Quality & Sensory

We at Blommer recognize that our customers make chocolate products, but sell excellent customer experience.

Flavor is the main key to that experience. Chocolate has a certain composition that makes it a unique product. It should be solid at room temperature, but melt in the mouth. High quality chocolate has a smooth, delicate taste and feels velvety smooth to the tongue and mouth.

People don’t just eat chocolate, they experience it!

The full experience of chocolate involves at least four of the five human senses, which is why sensory evaluation is a fundamental process in developing quality chocolate and cocoa products. We use sight, touch, smell, and of course, taste to evaluate the attributes of a chocolate. Getting it just right is what ensures the reputation of your brand.

Woman, wearing white shirt and apron, grabbing chocolate truffle from container to put on table display

Using the Senses


Obviously, this is the most important element to sensory evaluation when it comes to chocolate, which can be any range of a combination of cocoa, sweet, milky or acidic flavors. If the balance isn’t right, the chocolate won’t please the palate. Chocolate out of balance or that has been improperly handled in the process from bean to bar can be bitter or woody, or can taste burnt or earthy.


When it comes to touch, a chocolatier must consider both the feel to the mouth and the feel to the hand. Does the chocolate melt away inside the mouth? Does it feel creamy and velvety? Or is it chalky? Mouth-feel is an important characteristic of chocolate. But the touch of chocolate also refers to how it breaks or snaps. Does it break with a clean edge, or is it crumbly? The sense of touch plays a big role in the quality of chocolate.


Taste and smell are intimately connected senses. In fact, it’s almost impossible to have taste without smell. Therefore, the aroma of chocolate must be considered along with the taste. A chocolate with a burnt or chemical-like odor simply won’t taste good.


Color, sheen and texture all play a role in quality chocolate. Chocolates can range from deep brown to almost red. And like with most foods, appearance is important to the brain when eating it. The sheen of a chocolate results from proper alignment of the cocoa butter crystals, which should produce a smooth and glossy finish. Improper storage can impact the sheen of chocolate. Chocolate that demonstrates a streaky white surface is said to have “bloomed” and is likely either old or was improperly tempered or stored.

Photo of Blommer associates participating in tasting session

Quality & Sensory at Blommer

We at Blommer believe that flavor is key to our customer’s bottom line, so we use customized descriptive analysis with a select group of panelists to evaluate the chocolate produced in our facility, as well as to taste products under development. Additionally, we collaborate with our customers to customize our methodologies to meet each customer’s needs. An example would be a specialized sensory panel trained and certified to screen products for our customer so they are confident enough not to have to do their own in-house tasting.

Furthermore, we believe quality is the job of all Blommer employees, so it’s the philosophy of Blommer to empower all employees to impact our final flavor. Blommer believes that each and every employee has the ability to impact the flavor of our products and we have trained sensory panels evaluate products daily

Display of chocolate bars with small tasting bowls in front

Insight on Sensory

If you’re in the chocolate business, you know it can have a language of its own. When it comes to the quality and sensory aspects of chocolate, Blommer has a list of adjectives used to fully explore all the different characteristics of the product. We’ve pulled back the curtain to provide you this list of chocolate descriptive terms we use and what causes those characteristics.

Chocolate Essence: Intense chocolate liquor, increases with proper fermentation and degree of roast

Cocoay: Cocoa powder, less intense Fruity: Processed fruit, such as cherry or raspberry

Woody: Dry wood, popsicle sticks, improper bean cleaning

Nutty: Nuts roasted in the shell, whole cocoa bean roasting Green: Raw vegetables (green beans, peas), or as “under-roasted”

Cardboard: Bland (cocoa butter)

Hammy / Smokey: Smoked cured meats, fire drying of cocoa beans Burnt: Burnt toast, espresso coffee, sticks, stems burning in roasting

Bitter: Caffeine, decreases with fermentation time, felt on back of tongue

Astringent: Alum, decreases with fermentation time, felt all-over mouth

Acidic: Vinegar, pods harvested too early, artificial drying of beans

Ashy: Wet ashtray, burning of debris in roasting process

Sour: Lemons, peaks and levels out during bean fermentation

Earthy: Potting soil, greenhouse, improper bean cleaning