Friday, October 29, 2010

Tea infused chocolates

Chocolate and tea are two of my favorite things, but not always together. The combination is familiar to me; I've had tea infused chocolate truffles many times, especially as a mignardise at the end of a fancy meal. I've also started to see chocolate bars made with tea flavors in stores, but I usually overlook them. I like my chocolate at about 75% cacao without any added flavors aside from salt. But this afternoon PC came over to my desk and offered me a taste of 'maté and cacao nibs' dark chocolate. How could I say no? Especially since it was dark chocolate!

I usually shy away from tea infused chocolate because the tea commonly used is earl grey. I'm not a big fan of bergamot (is that sacrilegious for a tea drinker?), so I don't usually drink earl grey or any other citrus tea combination. But the tea used for this chocolate bar was yerba maté, so I decided to give it a try. I don't drink yerba maté very often, because it has an herbaceous taste that I'm not looking for in my tea. But add 72% dark chocolate, and I'll give it a try! The chocolate had a nice fruity tang to it, along with the herbal, tobacco-like taste of maté. There is also a faint hint of anise. It is definitely a unique combination to pair with chocolate. I don't think I'd buy it for myself, but possibly for an adventurous chocolate lover.

On their website, the other Dark Chocolate varieties that The Tea Room makes is 'green earl grey' and 'raspberry rooibos tea'. Given my feelings towards bergamot, as well as herbal tea, I may not rush out to try these. But if PC picks up a bar, I will hopefully get to try a little taste...

It looks like The Tea Room has a nice selection of loose teas that I'll have to try when I am looking for something new to drink. If anyone has tried any of their loose teas, please let me know what you think.
As far as pairing of chocolate and tea, I'm also not a fan of 'chocolate teas'. If I want chocolate in my warm drink, I'll have a hot chocolate. When I feel like having a bit of chocolate with my tea, I think I'll stick to nibbling a piece alongside a nice warm cup of tea.

The Tea Room 'Tea Infusions' with Maté and Cacao Nibs

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