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HELLO, COCOA RUNNERS


Earlier this year we met up with craft chocolate specialists Cocoa Runners for a rather special day of tastings. Cocoa Runners could be seen as the chocolate lover’s version of our Tea and Coffee Club: a subscription service for connoisseurs, where members are sent a curated selection of the best small batch, craft chocolate bars each month. We were treated to an array of 20 different chocolate bars to choose from, a square of each placed on a tasting sheet with information about each variety noted beneath.

Round 1 started with the white and milk chocolate varieties, keeping the intense dark chocolate till last to avoid overpowering the palate. First came flavours of buttery caramel and creamy vanilla, moving towards the gentle red fruit notes in Menakao’s Madagascan 44% milk chocolate. Gradually building up to the dark chocolate, we tried Taza’s Mexican 50% milk chocolate with its hint of cinnamon, followed by the 55% Femmes de Virunga by Original Beans which introduced flavours of cappuccino and toasted nut.

The cocoa percentage was gradually increased until we were tasting extraordinary single estate chocolates from Vietnam and Papua New Guinea – Pacari’s deliciously savoury Ecuadorian chocolate came last, crafted from unroasted cocoa nibs with a surprising twist of sea salt. [MB1] 

Our tour of Cocoa Runner’s Chocolate Library got us thinking about what we call the Tea Travelogue – our range of 100 leaf teas sourced from plantations across the globe, varying in taste according to their provenance and processing methods. We experimented with the ways different chocolate taste profiles highlighted the nuanced layers of flavour in different teas, and were astonished by the results!

We’d always considered our Mao Jian as a typically ‘nutty’ fired green tea, but it transformed into something altogether more floral when set against Marou’s intense 76% Vietnamese dark chocolate. The Japanese started the trend of sipping matcha with white chocolate, and we followed their lead by pairing Akesson's white chocolate from Bejofo Plantation in Madagascar with our powerful matcha from Uji in Japan. The effect is amazing, highlighting the sweetness of the cocoa butter and the creamy texture of the matcha.

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After much deliberation we chose a selection of Cocoa Runners’ best craft chocolate bars to combine with a selection of our artisan leaf teas – here are some of the combinations we came up with, and tasting notes from our first impressions. Why not share your own tasting notes on our Facebook Page. We’d love to know what you think of the combinations, and what the different flavours inspired.

GRAPHIC TASTING CHART: see below

The bars will be available for a limited time only online and you’ll also be able to buy them at our Regent Street St James store, where we’d be delighted to offer you a tasting of any of our 100 leaf teas. How many rounds is up to you!

Which tea:chocolate combination is best suited to your palate? Share your tasting notes on social.

  

GRAPHIC TASTING CHART

 

 

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