I’ve tasted chocolate that had distinct coffee notes, and I’ve also tasted coffee that tasted chocolatey. If you stop to think about it, that makes some sense. Chocolate and coffee are both tropical fruits that are fermented, dried and roasted. (Chocolate goes through a number of other steps beyond roasting, but I won’t go into those right now.)
The combination of coffee and chocolate is nothing new. Every time I’ve been in a certain coffee shop (you know, that coffee shop), I hear someone say Um, hi? Can I get a double-shot no-whip extra-hot double-pump cafe mocha?
Kidding aside, there are other examples of coffee-chocolate collaborations. After all, Soma Chocolate teamed up with 49th Parallel to create the Epic Espresso Bar. And I love the combination of sipping chocolate and rich espresso in the sinfully decadent bicerin. And, of course, there’s the pastry chef’s trick of adding a bit of coffee or espresso to chocolate recipes; a little bit brings out the base cocoa notes without actually tasting like coffee.
And then there’s the Mast Brothers Stumptown Coffee bar. This love child of Mast Brothers (the hipsters of the chocolate-making world) and Stumptown Coffee (Portland’s darlings of coffee) is wrapped up in beautiful steampunk-y printed paper, and the inside is just as lovely as the outside.
Other coffee-chocolate bars I’ve tried taste like a hybrid of the two: not quite chocolate and not quite coffee. This bar, on the other hand, tastes like two distinct flavours that enhance each other. The chocolate is deep, dark and spicy; there are definite nutty notes that are enhanced by the crushed coffee beans on top. And the coffee itself is delicate, never overpowering.
But at heart, I’m a texture girl. And let me tell you, the crunch of the coffee beans with the crisp snap of the chocolate is dangerously addictive. And for someone who is developing a disappointing sensitivity to caffeine (hello, insomnia!), let’s just say that this chocolate bar is best enjoyed in the morning.
Chocolate for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do.