Posts Tagged ‘Coffee’

chocolatey

Photo from Tcho. Click on the pic to go there.

About Pure Notes Dark Chocolatey 70%:

TCHO PureNotes™ exquisite dark chocolates are the purest expression of the cacao bean itself. As with wine, what you taste is precisely, and only, what’s in the bean. There are no added flavorings, only pure dark chocolate.

About Mokaccino Serious Milk + Blue Bottle Coffee:

Warm, roasted nuttiness and complex dried fruit notes from freshly roasted Blue Bottle coffee blend seamlessly with the dense caramel and cocoa notes in our SeriousMilk chocolate. Named Best Flavored Milk Chocolate in America by the International Chocolate Awards.

Both these bars were in my February Love with Food box.

In my February Love With Food box, I received two squares of chocolate.  The first is a dark chocolate square:  Pure Notes Dark Chocolatey 70%.  This is an intense dark chocolate.  A nice snap.  I allowed the chocolate to melt on my tongue a little and I could taste notes of rich, dark fudge, reminiscent of a rich, creamy fudge that you might have drizzled over your ice cream in the really good ice cream parlors.  I could also taste roasted notes, like a roasted nutty flavor.

This dark chocolate square reminded me a little bit of a really, really good Fujian black tea – rich, malty and even a little caramel-y.  So much complexity within the layers of this chocolate.

mokaccino

Photo from Tcho. Click on the pic to go there.

The second square is a milk chocolate with coffee square:  Mokaccino Serious Milk + Blue Bottle Coffee.  Now, normally, I frown at coffee flavored things, but, this chocolate bar is quite yummy.  I could happily devour one or more of these chocolate squares daily.  The coffee notes bring out something extra in the chocolate, and it becomes a very full, rich, decadent flavor for the palate.  Sweet, creamy, and indulgent … and reminds me of those mocha drinks I used to love but can no longer drink because I realized that coffee consumption causes me to feel sick a few hours later.  Fortunately, I didn’t feel that way after I ate this chocolate square … the only thing I felt a little later is a desire that I had more chocolate!

My Final Thoughts:

These chocolate bars from Tcho were amazing.  Then again, when is chocolate not amazing?  But these were really, really good.  The next time you’re looking for really, really good chocolate, you won’t go wrong with Tcho.

Yep … I’m still working on all my past tasting box posts!  This is my post for April’s Knoshbox!  Knoshbox remains my favorite foodie tasting boxes of the few that I’ve been trying over the past year or so.  The reason is simple:  Knoshbox truly is a foodie box.  It’s a thoughtfully curated box with a theme, and tasty, unique foods that you don’t find everywhere.  For those of you who miss Foodzie and don’t like what they’ve become with Joyus, I think you’ll be really satisfied with Knoshbox.  (More on why I love Knoshbox with my May/June box information … coming soon!)

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This month’s box included some real tasty foods!  First and foremost were three sample packages of Justin’s Nut Butters.  I won’t be writing a review on most of these because, well, I’ve tried most of them!  There were three nut butters in the box, including the Maple Almond Butter which is probably my favorite nut butter ever and I keep it on hand in the full-sized tubs now, the honey peanut butter and one I haven’t tried yet, the Chocolate Almond Butter.  (I’ll do a review of this soon.)

So, immediately, I was a happy foodie to get more Justin’s Nut Butters … I love Justin’s!  Also included in this month’s box was a tub of Garlic Basil Crackers from Z Crackers.  These were pretty tasty, although, I did find them a wee bit disappointing only because the flavor was not consistent.  Sometimes, I’d bite into a cracker and get next to no flavor.  Then I’d bite into another cracker and it would have a really nice garlic-y and basil flavor.  I like the texture of these – crunchy and I could taste the multi-grains which gave it a nice, nutty kind of flavor.  Better than your average snack cracker that you’d buy at the grocery store, and really tasty with cheese spread.  Since I’m not big on eating snack crackers, though, I don’t think these are at the top of my must buy list.

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Garlic Basil Z Crackers

Also in this month’s box was a Simple Square (I’ve previously reviewed their Cinnamon Clove bar, their Coconut bar, and their Rosemary bar.)  I love Simple Squares … but I was not as excited about the bar in this box, because, well, it was a Coffee bar.  I’m not big on coffee.  I ate the bar, I liked it OK, but I would have been happier with one of the other three flavors that I’ve already tried or perhaps one of the other two flavors I haven’t yet tried:  Sage or Ginger!

