Friday, May 14, 2010

Green & Black's Organic Espresso

3.5oz (100g bar)
Ingredients: Organic chocolate liquor, o. raw cane sugar, o. cocoa butter, o. coffee, soy lecithin, o. vanilla extract
10g sugar/40g serving (25% by wt.)

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Green & Black's chocolate. The company produces USDA organic chocolate with a complex flavor at an affordable price point (I regularly find it on sale for $2.50 a bar), including several bars that have relatively low sugar content. And it's one of the few companies that offers multiple dark bars with flavor variations that go beyond terroir and a touch of vanilla.

Green & Black's espresso bar is one I buy occasionally, in part because it's a fun reminder of how natural a pairing coffee is with chocolate: Both are tropical, bitter beans made more palatable with sugar and maybe milk. Green & Black's does its coffee bar creamy throughout rather than crunchy with pieces of the beans, a choice I can take or leave depending on what I want at the moment.

The nitty-gritty (or not so gritty): This is a medium dark brown bar with a soft luster and a punchy coffee aroma. It hits the tongue with a thick richness like a strong espresso and the complexity that I expect from Green & Black's—here fruity, winey, and tannic. The chocolate is inseparable from the coffee, to my mind reflecting both the similarities between the two products (not that they're biologically related) and the skill with which they're blended, in terms of both flavor and texture. It's intense, dark chocolate flavor and lots of coffee, with no fooling around. I like my chocolate to commit.

Granted, coffee isn't my favorite chocolate mixer. It's fine, but a combination I only want once in a while, and often I like the added interest of bits of espresso bean crackling between my teeth. Regardless of my personal taste, this is a good bar.

Conclusion: Green & Black's Espresso bar is potent, well balanced, and super-smooth.

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