My co-worker Dan H. let me try some of this chocolate he got from Blue Bottle Coffee.
This chocolate was very good, being nice and dark and not too sweet. The bar was made with chocolate from Ghana, Madagascar, Ecuador and Peru, so while it was not single origin, it had the hint of some special notes to it, which my palate interpreted as vaguely floral.
The bar is supposedly good to eat while drinking coffee, and it turns out this chocolate was made for Blue Bottle by Tcho. I have had several chocolates from that brand, including some made to pair with wine. I wonder if chocolate pairing is the “new thing”? If so, I predict chocolate and fruit pairings, or chocolate and beer. You heard it here first, folks.
My producer Shana B. brought me these chocolates from Seattle.
This box contained two dozen or so individually wrapped truffles.
The box said these truffles were made from West African cacao mixed with cacao from Ecuador, but the truffles are made in Kent, WA. They are 54% cacao but they tasted much darker and chocolatier. I would have guessed around 65%. And they were super creamy and buttery, which I think comes from their patented Ephemere mixture of caramelized cream and sugar. Whatever it was, these were delicious, and there were enough for everyone to have seconds.
My sister-in-law gave me this box of Tcho chocolate tablets for Christmas. It was meant for pairing with wine, but I took it to work and shared it at a chocolate eating meeting.
Inside were six different Tcho chocolate tablets, in stacks of five each, along with some wine pairing pamphlets and a booklet.
The booklet explained what each chocolate was. I had had the Ecuador tablet and Ghana tablet before, individually. The other four I had had in a box of Tcho chocolates from the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Bay Area.
All of these Tcho tablets were very good, Needless to say, I liked the Ghana dark chocolate the best, for its extra fudgy notes, but the Ecuador and Madagascar tablets were very close runners up. Then the Peru tablet was third, followed by the two dark milk tablets. Based on the order the extra tablets were eaten by my co-workers, they agreed with me (although Madagascar slightly edged out Ecuador).
I tried this bar, my final Indi bar from my trip to Seattle. It was made with cacao grown in Ecuador, although not in any more specific location.
This bar was good…but nothing to write home about. It had a nice, deep chocolate flavor, but nothing like their Heirloom Ecuador bar. And it had no creaminess like their Los Rios bar, and it had no metallic aftertaste like their Fortaleza Del Valle bar. It was just chocolatey. And at this price point, I expected more.
I tried another Indi chocolate bar from Ecuador. This was an ultra-single-origin bar from the farming cooperative of Fortaleza Del Valle near the west coast of the country.
This bar was very good. Unlike the earthy notes of their heirloom bar or the hot chocolate creaminess of their Los Rios bar, this Indi chocolate tasted somewhat metallic when you first bit into it and then it faded and the chocolate flavor took over. So it was less of an aftertaste and more of a foretaste. Is that a word?
Anyway, it was good stuff.
I bought several chocolate bars from Indi that were sourced from provinces within Ecuador, so they were ultra-single-origin bars. The first one I tried was from the province of Los Rios.
I had had the Indi Ecuador Heirloom bar a few months ago, and it was fantastic, easily one of the best chocolate bars of this year, with deep earthy notes that made it taste much darker than 72% cacao. This Ecuador bar was also good , but it tasted lighter than 72% cacao, and its creamy singular note reminded me of hot chocolate, not earthiness. So while I liked it, the heirloom bar was much better.
I found this bar at a high end grocery store in Pike Market in Seattle.
I had never heard of this brand, and I wondered why they called it “Antidote”. The answer was on the inner label.
I was stressed, on a diet and I needed love, so I figured I should eat four. 🙂
I shared this bar with the chocolate eating meeting group, and we all agreed it was fantastic. It was VERY creamy and smooth, which is surprising for an 84% cacao bar, and of course it was very chocolatey, and the nibs provided a nice crunch. I need to try more of this brand!