.
  9.  Complete the tasting score card.

Repeat Steps 1 through 9 for all pieces of chocolate in the tasting.  When the tasting is completed, reveal the brands of chocolate that were in the tasting. Total the score cards and announce the winner.


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