First, we had to decide on chocolates. We have this wonderful artisan chocolate shop nearby, Stella Leona in Pettisville, Ohio. (They have mail order if you are interested.) I was planning to select four chocolates. I ended up with seven, four fruit flavored chocolates and then three other chocolates. All of the teas were from my tea cabinet. Since this teapot is part of team oolong, I chose a black and oolong/green tea for each pairing.
The display case at Stella Leona is very enticing, hence my seven chocolates instead of four.
My tasting station all set for a bit of indulgence with the fruit chocolates.
My four chocolates and the dry tea leaves.
Consists of a white chocolate cranberry ganache that contains bits of real, dried cranberries surrounded by white chocolate and red accents (The descriptions of the chocolates and the teas are as written by the chocolate store and the tea companies.)
Malachi McCormick - Black - Harney & Sons on the left
The unpretentious flavors of muted dark honey and unsweetened cocoa. It is perfectly suited for milk (and more than a splash) and sugar. (I used neither)
Goddess of Mercy - Oolong - Simpson and Vail on the right
This tea pairs well with seafood, meat, poultry, mushrooms, smoked foods, chocolate and fruit desserts. (In some online reviews - smells like cranberries and another - apples and nutmeg)
First I tasted the chocolate alone.
It was tart and tangy. I felt the creamy white chocolate overpowered the cranberry. Dried bits of cranberry added texture.
The tea had a bit of a bite alone. When drank with the chocolate, it brought out the cranberry flavor. The tea tasted much sweeter and the bite was not as pronounced.
Goddess of Mercy
Alone, the tea tasted vegetal and grassy. It was smooth. When tasted with the chocolate, I did not feel it brought out the flavor of the cranberry. The white chocolate made the vegetal taste of the tea smoother and sweeter.
Neither of these pairings did much for me.
Banana Cream Cheesecake Chocolate
Silky smooth banana cream cheesecake flavored ganache fills this hand painted, bright yellow piece molded in white chocolate. (When I used the flash in the photo, the detail of the chocolate does not show up.)
Risheehat First Flush Darjeeling - Black - Harney & Sons on the left
Lovely passion fruit, grapefruit and other tropical flavors
Ginger's Oolong - Harney & Sons on the right
The subtle flavors of peaches and toasted nuts are nicely contrasted by the ginger
Lots of white chocolate notes. The banana was very passive in flavor. Very creamy
Risheehat 1st Flush Darjeeling
The tea alone was smooth with hints of fruit and grass. When tasted with the chocolate, initially I tasted the banana, then a creaminess in my mouth, followed by a white chocolate finish. This chocolate and tea pairing brought out the flavor of the chocolate better than Ginger's Oolong.
The tea was very gingery. I did not notice the peach or nut flavors. This tea enhanced the flavor of the chocolate. It was reminiscent of a creamy dessert, such as banana bread pudding with brown sugar.
These pairings were better, but nothing to rave about.
Raspberry Dark Chocolate
Hand painted piece is molded in a four step process to produce the beautiful marbled effect. The dark chocolate mold is filled with raspberry dark chocolate ganache and a touch of raspberry preserves.
Uva Highlands - Black - Harney & Sons on the left
It is a blend of honey and citrus, with a strong note of wintergreen.
Wenshan Baozhong - Oolong - Harney & Sons on the right
Baozhong tastes of nothing but honeyed flowers
When I cut this chocolate, you could see the layers inside. When tasting this chocolate, it had the most pronounced fruit flavor any any so far. I am not fond of dark chocolate, but the combination of the raspberry and dark chocolate married well.
This tea mellowed the chocolate and raspberry flavors.
The dark chocolate bite was softened and sweetened. In contrast, the raspberry flavor was tarter.
Nothing was bad about these pairings, but nothing knocked my socks off either.
Orange Milk Chocolate
Hand painted piece is a simply delicious orange milk chocolate ganache in a milk chocolate shell decorated with orange accents
Amba Ceylon - Black - Harney & Sons on the left
The citrus flavors combine with some sweetness like liquorice and honey. There are subtle floral notes.
Fanciest Formosa Oolong - Harney & Sons on the right
Subtle flavors of spring honey, fresh white peaches and buttered toast.
Initially I tasted the orange, then the milk chocolate, so creamy and mellow is almost tasted like white chocolate. This had the strongest fruit flavor of the four chocolates.
