Lucocoa Chocolate is a new bean to bar enterprise - one of a growing number based in London which steps away from the usual form of refined sugar and instead uses coconut sugar and lucuma. As Amarachi Uzowuru and Andy Clarke have only been making chocolate as Lucocoa since December last year there is very little information about to get a 'back story', but as with anything chocolate-related, the key factor is the chocolate itself. So hopefully we can come back and find out more about them, but in the meantime - the chocolate. I purchased six of their small bars and thought I'd try three origins that I feel are often under-represented in the rosters of chocolate makers: Guatemala, Columbia and Belize.
Guatemala is an origin that often provides big, bold flavours with, to me at least, a strong resemblance to the notes offered by Nacional in that there are often hefty florals as was recently seen in the Mast Brothers Guatemala. Interestingly, the tasting notes for this chocolate are ' like a good conversationalist, our Guatemalan puts you at your ease. It's nutty, deep chocolate taste subsides into a subtle fruit finish. The ideal dinner party guest.'
To me they're got the 'nutty' spot on. The harshness we expect is far from evident. It's just incredibly creamy and delightful. The flavour transforms with every word that I type as it then moves onto more raisin, a touch of rum and then a very faint hit of under-ripe bananas. I really do like this one.
Columbia is an origin that I generally adore as it seems to be the kinder cousin of Madagascar with the slight red fruits and a nutty floral that I can never put my finger on. And this chocolate is typical of what I would expect in terms of flavours. I do like the almost BBQ nature to it, but the texture is remarkably different to that of the Guatemala, it sticks to the teeth a great deal more and has a much slower melt. It seems that there's a fair amount less cocoa butter in this one.
And now on to one of my favourite origins: Belize. And this is a different beast altogether. It's like Umbongo in chocolate form. Or even orange and pineapple cordial that I keep buying by mistake. There's a definite sweetness that doesn't seem to come from the coconut sugar, but is more in line with the cocoa. That texture is back where it is very slow to melt - but on the upside the flavour continues to deliver longer than you may typically expect.
Overall, I very much enjoyed the chocolate and like the alternative to cane sugar. They're certainly one to watch.