Saturday, April 21, 2012

Meet Choffy, Brewed Hot Chocolate

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.

The ideal way to make 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.

I used 15 oz of water and turned on our maker. I let the 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.

We tried it fairly hot at first.  You can see here that there is a glossy sheen on the liquid, this would from the natural fats and oils found in coffee beans since there is nothing added here.  You may also notice that it has a slightly reddish tint to it as well which reminded me of many of the hot teas I make in this device.  Hot was a bit too hot so we let it cool for a few minutes.

The brewed 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.


Guru Uru said...

I have to say that hot chocolate has never looked more rich to me - brewing really ups it :D

Choc Chip Uru

Emilie said...

Do you think some of the bitterness was due to letting to steep for 15 minutes? Have you ever used coffee grounds in your garden? I think these might work in a similar way, but I would keep them away from any pets.

TammyJo Eckhart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TammyJo Eckhart said...

Maybe, Emilie, but the packet did say to let it steep for larger for a richer flavor, too.

Cacao-Me said...

brewing roasted cocoa beans has become a regular habit for me and i love it! i use 2 teaspoons of vanilla torani italian syrup which takes off the edge. in addition, the place where i first discovered this drinking chocolate adds frothed steam milk with the vanilla which takes off the edge even more. personally, i've come to enjoy it with out the milk. i buy my beans from an independent roaster and grind them myself which saves money. here's a link to my blog about how i do it:

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Oh, Cacao-Me, why didn't I see your comment when it went live? Do you still do this?

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