I was much happier with the Battenkill Brittle.  I’ve got to tell you, this stuff looks like a treat you’d feed to your parakeet.  Seriously, this looks like bird food.  Since I’ve never actually eaten bird food, I can’t say whether or not it tastes like it.  But, it does taste good.  It has a delicious, sweet, nutty flavor (and crunch!)  I like that most of the sweetness comes naturally, from the seeds themselves, and there is very little “added” sweetness by way of the Vermont maple syrup and organic brown rice syrup that is used.  There is a delicate maple note to this, it isn’t so heavy that it obscures the seeds.  I taste the sesame seeds, I taste the sunflower seeds, and I taste the pumpkin seeds too!

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Battenkill Brittle

I like that there are six simple ingredients to this brittle.  It doesn’t taste overwhelmingly “candy-ish” the way most brittle does, and it isn’t as hard as most brittle is either.  It has a gentle, crackly crunch from the “brittle” but most of the crunchy comes from the seeds!  It is gently sweet, and very energizing!  Definitely something I’d be happy to eat again!

I’ll be reviewing the Green Tea and Lemon Kombucha Wonder Drink (yes, Tea!) and the Raaka Virgin Chocolate (yes, CHOCOLATE!) separately at some point!  I love it when there is TEA and CHOCOLATE in the same tasting box.  This box gets extra points just for that!

Product Description:

The richest biscotti, extra dark cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate chips and grown La Columbe espresso allows them to stand on their own.

Learn more about Gilda’s Biscotti on their blog.

Tea Suggestion:

I love dunking biscotti in my tea!  For this richly flavored biscotti, I selected an equally as rich tea:  this amazing Laoshan Northern Black tea from Verdant Tea.  The deep, rich chocolate flavor of the biscotti really highlights the delicious chocolate-y tones of the tea.

What I Think:

As I’ve said before, I love biscotti, so I’m always happy to try different brands and varieties!  This is the first of several flavors of Gilda’s Biscotti that I will be sampling over the next couple of weeks.

These little pieces of biscotti are so cute.  They aren’t those typical LONG pieces of biscotti that you might find elsewhere.  Each piece of biscotti is just over 1 1/2 inches long and about 1/4 of an inch wide.  They’re bite size, making them a lovely treat to serve with my morning tea.

Texture wise, it is very much what I expected from biscotti.  Very hard and crunchy.  I have reviewed other biscotti on this blog, some had a slightly softer texture … they were still incredibly crunchy but not quite as hard as these.  And while I do prefer the slightly softer texture, that is not to say that I dislike these, because I don’t!

I love the flavor of this one.  I am not normally one to enjoy espresso (coffee?  me?  NO!)  But I do have to admit that the espresso goes very well with chocolate.  I don’t really taste a strong coffee/espresso flavor, but, I do taste how it enriches the chocolate tones in a way that nothing else can.  The chocolate is so incredibly rich, I taste so many subtle nuances within the dark chocolate now that are just … absent … when espresso or coffee is not added.

My Final Thoughts:

Overall, these are rich and chocolatey, with a strong, crunchy texture that although quite hard to the tooth, it does not detract from the delicious flavor of the chocolate.  These biscotti should be on every chocoholic’s must try list!

Product Description:

All natural Java Rocks® Dark provide an unpretentious and portable way for the dark chocolate enthusiast to enjoy coffee confections™ of the highest quality. Made with a decadent 72% dark chocolate and fairly traded organic Arabica coffee, Java Rocks® Dark contain only slightly more caffeine than plain chocolate.

All natural Java Rocks® Dark…Curious, yet wholesome. Simple, yet exotic.

Learn more about How Do You Take Your Coffee? on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

It seems a little weird to recommend a tea to drink along with these coffee-ish candies, and since these have caffeine in them already, I suggest trying them with a naturally caffeine-free tisane or perhaps this Organic Decaf Masala Chai from Arbor Teas!  I love how the deep chocolate-y flavors mingle on my palate with the spicy flavors of the chai.  It really is quite a delicious treat.

What I Think:

Of all the delicious goodies that were included in this month’s Ski Lodge Tasting Box from Foodzie, this was the one treat I was least excited about.  I mean, I’m a tea drinker, not a coffee drinker.  I haven’t had coffee in many years now, as I had a big falling out with the beverage when I realized it was the culprit of my late morning nausea I’d experience every day at work, right about 11 am, just a couple of hours after drinking that all-important cup (or two) of the day.

