Chocolate and Tea
As an avid tea drinker and a big fan of chocolate I rather enjoy these two together. Interestingly, they can be paired in a few fashions. You can enjoy a cup of tea paired with a chocolate, enjoying each on its own and then enjoyed together - a chocolate and tea pairing. Or you can try a tea infused chocolate bar that bean to bar makers are doing a fabulous job with. And now you can even try cacao bean or husk tea! So, if you like tea and chocolate there are many ways to enjoy this combo.
Partnering with World of Tea we’d like to share a few of our favourite chocolate and tea pairings. The teas listed here are available at World of Tea.
Hummingbird Zorzal 70% dark chocolate with a Darjeeling tea is a beautiful pairing. Both the chocolate and the tea have flavour hints of apricot, and thus when experienced together, the fruitiness is heightened. Darjeeling tea is classified as black tea, but has lower astringency than other black teas. The Zorzal cocoa, like Darjeeling, is also a lighter tasting, sweet cacao bean with balanced notes of fruit and nut, and low acidity, so the two really do belong together.
Another great pairing is Kasama Goat Milk chocolate with Sun Moon Lake black tea. The tea is intense, with many flavours playing together. Savoury and woodsy flavours dominate with secondary flavours of juniper, cinnamon spice, plum, berry and grapes…lots going on! We really enjoyed adding the creamy texture and flavour of the Kasama Goat Milk bar with this tea. The strong savoury flavour combined with the tanginess of the goat milk is a powerful duo!
Dick Taylor’s Madagascar 72% dark bar is ideal with Gaba Oolong tea. The citrus and berry notes in the chocolate are also found in the tea, with its tangy and fruity flavours. This pairing is a fresh and bright combination evoking a feeling of calm. A lovely way to end a long day.
Another way to appreciate the fusion of tea and chocolate is with a chocolate bar enhanced with the flavour of tea.
Bergamot, the popular flavour in Earl Grey tea, if often infused into chocolate, be it dark, milk or white chocolate. This flavour is a union of citrusy notes including orange, lemon, lime and sometimes grapefruit, along with floral notes, reminiscent of lavender. Desbarres’ Apricot Bergamot bar is dark chocolate, made with fruity Dominican Republic cacao beans, infused with bergamot and the fragrant dried Niagara apricots.
If you prefer milk chocolate, Kasama’s Earl Grey Tea 57% dark milk bar is for you. Delicate notes of pear, honey and toffee are compliments of the Philippine cacao beans used for this bar ,that are stone ground with Sri Lankan Earl Grey tea. The result ? A milk chocolate with floral notes of bergamot and balanced sweetness. Jacobean Chocolate makes a vegan white Bergamot bar, using coconut milk and cocoa butter for a creamy sweet base and adds bergamot, orange and raspberry. A lovely floral, fruity creamy bar!
A very interesting bar that infuses tea into chocolate that has become one of my personal favourites is Kad Kokoa’s Thai Milk Tea bar. These chocolate makers are in Thailand and use single origin cacao grown in 4 regions of Thailand. Kad Kokoa describes this bar as Dark Chocolate with Inclusions so it’s a bit confusing with the Milk in the description but nonetheless it’s a dark bar with milk ingredients. I’m a big fan of black tea and yes, I do add some milk often so this bar really appealed to me. Using locally grown semi-wild black tea, a version of Assam tea known as Bai Miang, to combine with their chocolate “yields the unique aroma of Thai Tea Chocolate drink with spice like anise and orange blossom.” The flavour of the black tea really shines through and the chocolate stands out too, making this bar the best of both worlds for me!
And then there’s cacao tea. What’s that you ask? Basically it’s finely ground cocoa nibs or husks that can be brewed and steeped to make a tea like beverage with cocoa instead of tea leaves.
The first cocoa tea we stocked is Finnia Chocolate’s Cocoa Bean Tea. Finnia’s is a blend of organic, single origin ground cocoa beans prepared in a tea bag. You simply boil water, steep the bag for about 5 minutes and drink. I prefer the drink as is, but you can add sweetener and/or milk/milk alternative and enjoy a cup. It’s a light cocoa hot drink that satisfies the chocolate craving quite nicely!
A new tea in our store is Avanna Chocolat’s Cocoa Husk Tea. So what is husk tea and how is it different from cocoa tea? Avanaa uses the cocoa bean husk, perfectly roasted from the cacao beans they use for their bean to bar chocolate, and nibs, to create this tea. Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, this smooth chocolate tea is somewhere between dark chocolate and tea. Made the same way as loose leaf tea, fill an infuser and let steep in boiled water. Cocoa Husk Tea is available in 3 options. Pure (all cacao), Chai ( cacao with a blend of chai spices), and coco Cocoa (cacao and toasted coconut). The perfect pick me up without over stimulation!