Chocolate + Coffee = Random Outbursts of Joy

As Valentines Day thoughts start to bubble through my mind, I thought a more detailed explanation of the gift set we put together was in order.  Diamonds might be forever, but chocolate and coffee is for right now folks.

I’ve always said that among my favorite ways if not absolute favorite way to enjoy chocolate is with a good cup of coffee.  Coffee with chocolate is truly one of those things where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Just like you and yours.  The union of aroma and flavor between dark chocolate and roasted coffee becomes better than the singular experience.chocbark

We started expanding on a chocolate and coffee pairing when Orazure Coffee asked us to collaborate with them on a Valentines Gift package.  Orazure, located in The Woodlands, TX , artfully roasts premium coffee beans.  Owner Michael Marinelli wanted to create a gift set that accentuated his coffee by pairing it with craft chocolate so he came to see us, made some coffee, and laid out his vision.  The idea was to present the products of two local artisans in each of their own form and in ways that compliment one another.

valentines-day-gift-set

While drinking coffee with chocolate is a favorite of mine, incorporating coffee into chocolate turns out to be even better than I expected.  I have to be honest.  I never really thought of eating coffee beans.  Then I tried them coated in our chocolate.  Now I can hardly put them down.

There is something about having the flavor of chocolate joined by the crunch and robust flavor of coffee bean.  It’s silky and chocolaty then crunchy and bursting with coffee.  It works and I’m a complete addict.

So we are a small chocolate maker, and not well equipped for coating coffee beans with chocolate.  We did the next best thing for this set.  We make coffee bean bark, and package 1/4 lb of the random sized pieces into a tin for easy storage and access.  Not that storing left overs is a given.

Michael then tells me that he makes a killer biscotti.  You would never mistake me for a biscotti guru for sure, and I can’t say that I’ve ever been compelled to seek out a biscotti.  Then I tried Michael’s biscotti and it happens to indeed be killer.

We took Orazure’s biscotti and mixed dark chocolate with his freshly roasted espresso to dip them in.   A crunchy biscotti dipped in chocolate with espresso is flavor, aroma, and texture over load.

Great.  Another new addiction.  I needed this like my barber needs another conspiracy theory.

Please buy them.  I will eat them all if you don’t.  And for heaven’s sake please be seated when you do eat these.

valentines day biscotti and coffee bark

One of the pleasures of making single origin chocolate from several different growing regions is the comparison of one to another.  People are often surprised, as am I too, at how remarkably different chocolate tastes from origin to origin.  You can even drill down to a single farm and find very contrasting flavors depending on the location within the farm (a future project for us if all goes well).

Single Origin Dark Chocolate Tasting Squares

What we tried to do for this gift set is give you an easy to manage way of experiencing different flavors of chocolate origins.  We did this by making 1/2 oz tasting squares and have included in the gift set three examples of cacao origins.   Different flavors, aroma, and color will be evident as you dive into these chocolates.  Each chocolate is 70% cacao.  Whole cocoa beans, pure cane sugar, and cocoa butter are the only ingredients.  We try to let the cacao do the talking.

Michael’s vision and ultimately ours for the gift set was to present something unique for couples to experience this Valentines Day.  We created a box of coffee beans, chocolate, and coffee chocolate fusion to enjoy, to savor, and to share with the special person that makes your life complete.  Purchase.

Happy Valentines to all our friends old, new, and yet to be.  Cheers! Scott & Michelle

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