Updated: TheChocolateLifeLIVE – Rating and Judging Chocolate (Bars)

Updated: TheChocolateLifeLIVE – Rating and Judging Chocolate (Bars)

Episode 84 of #TheChocolateLifeLIVE streams from 12:00~13:00 on Tuesday, January 24th on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

UPDATES: I added the link to the 2023 Craft Chocolate Challenge main page. Contact Dustin the organizer to get on the list for the 2024 edition! When it comes to looking at data and what you can learn about competition - watch the Awards Analysis livestream.

Have more questions? Ask them in the comments.
Craft Chocolat Challenge | chocolat-inn
Bean to Bar Chocolate Contest. A challenge for Craft Chocolate Makers.
The link to the main 2023 Craft Chocolate Challenge page.
UPDATED: TheChocolateLifeLIVE – Awards Analysis Nerdgasm & AMA
Episode 75 of #TheChocolateLifeLIVE streams on Tuesday, December 20th from 12:00~13:00 EST.

I have been a judge in several Americas round competitions at the International Chocolate Awards as well as two of the Perú-specific competitions. I helped specify the rules for the Chocolate and Confectionery categories at the Good Food Awards and was a judge in the Confectionery category twice.

I was the head judge for the Next Generation Chocolatier competition, not only creating the judging guidelines, but overseeing the selection of the judges and overseeing the actual judging process itself. I have bean a judge for the Bean to Bar Brasil competition three times – the first for the initial run, and twice since (2021 and 2022).

While never a judge at either the National or World Pastry Team Championships, I worked closely with the organizers of the competition and, after eight years, was very familiar with the judging process.

I even helped organize and was the head judge for the first concurso to find the best cocoa in the state of Tabasco, Mexico.

Those of you who have followed me for any length of time may know that I was not a fan of The Reference Standard, a book that purported to rate hundreds of chocolate brands. I wrote an extensive three-part series that I did not move over from the archive site.

Part 1: Fact Checking Georg Bernardini’s “Chocolate - The Reference Standard”
DisclaimersI purchased my copy of the English–language version of Chocolate – The Reference Standard at full face value at the Origin Chocolate event in Amsterdam in October 2015. It was not given to me as a review copy. In reading, I noticed a favorable mention of TheChocolateLife (p875). This di…
The link to the first part of the three-part series on the archive site.
Part 2: Fact Checking Georg Bernardini’s “Chocolate - The Reference Standard”
PrefaceAt times I wonder if I am the only person who has read the English–language version of Georg Bernardini’s Chocolate—The Reference Standard critically because it seems like mine is the first review of any edition of TRS that is anything less than glowingly positive.In his response to my rev…
Part 3: Fact Checking Georg Bernardini’s “Chocolate - The Reference Standard”
Part 1 can be found here. Part 2 can be found here. Note: When in Amsterdam for CHOCOA in early February, I spoke with someone who knows chocolate quite well, is a native German speaker with a very good command of English, and who is familiar with both the most recent German and the English–langua…

As you may be able to tell, this is a topic that has occupied a lot of my thinking over the past 25 or so years. It also illustrates one of the fundamental internal conflicts that drives my photographic work, which is the tension between what I feel and what I think.


One of the main challenges I set myself before I spun up chocophile.com was the creation of a rating system that was unlike the simple 1-100 (or 1-10) system used in wine. I worked on this diligently for over three years until I was satisfied that I had something unique and workable.

I did not settle on this system and have been refining it ever since. In the meantime there have been developed a number of different tools and systems – these include the one developed by the IICCT and Hazel Lee’s Tasting With Colour map.

All of us are working to reach the same goals, which are to:

  • Help everyone interested in assessing chocolate to a better job.
  • Improve communication between the various constituencies interested in the results.
TheChocolateLife :: LIVE – Judging Quality
Episode 30 streams live from 12:00 EDT on Tuesday, April 5th.
Rating Chocolate Emotionally
One of the issues I have with conventional numerical rating scales is that thereis a psychology that affects ratings unequally. For example the differencebetween a rating of 87 & 89 and a rating of 89 & 91 is the same, two points.However, psychologically, we assign more value to the
TheChocolateLife::LIVE – How I Learned To Taste ... Anything & Everything
OR: How I approached training my palate on my journey to becoming a professional chocolate critic. Streaming worldwide on Tuesday, August 23rd, from 12:00 EDT.

Watch/Participate on YouTube, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Visit TheChocolateWire Channel on YouTube

My LinkedIn profile
TheChocolateLife page on Facebook (live event)


#ratingchocolate #reviewingchocolate #judgingchocolate
#chocolate #cacao #cocoa #cacau
#TheChocolateLife #LaVidaCocoa

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