Tag Archives: chocolate tasting

CHOCOLATE 201: Chocolate-tasting classes in Vancouver (Spring 2012 edition)

EDIT: Due to scheduling issues, these classes have been postponed to Fall 2012. If you’re interested in a private or corporate chocolate tasting, please contact me.

CHOCOLATE 201 is a series of classes that dig a little deeper into the world of chocolate. If you’ve taken a chocolate-tasting class before, then here’s an opportunity for you to dig a little deeper into topics of interest. If you’re a newbie to chocolate, don’t fear—you’ll do just fine in these sessions.

Classes are small to encourage discussion…and to make sure everyone gets plenty of chocolate. All classes will take place at Xoxolat (2391 Burrard Street, at West 8th Avenue).

Train Your Palate: Guided and Blind Chocolate Tasting
There are two parts to having a good palate: one is being able to taste, the other is finding the vocabulary to describe it. In this two-part class, you’ll learn how to do both. First, we’ll do a guided tasting to demonstrate some common flavours in chocolate. Then, see how you do in a blind tasting.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Can You Taste the Difference in Chocolate?
Most people understand that there’s a difference between handcrafted chocolate, made in small batches and free of junk; and a mass-produced candy bar stuffed full of preservatives, wax and unpronounceable ingredients. But can you taste the difference? In this class, we’ll do a blind tasting of chocolates of different quality and price tags. See what your tastebuds tell you.

Viva Venezuela!
Since the 1600s, Venezuela has been home to some of the world’s best cacao. Today, there’s remarkable diversity in the cacao that comes from this country. In this class, we’ll taste a smattering of chocolate from different growing regions in Venezuela.

Chocolate Matters: Beyond Fair Trade and Organic
Many people buy Fair Trade-certified chocolate because they believe that it’s better, more sustainable or more ethically produced. But is it enough? In this class, we’ll talk about Fair Trade, Direct Trade and organic chocolate and what they mean for the producer, the chocolate maker and the consumer. And, of course, how does it relate to flavour?


Chocolate-tasting classes in the news

For the first time in about 15 years, I’m somewhat prepared for the holidays. Christmas shopping: done. Edible treats: done. Cards: sent. I’m not saying this to gloat, because no one likes that, but to celebrate the fact that I might just be on my way to being a grown up. Whatever that means.

If you’re less prepared and are still scrambling for a gift, I’d like to take this moment for some shameless self-promotion and suggest that a chocolate-tasting class would make a lovely gift for the chocolate lover in your life.

And don’t just take my word for it. My chocolate tastings are listed in not one, but two seasonal gift lists! (Cue happy dancing.)

Says Edible Vancouver in their Winter 2011 issue: “For the curious chocolate aficionado…Eagranie Yuh’s chocolate-tasting classes will appeal to beginners and connoisseurs alike.” And The Globe and Mail’s Alexandra Gill included my chocolate tastings in her list of “lip-smacking treats for seasonal giving.”

So here’s to chocolate, and to you for your support. It’s been a great year, and I couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday. See you in 2012.

Chocolate-tasting classes in Vancouver

REGISTER for chocolate-tasting classes in Vancouver

Friday, January 27, 2012 | 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Monday, February 3, 2012 | 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Friday, February 10, 2012 | 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Elysian Coffee | 590 West Broadway (at Ash), Vancouver

$20 + HST and service charges

Chocolate-tasting classes in Vancouver – Elysian Coffee

Cacao pods and cacao beans

REGISTER for chocolate-tasting classes in Vancouver

**Update, December 12, 2012: Due to popular demand, I’ve added an additional class on Friday, February 10, 2012. Huzzah!

Chocolate and coffee make a great pairing, as any good cafe mocha will demonstrate. But there’s more to it than that—coffee and chocolate begin as tropical fruit, a far cry from the morning beverage or afternoon treat that we think of. They’re both fermented to initiate flavour development, both roasted to develop that flavour, and both have the potential to offer incredible flavour profiles.

What’s more, coffee and chocolate can be as fine as you want, or as crappy and mass-market as you want. Which is why my next round of chocolate-tasting classes will be at Elysian Coffee.

If you’ve taken my classes before, you’re in for a new kind of experience. Here’s the twist: we’ll be doing a blind tasting. It’s an opportunity to find out what you really like, rather than what you think you should like. After the tasting, there will be plenty of time for discussion, questions and stories (and of course, you’ll find out what you tasted).