The smokey tea really enhanced the orange. It was very citrusy with a bit of floral following. I only tasted a bit of chocolate in the finish.
Fanciest Formosa Oolong
This is a very nice tea with a very smooth, light flavor. Paired with the chocolate, I felt it only melted the chocolate. There was no improvement or contrast in either the tea or the chocolate.
Once again, nothing had a wowing factor.
My spent tea leaves
Chocolate and Tea Tasting Part II
I only used three chocolates this time. Chocolates with dry tea leaves
Dulce de Leche
Caramel surrounded by a milk chocolate ganache lightly flavored with coffee and Irish Cream nestled in a molded, elegantly marbled milk and dark chocolate shell. Very luxurious!
Vanilla Comoro - Black - Harney & Sons on the left
A simple flavor of vanilla, the underlying tea flavor has been lightened by the decaffeination process.
Lung Ching - Green - Harney & Sons on the right
The unpretentious flavors of muted dark honey and unsweetened cocoa. It is perfectly suited for milk (and more than a splash) and sugar.
I could see the layers when I cut the chocolate. I tasted the mocha, caramel, brown sugar, but no chocolate. Very silky texture
The mocha flavor was more pronounced and really lingered. There was a bit of caramel flavor. I did not detect any vanilla.
This was very light in color. It brought out more caramel than mocha. It really softened the grassiness of the tea.
These teas very noticeably altered the taste of this chocolate. The chocolate tasted very different with each of the teas. I preferred the Vanilla Comoro, even though I don't usually care for mocha.
Hazel Coconut Dreams
A toasted hazelnut surrounded by coconut ganache, dipped in luxurious white chocolate and rolled in coconut shavings. Crunchy and smooth all in the same bite. Dream away.
New Vithanankande - Black - Harney & Sons on the left
The tea has milk flavors and they tend toward the dark side of the citrus family. This tea, like many British Legacy Teas, works well with milk and sugar
Green Coconut - Green - Tea Gschwendner on the right
Green tea from Japan, shredded coconut and flavor
Initially I tasted the white chocolate. There was a slight coconut aftertaste.
The tea was a bit bitey. The chocolate softened the bite. There was a very pronounced white chocolate taste.
The tea tasted stale and had probably been in my tea cabinet for over a year. When tasted with the chocolate, it just tasted sweet.
I did not detect any coconut with either of these teas. Not a good pairing.
Dark Chocolate Truffle
Made from decadent dark chocolate mixed with fresh cream. The center is enrobed with dark chocolate and finished with cocoa nubs
Black King - Black - Harney & Sons on the left
lovely cocoa flavors
Ali San - Oolong - Harney & Sons on the right
Ali San is among the creamiest of oolongs. It gives a nice coating sensation and some butteriness along with lime citrus notes and a quiet, underlying vegetal flavor.
The chocolate was very smooth with none of the usual dark chocolate bite. A smooth cocoa aftertaste.
The tea alone had a bite. When paired with the chocolate, it brought out the smokiness of the tea. The chocolate was more intense and really lingered on the palate. It was very buttery.
The tea was very creamy with hints of floral in the middle and a soft cocoa aftertaste. The usual vegetal taste of a green tea was gone when paired with the chocolate.
This was a good pairing and probably the one I enjoyed the most. The flavors in both the chocolate and the tea were enhanced by the pairing.
Spent Tea Leaves
I did not make good tea and chocolate pairings. I focused on the chocolates and not the tea during my tasting. It would be fun to try it the other way around and focus on the tea and not the chocolate. I find these tastings to be very time consuming. It would be a wonderful activity when you wanted time to visit with friends. This was also a lot of chocolate. I cut the chocolates into fourths for the tastings and found when I was finished, I really didn't care to finish the last fourth. I found I enjoyed the two dark chocolate pairings the most. Normally I prefer milk chocolate, but when paired with tea, the dark chocolate was not as bitter. The milk chocolate was just too mellow to stand up to the flavor of the tea. When tasting the chocolate, savor the flavor. Allow it to sit for a bit to coat your entire mouth. Every one's tastes are different, what appeals to me, may not appeal to you.
I enjoyed the tasting, and learn more each time I do one.
Sips and Smiles,
Teresa and the Teapot