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Tea & Chocolate?!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

When I think of chocolate products, mint and orange come into mind, never tea. As far as I can remember, my only experience with tea and chocolate was the watery white chocolate and green tea filling that I made for macarons, which failed. Oh, and the green tea cheesecake with chocolate miso ice-cream at Soseki, which tasted horrible together (no wonder it slipped my mind there). So, with two unpleasant experiences with tea and chocolate combo, I was somewhat skeptical when I received an email from Katie asking if I wanted to review a box of tea infused chocolates. But I was curious, and how could I say no to chocolates?!

Matcha Chocolat, which is created and led by Katie Christoffers, offers an original collection of fresh and handmade Tea Chocolates. Katie's inspiration of making tea-infused chocolates budded from her introduction to the widely used matcha (green tea powder). Matcha is widely used in traditional Japanese tea ceremony; however, it has become rather popular in the culinary world - green tea ice-cream, green tea tiramisu, green tea French macarons and the list goes on. The combination of tea and chocolate “provides an ideal balance of complimentary and contrasting flavours wherein both the tea and chocolate can be fully appreciated, but what really stands out, for me, is the freshness of the chocolates we’re creating,” says Katie.

Katie kindly sent me a box of Emperor's Selection to review. The chocolates came in a hot pink box - very pretty, chic and attractive.

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It came with a sheet of paper that contains descriptions of the different chocolates - very useful indeed, not "Life Is like a Box of Chocolates... You Never Know What You're Gonna Get!"...well, I like to know what I'm putting into my mouth.

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Enclosed information leaflet with my scribbles.

It contains a total of 16 chocolates in 5 varieties. The chocolates have a shelf life of two weeks - we finished it in two days under a week.

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Uji matcha - A milk chocolate enrobed square of dark chocolate ganache with an infusion of Uji Matcha green tea- grown in the Uji region of Kyoto, Japan.

A piece of squared milk chocolate with a flower print on it. Looked so pretty and delicate I actually saved it for last. After biting into the milk chocolate crust, you reach a very rich and smooth dark chocolate interior. I failed to locate the Uji Matcha taste, not even a hint.

Jasmine Silver Needles - A white chocolate dome of white chocolate ganache infused with Jasmine tea - one of the most well known Chinese teas. 

This has the most delicate flavours of all. You can definitely taste the Jasmine tea here, very fresh and mellow. The delicate flowery flavour compliments the white chocolate very well. My favourite.

Midnight Peony - Milk chocolate ganache with black tea liqueur- slightly smoky and reminiscent of Chinese Lapsang tea. Enrobed in a dark chocolate dome.

The "rocker" of the lot. If you like rich, strong, smoky flavours, this is for you. The smokiness of the black tea compliments the rich and dark flavours of the chocolate. A nice combo. Reminds me of bacon somehow.

Masala Chai - Milk chocolate ganache infused with Chai tea- a traditional blend of black tea infused with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves and aniseed. Enrobed in a dark chocolate dome and topped with a piece of crystallised ginger.

I love the spices in this. Not sure of the crystallised ginger. I popped the whole thing into my mouth the first time and the piece of ginger sort of overpowered all the other flavours. For the second piece, I peeled off the ginger, took a bite of the chocolate and then a nibble of the ginger - delicious. So I'd prefer to have tiny bits of crystallised ginger in the chocolate rather than a huge slice of it.

Blackcurrent Bliss - An all milk chocolate demi-dome infused with a blend of scented blackcurrant tea and an Assam tea. Complimented by blackcurrant puree and topped with a dried blackcurrant.

Despite the fact that it looked rather obscene, this was actually quite good. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate and fruit combo but this I really enjoyed - the blackcurrant puree wasn't overly sweet, and provided just the right amount of tanginess. The dried blackcurrant added a nice chewy texture.

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Overall,  a very pleasant experience. The chocolates are of high quality and every piece is unique. Do check out Matcha Chocolat for more of Katie's creations. There are so many more interesting flavours that I wish to try...the China rose, Liquid Jade, Keemun Mango....interesting names, aren't they?

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