Whether you’re a melt-on-the-tongue or chew-straight-away kind of chocolate-eater, we all enjoy our chocolate differently. But have you ever tried to taste it like the professionals?

Just like wine and cheese, good quality chocolate is a complex food that deserves all of our attention. There are so many things that alter the flavour, from the cocoa bean to the final moments before it gets packaged up, ready to catch your eye on the shelf.

Here are a few tips to try it yourself at home with some good quality, high cocoa content chocolate.

Before you even come to eat the chocolate, make sure it’s been stored in a cool, dry place (but not the fridge).

Then, resist all temptation and just look at your chocolate. The perfect piece should be glossy and smooth, free of bubbles, cracks or pale streaks (this happens when cocoa butter isn’t mixed in properly).

Before you take a first bite, make sure you haven’t had any strong flavours recently, like garlic or coffee.

Rub the chocolate gently between your fingers, then put it about an inch away from your nose and give it a good smell. This will help prepare your taste buds for what’s coming next.

Pop a small piece onto the tongue and let it melt for a few seconds. Once the flavour has spread around your mouth, then gently chew. Keep your mouth closed and breathe through your nose to engage all your senses properly.

Before you taste anything else, have a bite of something neutral, like a nut or bread, to cleanse your palate. And you’re ready to go again!