Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chocolate and Tea Tasting Workshop

Recently, I attended a Chocolate and Tea Tasting workshop at Teahouse Kuan Yin.  The event was hosted by Zyanya Breuer of Chocolate Remedy.

We were provided with samples of fine and origin chocolates paired with oolong, black, and pu-erh teas, skillfully prepared by Alice from Teahouse Kuan Yin.

  • Original Bean with Oriental Beauty
  • Bonnat with Gui Fei
  • Pralus with Keemun High Mountain 
  • Valrhona with Assam #8
  • Amedai with Black River Mountain Pu-erh
  • Domori (I believe we paired this with Oriental Beauty)

In addition to enjoying and comparing fantastic chocolates and teas, Zyanya shared a wealth of information from chocolate's historical origins as a currency and medicine to modern times where it is once again being recognized for its value and health benefits.

Like tea, chocolate can be enjoyed with all the senses and each chocolate experience is unique.  You can see and feel differences in texture and shine as well as stamping, specific to the manufacturer.  Break a piece and you should hear a sharp snapping sound.  Rub the chocolate's surface to bring out its aroma.  Then, let the chocolate melt on your tongue to savor its flavor and texture.

Following are are just a few of the interesting facts revealed in the workshop:
  • The quality of the chocolate is not always indicated by the percentage on the label.
  • Recent efforts have been made to protect origin chocolates, similar to recent efforts by the Tea Board of India to ensure authentication of origin for teas from Darjeeling.
  • Cocoa beans come in three types:
    • Criollo is the highest quality and represents only 1 percent of chocolate being produced today.
    • Forastero is a lower quality and is most widespread.
    • Trinitario is a blend (hybrid) of Criollo and Forastero
This workshop was a fun, delicious, and educational experience.  Keep an eye out for future tasting events from Zyanya and Chocolate Remedy!

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