Sunday, July 21, 2013

Coffee Toffee Dark bar - July 21, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Coffee Toffee Dark Chocolate (bar)
Weight: .583 oz. (16.4 g.) in 1/6 bar / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 90 calories (estimate) in 1/6 bar
Cost: $3.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Miki's Farm Fresh Market, Palo Alto, CA

Today was the third day of Chocolate and and Coffee Theme Week. I love the taste of coffee, but caffeine makes me hyperactive. So, much as I've loved tasting chocolate + coffee items the past few days, I've already needed to take a few deep breaths and slow down.

Despite the challenges of being in a state of perpetual caffeination this week, my chocolate research continues...with today's Coffee Toffee Dark Chocolate bar from Bissinger's (St. Louis, MO).

Bissinger's used "100% African (cocoa) Beans" to make this (gluten free) dark chocolate bar, that was decorated with a festive shower of toffee pieces pressed into the bar's backside. The coffee in this bar came from Rainforest Alliance* Certified farms.

The dark chocolate base as deep, almost impenetrable thicket of darkness. Brighter fruit notes (often found in chocolate made with Madagascar beans) might have added some interesting notes. But, interesting isn't always better if you have a lot of different flavors interacting already. In this case, the rather homogenous dark chocolate in this bar did blend seamlessly with the dark coffee flavor.

*The Rainforest Alliance is an organization that focuses on teaching sustainable practices -- that are "good for farm families, the community, the environment and wildlife."

Madecasse Arabica Coffee Bar - July 20, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

Madecasse LLC
Arabica Coffee (bar)
Good - Good+
Weight: .44 oz. (12.5 g.) in 1/2 bar / .88 oz. (25 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 65 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: part of a larger package of 5 mini bars
Purchased from: (online order)

Today was Day #2 of Chocolate and Coffee Theme Week.

Madecasse (with locations in Brooklyn, San Francisco, Ambanja and Antananarivo) is a bean-to-bar company that sources cacao from Madagascar. More important, the company also makes their chocolate in Madagascar. Most chocolate companies buy cacao beans from farmers or co-ops that have been grown in developing countries and ship them to manufacturing plants in developed countries (such as the U.S. or Europe). The coffee in today's bar also was also grown in Madagascar.

This rich and pleasant Arabica Coffee bar was made with 44% cacao milk chocolate and was studded with Arabica coffee nibs (bits of bean) on the back of the bar. The coffee beans imparted a strong flavor, making the bar taste darker than 44% cacao. The chocolate was smooth, although milk powder and soy lecithin gave it a certain characteristic mouth feel (slightly gummy texture). A hint of vanilla and sea salt helped round out the stronger cocoa and coffee flavors.

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