Ask the Alchemist #21

"What is the best (fill in the blank - cocoa, chocolate, roast profile, recipe, etc)?"
I get variations of this question quite a bit.  And in some ways it is a very easy answer (you will get it below) and in others, it's impossible (or, I'll get to that below also).
And the answer is.....
The Best chocolate/cocoa bean/roast profile/recipe is the one YOU like the most!
I'm serious.  That's that answer.
In my opinion, there is no one, best, anything.  Sure, there can certainly be better or worse between a couple items, and if you get into concrete data (which cocoa bean has the best preparation?) you can answer it.  But 'which is best' is a subjective question based on YOUR OWN personal tastes and no one, not me, not you, not the person who has been tasting and evaluating chocolate for 73 years can tell YOU what YOU like best.  Only you can do that.
That is why, in general, you won't find many (if any) absolute concrete roast profiles, recipes or bean declarations here.  You will find starting points.  Places that will allow you to make good chocolate.  But after that, it is up to you to make it into the chocolate you find the best, keeping in mind, that not every bean can be made into a chocolate that YOU like.  The best you can do is attempt to make it into the best chocolate that you can and fit it to your tastes.
So, when you hear someone claim "The Best X ever" - keep this in mind and weigh with a grain of salt what they are saying, but because unless the phrase continues "This is the Best X I've ever had" then there just might be a little hype and spin going on.