Strangely enough, it was Hong Kong where I discovered “The Tea Room” chocolates. Then again, not so strange. China’s big cities have supermarkets catering to an international clientele and a sort of worldly taste…
What shall I say? I love chocolates that aren’t merely candy but go for distinct flavors. Mainly by way of higher cacao content and cacao beans of particular origin, but also through spices, if well done.
The Tea Room’s chocolates? Very well done.
Black Masala Chai Milk Chocolate, 38% cacao. Excellent aroma of warm spices and mild milk chocolate, beautiful color in the same vein. Taste of milk chocolate with a note of spice, especially the cinnamon which tends to dominate in such chocolates, but also perhaps the cardamom, and black tea.
Bedouin’s Mint. Well… the real Arabian mint tea is green tea, which this isn’t, and it wouldn’t have milk in it – but it works well. Nice milk chocolate flavor with a slight minty-ness and the warmth of a little ginger and orange peel, which is very close to aromas of mint tea indeed.
Mayan Pepper Chai, dark chocolate with 60% cacao content, combining chai spices and “Mayan Chili Pepper” (which is an undisclosed kind of pepper), plus white and black pepper and black tea. Again, a nice color and nicely thin (but not too thin) tablet of darker chocolate with very nice aroma of cacao and some spices. Taste of the character that the aroma promised. Mainly chocolate flavor with quite a strong (but mellow) taste of cacao and noticeable (but by no means overpowering) spicy warmth.
Being the purist I am, I have a slight problem with chocolates that combine too many spices and don’t say anything much about the chilli they use, and I tend to have a particular problem with the combination of chilli and pepper. That said, these are excellently blended chocolates that use the spices in them very nicely to add a special touch.
Funnily, now that we are back in Austria, I went to Xocolat (pretty much the premier seller of chocolates in Austria), and they just started offering The Tea Room chocolates…