Saturday, April 3, 2010

You Got Tea in My Chocolate!

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates sent us two samples to reveal on The Chocolate Cult.  Today we will try their Spring Tea collection.  They came in a simple brown box with a yellow natural ribbon tied to a business card from the company.  Inside were five flavor combinations of darker chocolate and infused tea, which you can see below.  These came with a strip of paper identifying each flavor, so it was easy to figure out what to expect.  Each one is about 1 inch on the base and has a width of about 1/5 inch.


I'll review these from left to right in the above picture -- I'm sorry that my hotel lighting wasn't so great, but click on the links I'm providing in this review for the best photos.  That means I'm starting with "Jasmine," which is covered in blue and green edible ink swirls.  Jasmine tea itself should have a fairly strong fragance and taste, but primarily this has a dark chocolate scent when I take a whiff.  This piece, like the others, melts if I hold it for too long, so I take a bite, hearing a snap when I work my way through the thick shell.  Inside is a slightly lighter colored dark chocolate filling and a strong cocoa scent.  As I chew, the intense jasmine tea flavor comes out but blends nicely with the cocoa, each intensifying the other.  Best for dark chocolate lovers who also love jasmine tea.

The next flavor is "Earl Grey," and it has shavings on top of it.  This has almost no scent at all, not even the chocolate.  Earl Grey should be far more subtle than the jasmine, but somehow it seems to dampen the cocoa fragrance.  The shell is thicker than the previous variety, and it makes a loud snap when I take a bite. Inside is a lighter chocolate with an interesting texture I can't quite describe; there seem to be pieces or flecks of something there.  The Earl Grey may be obvious to a lover of that tea, but to me this was really just nice dark chocolate.

I had no idea what Lapsang Souchong is supposed to smell or taste like, so I looked it up and was a bit worried, since it is described as a tobacco-like or smoky scent and flavor.  I didn't get that at all from the smell, which I'd describe as more like light coffee.  The essence, though, once I bit through the shell with a solid snap, wasn't smoky or tobacco-like at all.  It was a bitter addition to the dark cocoa that I thought enhanced, it though others I gave pieces to didn't agree.

The Chai piece had a dot of milk chocolate on the top.  This should taste sweet, according to descriptions of chai tea.  Sweet is not how I'd describe the fragrance when I first take a whiff.  It has a kick to it, like it opened up my sinuses and let in a dark cocoa scent as well.  The shell snaps softly when I take a bite to reveal a lighter creamy inside.  This tastes smooth, almost fluffy, and has a nice bitter cocoa essence.  But there was no sweetness that I could really decipher -- is that is what chai tea should taste like?

Finally, the piece with blue, green, and white stripes on top is the Green Tea variety.  Green Tea is generally rather subtle in flavor for most people, but I think it has a definite taste and scent to it, and the fragrance here is certainly green tea that overwhelms the cocoa when I take in a breath of it.  The shell is thinner than the others and makes no noise when I take a bite to reveal a vibrant lime green inside.  At first, as I chew I worry that the green tea is going to overwhelm the dark cocoa, but no, our Sacred Substance stands its ground and becomes the first and last flavor you'll taste in this piece.  If you like green tea -- not everyone does -- then this may be a good flavor for you.

If you like different types of tea and darker chocolate, then these might please you -- or they might not.  I wrote this review while traveling and shared some of the flavors with others who had mixed reviews, so it really is a matter of personal taste, but I can say as your Chocolate Priestess that the chocolate was never overpowered by the tea, and for me, that makes these good truffles.

Sisters and Brothers, may you, too, take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

2 comments:

mavido79 said...

Not surprising that the Earl Grey flavor didn't come through. I love Earl Grey but not many suppliers get it right. There should be a slightly fruity essence from the bergamot. But often I find either the essence is too subtle to be distinguished or else is very 'perfumey'. You would definitely know if this truffle was made with a proper blending of tea to bergamot.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

For me, not having overwhelming tea flavors was good, when I make a judgment of whether or not something is worthy as a Sacrament, I have to focus on the cacao first and foremost.

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