My chocolate stash was kind of getting out of hand in that I recently received multiple orders for chocolate that I didn’t even remember making (that’s a sign of having a problem, right?), so my box where I keep my stash tucked away in the closet needed to be changed out for a larger box. As a side note, I keep my chocolate bars in my closet because that’s the only space I know of that experiences the least temperature fluctuations to prevent my chocolate from blooming or melting, especially during warmer times. I also decided it was time to organize my bars and keep some kind of order in how I should sample and share them on here because I had some that were stamped with expiration dates that were quickly coming up, though I’m aware expiration dates are not necessarily the end-all-be-all.
There were some bars I forgotten I had ordered, such as the Bahen & Co. and Dar Chocolate bars that I’ll be sharing about in a second. I’m attempting to take a step back from making further chocolate orders for the next month or two with a couple of exceptions where I’ve promised chocolate makers I would try more of their chocolate. Since these three bars were similar in that they all contained coffee, I’m sharing them here at the same time.
I’ve had my eye on Askinosie for a while. After I finished my first jar of Amedei hazelnut spread last winter, I picked up Askinosie’s hazelnut spread at The Chocolate House. This time when I returned to The Chocolate House, I picked up their coffee bar. I was glad to see Victoria Cooksey, a fellow blogger, share her experience with this bar on Instagram.
This is one of Askinosie’s “CollaBARation” bars combining cacao from Mababu, Tanzania, and Intelligentsia’s Ljulu Lipati Peaberry coffee. Intelligentsia is based out of Chicago. The Askinosie bar had a strong scent of coffee. I could taste coffee with fruity and bright citrus notes mixed with astringency. As the chocolate melted it had a thick “syrupy” consistency or “body” as noted on the packaging. It became very astringent toward the end of my bite. Since I’m not a huge fan of high astringency due to it upsetting my stomach, I can’t say I was in love with this bar. I understand some chocolate makers purposefully make their chocolate very astringent, but I can’t say it’s for me. The fiancé tried this bar as well and said he tasted fruity and coffee flavors in the chocolate.
Askinosie: Made in Springfield, MO
Josh Bahen behind Bahen & Co. was a winemaker before he delved into chocolate making. This bar is made up of two single origin beans from Brazil and Arabica coffee beans. I could smell coffee and something like blackberries from the Bahen & Co bar. The taste was of coffee and blackberries. The coffee flavor was not as strong nor as astringent as the Askinosie bar, which was a relief. Halfway through my bite I experienced nutty notes with tartness like cherries. The texture was fudgy. Toward the end I definitely tasted nutty and cherry flavors, though the tartness had worn off. In the aftertaste the cherry flavor lingered. The fiancé tasted fruity notes and agreed that this bar was smoother. It was not bad at all!
Bahen & Co.: Not quite sure where they are based, but plugging their address into Google Maps showed Australia.
Gila and Joel Dar first learned how to make chocolate under Paul Johnson of Caribeans Chocolate while staying in Costa Rica for one and a half years before starting Dar Chocolate in Colorado in 2016. This bar is made up of Ecuadorian cacao with Conscious Coffees beans. I could definitely smell cardamom from the Dar bar and I tasted the spice before the subtle flavor of coffee developed. Throughout my bite the dominant flavor was cardamom while coffee remained in the background. The end of my bite contained some nutty notes. Overall this chocolate gave me a feeling of warmth, perfect for the fall season. The fiancé said this bar reminded him of how cardamom and coffee pair nicely together. He had experienced a similar flavor combination in Turkish coffee before.
Dar Chocolate: Made in Denver, Colorado
Out of the three bars we were most impressed with the Dar Chocolate bar. We really like the spice + coffee combination and there was no astringency present to upset my stomach.
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.