And for those who haven’t taken a chocolate-tasting class before, this is an excellent way to dive in. If you have taste buds, you’ll do just fine.

Friday, January 27, 2012 | 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Monday, February 3, 2012 | 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Friday, February 10, 2012 | 7:30-8:30 p.m. **NEW**

Elysian Coffee | 590 West Broadway (at Ash), Vancouver

$20 + HST and service charges

REGISTER for chocolate-tasting classes in Vancouver. Classes are limited to 12 people, so don’t dawdle.

Seattle chocolate extravaganza

It’s a tough life, this chocolate gig. This weekend, I’m off to Seattle to judge not one, but two, chocolate contests.

Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon
Taking place from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, the Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon features a selection of chocolate bars and confections from (mostly) the Pacific Northwest. This event used to be in July, so I’m glad to see it moved to a more sensible time of year. I think it paid off for the organizers, because this event is sold out!

This will be my second year judging, and I’m looking forward to learning more about new-to-me companies. I’m also pleased to be leading a chocolate-tasting workshop at 3:30 p.m. If you’re attending, please say hi!

The Chocolopolis Serious Chocolate Contest
I’m a huge fan of Chocolopolis; in fact, it’s often the first place I stop when I’m Seattle. On Sunday, May 15, they’re hosting the Serious Chocolate Contest, which challenges arm-chair pastry chefs and chocolate bakers (their words, not mine—though I’m happy to borrow) to use bean-to-bar chocolate in creative ways.

The deadline for applications is 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. Apply now!

Chocolate-tasting class at Kafka’s Coffee and Tea

Chocolate 201Spring has sprung! It means spring cleaning, gardening and maybe (please, pretty please?) the opportunity to trade our winter coats for lighter jackets. We can only hope.

For chocolatiers, this is a hectic time of making chocolate-shaped bunnies, eggs and chicks. And for me, it means it’s time to get out from behind my little desk and teach a class or two.

Chocolate tasting at Kafka’s Coffee & Tea

Once again, I’ll be teaching at Kafka’s Coffee & Tea. Learn about where chocolate comes from, how it’s made, and the wacky personalities behind the products. For those who haven’t taken a chocolate-tasting class before, this is a great introduction to the world of fine chocolate. And if you’ve already attended one of my classes, you’ll know that one of the best ways to improve your palate is to practice. Lots.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
7:30-8:30 p.m.
Kafka’s Coffee & Tea (2525 Main Street, Vancouver)
$15 plus HST and service fees.

Purchase tickets in advance: http://chocolate-tasting.eventbrite.com/

The last session sold out, so don’t dawdle!

Here’s what people have said about previous sessions:

“[I] enjoyed learning about the background information on chocolate making and chocolatiers! I’ll be more discerning and appreciative of chocolate now that I am better informed.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the event – hard to say anything bad about an event where you get to taste chocolate! I especially enjoyed the anecdotes about all the various chocolate manufacturers – it is great to know a thing or two about the way your food is made and the people who make it.”

Chocolate tasting night at Kafka’s Coffee and Tea

Chocolate 201Who likes chocolate? You like chocolate! What better way to indulge your habit than with a chocolate tasting?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Kafka’s Coffee & Tea (2525 Main Street, Vancouver)
Admission: $10 minimum donation to A Loving Spoonful (see below)

We’ll talk about where chocolate comes from and how it is transformed from a cacao bean into a delectable treat. Learn how to taste chocolate–and best of all, practice tasting with a variety of chocolates, personally chosen by me, featuring some of my favourite chocolate makers.

For an idea of who I’ve profiled in my chocolate tasting classes, check out my recap of the Chocolate 201 series that I did with Xoxolat earlier this year. I make no guarantees that I’ll feature the same chocolate makers, but I do promise that it’ll be fun, educational and delicious.

Cost of admission is a minimum of $10, which will be donated to A Loving Spoonful, a Vancouver-based agency that provides free, nutritious food for those living with HIV/AIDS. Tax receipts will be issued for amounts over $20.

You must pre-register. Limited space is available, so don’t delay!

To register, fill in the handy-dandy contact form below. You can also register in person at Kafka’s Coffee & Tea or call them at 604.569.2967.

UPDATE: This session is full! Please fill out my contact form if you’d like to be added to my list of lovely people who find out about chocolatey things before everyone else. I promise not to share your email address without your permission, and especially not to share it with spambots, telemarketers or Girl Guides hawking cookies (no matter how cute they are).