July 1, 2016
We use the term "chocolate" a lot in our coffee descriptions...just search for "chocolate" on our site and you will come up with 30+ results. It's easy to explain the coffee-chocolate comparison: The base flavor of both has bitterness and sweetness, and when these strike a pleasing balance it is a wonderful and complex taste experience.
How many other food or beverages feature bitterness so prominently and positively? It's hard to find many analogues. Yet chocolate and cocoa is also a diverse flavor set, a huge range of experieces from neutral or drying alkaloid-like bittering to complex layers of bittering and sweetness, laced with sugars and fruits. Coffee is the same.
It can be great when those chocolate flavors lace their way around bright, sparkling acidity or take a back seat to fruit-forward flavors, which is great, but sometimes it's nice when chocolate is the star (or at least the co-star) of the show. In the near future we plan on posting an article further exploring the chocolate-coffee analogue, where will get specific about regional and taste distinctions.
For now, here's four coffees that we think chocolate-enthusiasts might enjoy:
There will be a nice amount of chocolate, cocoa and cacao flavors at roast levels between City+ and Full City. Expect a lot of fruited notes as well. "Chocolate covered fruits" might be a proper descriptor. This coffee works well as espresso too.
Alongside the slight herbal-ness in the darker roasts, this Sumatra has prime characteristics of cocoa powder and dark chocolate. The body is inky and the layered chocolate notes are accented by pulpy fruits. It will make a great and interesting single-origin espresso as well as a nice ingredient for blends.
The coffee has a 'richness' to it, like in a 'German chocolate cake' way, with a nice walnut note in the finish. As City+/FC roasts cool, a chocolate brownie flavor comes out. The cup is pleasantly balanced, a thick, dark sugar sweetness verging on the flavor of burned sugar. This is a great coffee for single origin espresso too, a very "classically" toned shot.
The molasses and cacao notes along with an inky body reminded us of Hershey's syrup. It has an herbal finish. Espresso shots also very viscous with bittersweet chocolate notes.