Matcha Chocolat was founded in just 2010 by Katie Christoffers, who started the company following a six year background of biology training. Specialising, initially in mainly tea inspired flavours, the range has now expanded to include quite an exotic range of chocolates with influences from across the globe; ingredients include top class single origin chocolate blended with that range of globally inspired spices, herbs, fruits and flowers. I first came across the chocolates when Katie exhibited at the 2010 Chocolate Unwrapped with her then quite small range of very niche tea inspired chocolates. As with coffee, I’ve never been a fan of tea as a flavour, despite drinking it (well the green stuff) on a daily basis and sadly my reservations meant I only bought a small bag of her Masala Chai Caramels on the back of some glowing feedback from some fellow chocolate lovers. Wow, I was won over with the lightly spiced, perfectly balanced caramels and wishing I’d bought the whole selection, made a mental note to keep a close eye on future offerings.
After a brief Twitter hiatus Katie emerged a few weeks back from what appears to be a flurry of productivity and creativity in her kitchen. When she offered to send me a selection for review I was quick to accept; some of the flavour combinations she’d been tweeting had my curiosity seriously piqued. When the parcel turned up a few days later I immediately fell in love with the fresh and modern packaging; and if I thought that was attractive, the little gems within were even prettier. Glossy surfaces and textured squares were daubed with bright flashes of colour or adorned with neat little embelishments, the stand out piece being the oddly furry looking green cube.
Katie explained that my selection contained a cross section of different chocolates from her range and is typical of the sort you might recieve if you order a box from her yourself.
Chestnut & Japanese Whisky - Single Sao Tome origin chocolate blended with chestnut puree and yamazaki 10 yr malt whisky.
I’m not a huge fan of whisky but I do love chestnut so I’m pleased the flavour of the spirit is a subtle alcoholic warmth that builds, rather than a full on boozy blast. The ganache is velvety and rich with a faint nuttiness and that almost slightly dry mouthfeel from the chestnut, a seseme seed garnish, although small enhances the nutty flavour.
Matcha & Pistachio – White chocolate blended with pistachio paste and matcha green tea.
WOW, this chocolate not only stands out from the others in the box visually, with it’s unnusual and vibrant mossy look, but it really packs a punch flavour wise. Creamy white chocolate ganache blends seamlessly with the sweet, nutty pistachio paste, contrasting brilliantly with the dark chocolate shell; the sweetened matcha powder coating lends sweet texture and a faint tea tannin finish.
Masala Chai Caramel – A spicy chai tea caramel centre is a blend of dark chocolate, caramel, spicy chai tea and pink Himalayan salt.
This is just as delicious as I remember it! Luscious buttery caramel with beautiful chai spicing, a crisp dark chocolate shell the perfect foil for all that gooey centre.
Jasmine Pearls – Bolivian single origin chocolate blended with jasmine green tea
This is the chocolate that I actually left till last as it didn’t appeal, being the most obviously tea flavoured one in the box. What a treat! The fragrant, ethereal notes of jasmine weave themselves alluringly through intense Bolivian chocolate, leaving behind an almost masculine earthiness in it’s wake.
Vietnamese Cinnamon – Madagascan single origin chocolate blended with Vietnamese cinnamon
Here vibrantly intense cinnamon spicing works beautifully with the fruity madagascan chocolate, leaving a wonderful spicy warmth on the palate. Absolutely stunning.
Cardamom & Banana – A sweet and spicy blend of banana puree, cardamom and dark chocolate
I can’t get enough of banana with chocolate and this one certainly doesn’t dissapoint with it’s incredible fresh banana flavour, made even better with another of my favourite flavours cardamom; a match made in heaven. The ganach is smooth and rich, with banana at the fore and gorgeous echoes of cardamom resounding throughout and lingering on the palate.
Yuzu – Madagascan single origin chocolate blended with Yuzu puree
Deliciously fruity, perfectly balanced citrus ganache. Sumptuous mouthfeel and long finish.
Rosemary, Raisin & Walnut – Dark chocolate with fresh rosemary, minced raisins and a touch of walnut oil
This is really quite unnusual; an almost savoury, earthiness is delivered from the rosemary and walnut oil, whilst the raisins add a rich sweetness and body although not the texture I’m quite expecting as they’re minced rather than the more usually seen pieces.
This is an absolutely stunning box of chocolates and some of the best I’ve tasted for a long time; not only are the flavours fresh, well thought out, single origin chocolates matched excellently with the accompanying flavours, and unnusual, but they’re meticulously executed, and beautifully packaged.
Katie also sent me a surprise tin of her Cardomom Rose Chocolate Shards. These are simply sensational too; rose and cardamom flavoured dark chocolate is addictively floral with a lingering warmth, topped with nibbly textural pieces of crystalised rose petals and pistachio nibs. Some of my absolute favourite flavours and highly addictive; I could eat dangerous quantities of these beauties…
I’m not a massive advocate of Valentines day, you should show your love and appreciation whenever you feel the need obviously, however since it so happens to be that time of year, I can’t think of many better boxes of chocolates to recieve or give. Or, even better, gift yourself!