Since that time, I’ve been drinking tea (and even writing about it) and I’ve never been happier.  I’ve not really missed coffee much, although there are times when I happen to walk past a coffee shop in the mall or grocery store and smell that roasted aroma and I think to myself “maybe just one cup won’t hurt.”  Then I remember how sick I’d feel afterwards and that momentary desire for a cup of coffee disappears.

But, one thing I do have to admit, coffee and chocolate do go very well together.  And these Java Rocks from How Do You Take Your Coffee? prove it.  They are yummy little bits of chocolate-y coffee goodness!  They are shaped like little pebbles – but not nearly as hard to bite into! – and they are quite unlike any candy I think I’ve ever tasted.  The chocolate is rich and flavorful, and the texture is at first pleasantly crunchy but there is also a creaminess from the chocolate.

I really like these crunchy, munch-able candies much more than I thought I would.  I’m really glad I had this opportunity to try them … yet another example of why I absolutely LOVE the Foodzie Tasting box!

My Final Thoughts:

The coffee enhances the flavor of the chocolate very well, giving it a depth that is not usually experienced without the coffee.  And I really do like the little bit of crunch from the coffee bean, as well as that deep roasted coffee flavor.  It almost makes me wish I could drink coffee again.  Almost.  The verdict is not yet in on whether eating these little bits of chocolate-y goodness will leave me feeling nauseous in a couple of hours … but I’ll be sure to leave a comment to update you on that!

Product Description:

JJ’s Chocolate-covered Cocomels start with the same mouth-watering Cocomels (coconut milk caramels), cooked a little softer than normal, which we then hand-dip in premium dark chocolate. It is the magical evolution of the Cocomel, still vegan, gluten, and corn free, just more decadent.

Where to Buy:  JJ’s Cocomels on Foodzie

Chocolate Covered Java Cocomels

What I think:

In my March Tasting Box, I received three different Cocomels from JJ’s Sweets:  a Chocolate Covered Java Cocomel, a Chocolate Covered Fleur de Sel Cocomel, and a Fleur de Sel Cocomel… my mouth is watering already!

I am starting with the Java Cocomel, mostly because I’m not a coffee drinker, and I know how much I love salted caramel so I have a pretty good idea that I will LOVE the Salted Cocomels.  I am pretty sure I’ll enjoy the Java one too, but, not quite as much.

The chocolate coating is a dark chocolate, and it is sweet with a nice level of bitterness in the background, and it has a snap to it.  It is a fresh and rich chocolate.  This chocoholic is happy!

The coffee flavoring is quite strong with this, but I don’t feel that it overpowers the flavor of the chocolate or the flavor of the caramel (err… cocomel).  The cocomel is quite interesting.  It tastes very much like caramel, it tastes buttery, sweet and decadent.  Very thick and sticky, just like a good caramel should be.  And I can taste the coconut aspect to this cocomel too, but it isn’t so prevalent as I expected it to be.  It is more of a background note.  This has that good old-fashioned caramel taste – like it’s been caramelized in a copper pot.

It’s delicious!

Moving on to the Fleur de Sel Cocomel … this is where I expect to get more of the “true” cocomel taste without the chocolate or coffee taste.  The coconut is much more apparent in this sweet, gooey, chewy stick of cocomel.  And with each bite I am finding myself falling in love with cocomel!

The Chocolate Covered Fleur de Sel Cocomel … well, it is reminding me of the moment that I first fell in love with salted caramel… the local gift shop sold some very expensive chocolate covered salted caramels that I absolutely adored … but couldn’t afford to buy very often.  At $8.95 for a six-piece box, these Chocolate Covered Fleur de Sel Cocomels are a little more affordable, and they are every bit as delicious as those gourmet chocolates… perhaps even a little more intriguing in flavor due to the coconut milk aspect, which offers a hint of coconut flavor in the distance.

Personally, my favorite of the three that I tasted this evening is the Fleur de Sel Cocomel (without the chocolate, believe it or not!) because I really enjoy the stronger flavor of the coconut in the un-covered caramels.  And these confections are an even better bargain:  just $3.99 for a 4 pack!  If you love caramel like I do, I strongly recommend trying some of these for yourself!  They’re amazing!

My Final Thoughts:

These caramels are a vegan delight – even for those of us who aren’t vegan!