Some things just go together:
- Peas and carrots
- Fish and chips
- Sugar and spice
- Strawberries and cream… the list goes on…
But of the perfect pairs out there, there is none quite as magical as the pairing of speciality coffee and artisan chocolate. It is simultaneously soulful and decadent. We thought that while you enjoy your Easter Eggs, you should enjoy a cup of our coffee and ponder the why and wherefore of this celestial union.
Of the many reasons that are available for the success of the pairing of speciality coffee and chocolate, our favourite is probably the simplest… Chocolate and coffee are similar… in many ways they are peas in a pod.
The cocoa plant grows predominantly in South America, at high altitudes. The precious cocoa pods contain hundreds of nibs. The nib is where the magic lies. Chocolate is the end product of a fermentation, extraction and roasting process which results in cocoa butter and cocoa solids… Sound familiar?
The higher the ratio of cocoa solids in the chocolate, the darker and more unctuous is the result. White chocolate is made almost entirely of cocoa butter.
What differentiates artisan speciality chocolate from the chocolates you find in the supermarket is the amount of additives (like lecithin) and soldifiers (like palm oil) included in the final product. These additives increase the shelf life and stability of the chocolate structure. Good chocolate will melt at around 38 degrees celcius, which is only slightly warmer than normal body temperature. This makes it very difficult to transport and store without the chocolate seizing. Also, cocoa solids tend to be fairly bitter. For this reason, sugar and dairy is often added to make the chocolate more palatable. So while it is understandable that the mass produced and consumed chocolate cuts some corners, we are not convinced that the true nature of the cocoa bean is being given its due. In fact we are certain that it isn’t .
Good chocolate, like good coffee, requires time, care and science. The greater control over the variables, the better the end product. Speciality coffee is exactly the same. You are what you eat (and drink) so the saying goes. Why wouldn’t you eat and drink the very best?
To make your Easter morning that much more special, we are proud to introduce our newest family member – Yirgacheffe coffee from Ethiopia. We find the Heirloom varietal of Yirgacheffe, grown at altitudes of 1800 to 2000m above sea-level, to be aromatic and delightfully smooth with a surprising tangerine tartness. Our medium roast gives a clean, dry white wine, long-lasting finish. We think it works wonders as an espresso, but still holds its own in the French press or even as filter coffee.
If you are after a floral, citrusy/tangerine way to start your day – Yirgacheffe is the way to go. If you would like to add an Easter twist, we would suggest that you enrobe a few of our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans with 70% dark artisan speciality cocoa/chocolate.
It is so delectable, it may not make it to the table, but it will send your taste buds to heaven…