As you know, Sisters and Brothers, we in The Chocolate Cult are a volunteer group of folks who try to describe our experiences with chocolate of all sorts using our five senses. Our goals are to help you determine what you want to buy and put in your body as well as expose you to variety in all areas of chocolate culture. Choffy is a fairly new product that we had the pleasure of trying out that takes the brewing process of coffee and applies it to cocoa beans. Independent seller, Deborah Snyder, sent us this sample of Ivory Coast Choffy so our links will take you directly to her site.
Choffy is to use a French press. Since we are not coffee drinkers here and this would only make two small cups of the drink, I didn't want to give it over to our Mocha Acolytes. Luckily Deborah sent us directions for using it in a regular coffee maker which we have, you can see it in this photo. I've used this to make tea so I figured it could work for this ground based drink.
Here you can see the Choffy grounds in our maker. They have brown, almost black, and even red tints to them. You can see that they are fairly large but also that these are not shavings of chocolate which we have featured in the past from other companies.
Choffy brew fully then set in the heat for 15 minutes; at least five minutes is recommended but I wanted a full flavor. As it brewed it created a very dark fragrance that almost had a burning edge to it. Not like coffee, even the scent of that I dislike, but a bit like I'd left a baked chocolate item in the stove a minute too long.
Choffy was bitter; what do you expect from 100% ground cocoa beans and water? We each tried it with a bit of pure sugar. I used this spoon about 2/3 full while my partner tried it with a full tablespoon of sugar. This took the bitter edge off and let the flavor come out making it more like chocolate. I might like darker chocolate but this was a bit too much for me, much like I don't normally chow down on 98% baking chocolate.
We both really liked our mugs after adding in this sugar. This ability to personalize the flavor is similar to several of the higher end hot chocolate mixes we've tried where you are actually melting chocolate shavings or cocoa powder without added sugar. Much like with coffee, I had a personal mini-guilt trip about the left over grounds. I'd like to think there was some way to use these so we get the full benefit of the product. I also with the website had more information about using the ground but also where the beans come from, who the farmers are, and how involved Choffy is in the production of the beans.
Cocoa beans take on the qualities of their environment as coffee lovers and pure single origin chocolate lovers well know. While Deborah sent us the Ivory Coast sample she also sells Choffy from La Espanola and Mamberamo (part of Indonesia). These mugs of brewed hot chocolate delivered what they claim and that gets Choffy our recognition as a worthy Sacrament. Hopefully in the future they will add more information to their website so we have more information about the farmers and areas where their beans come from as well as ideas for using the grounds perhaps.