So far in my taste testing of Latin style cocoas I have the following:
There seem to be two main styles to the cocoas. The first is a full bodied, rich, and creamy milk chocolate style which is my personal epitome of what cocoa should be. The other is a darker and much less sweet style, more for those who like dark chocolate or a darker roast of coffee. Like that bitterness and toasted quality of a good espresso, but milder and creamier. All I tried were very good.
The following fall in the milk chocolate style and all have a great flavor (I just dont seem to have developed a grasp on the language used to describe chocolate yet.):
Nestle Abuelita, $2.50-$4.00, 19oz, 6 tablets, made in Mexico.
This is a nice and full
Ibarra, $2.50-$4.00, 18.6oz, 6 tablets, made in Mexico.
Embajador, $2.25, 9.17oz, 10 tablets, made in Dominican Republic.
The following fall in the darker chocolate style (These were good as well.):
Iberia, $3.50, 8.8oz, large bar with 8 sections, made in Columbia. (This one had an extraordinarily high caffeine content whew!)
"Antonio Pueo" Rollos, $2.95, 7.04oz, 8 tablets, made in the Philippines.
As for the whole seeds
I tried steeping like coffee, boiling the grinds in water, simmering the grinds in milk, etc. I tried roasting them dark, roasting them lightly, and no roast at all since they seemed roasted enough already, but no matter how I tried was I able to get a good tasting beverage. Bummer!:
Natural whole Cacao seeds from El Salvador. The package says: "Just toast and peel the seeds. Add sugar to taste. Grind and add to boiled water with milk", $3.25, 8oz.
What are your thoughts?