03_Tasting Notes: Askinosie single origin bars

To begin my birthday month, Daniel Bone--husband extraordinaire--bought me so much chocolate.

Like, so much.

Nine 3 oz bars and a canister of Mexican style sipping chocolate, to be exact.  They all came from Askinosie Chocolates, a charmingly magnificent company based out of Springfield, Missouri. (another tasting nod to my home state?  odd.)

Today, I present to you: tasting notes of Askinosie's four single origin bars.

We work our way up from 70% San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador bar, the most "commercial" tasting of the four.  This is much purer, but it still maintains a more familiar taste on the tongue.  It has an herby quality to it initially, then it become a bit more moderate in flavor, with a smooth finish.

Here's what the bar says you should taste: red fruit, bergamot orange, honey, jasmine, and hints of tobacco

Next up is the 70% Cortes, Honduras bar.  Very citrusy initially, a little bit liquory later, but finishes with a deep intense chocolate flavor.  That's the only way I can describe it.

Here's what the bar says you should taste: citrus, molasses, and sharp stone fruit

Moving up a little to 72% Tenende, Tanzania bar.  This bar is from their Chocolate University program.  I love a company that really gives back in such a great way.  The chocolate has a natural sweetness, like honey.  Not too much of a bite, but leaves a little bit of a sour after flavor.  It has the most velvety mouth feel of the four bars.

Here's what the bar says you should taste: strawberry, blueberry, graham, and velvet

Finally, the darkest of the single origin bars that Askinosie offers, the 77% Davao, Philippines bar.  This one has the grittiest mouth feel of the four bars--to be clear, this is not a bad thing.  I like a good gritty chocolate (their El Rustico collaBARation flavor is my absolute favorite, and it's super gritty)

Here's what the bar says you should taste: brown sugar, earthy tannins, and lavender

Below is Askinosie's tasting notes about each chocolate.  Give me another year and perhaps I will have this chocolate tasting thing figured out.  For now, you can laugh at my initial reactions to the flavors (what I wrote above was after a second tasting,) written beside the more adept offerings from long-time connoisseurs and chocolatiers.


02_Tasting Notes: A latte to remember

Well, I finally did it.  After a year of hype, I finally tried the best coffee place in LA? The country?  The world?  No, it's too hard to make that claim.  What with a new coffee shop opening every day, and that's just in my neighborhood (the arts district/little tokyo)

That's right, I'm talking about you G&B Coffee.

I, like thousands of others, read the New York Times review claiming G&B to have the best iced latte in the country.  But where the article reeled me in was with the house made macadamia-almond milk.

"Yes. I will go to there. ASAP."

And I did.  I went within 24 hours of reading the article.

Was it worth the hype?  Yes.  I shall return, G&B.  Next time I will try the Business and Pleasure drink(s), and next time I expect the chilled mason jar!


01_Tasting Notes: Coffee is the new cupcake

Have you noticed the influx of coffee in your world?  It's definitely there.  Every other day Eater LA tells me about a new coffee shop opening in my neighborhood.  Of the past four yelp elite events that I have attended, two revolved around coffee.  "Cupping" has become a household term.  Just the smell of Folgers is sickening.  Similar to the first taste of sprinkles bringing a new meaning to cupcakes, the taste of coffee has evolved into something to be tasted, like fine wines.

As an architecture student, it may sound strange, but I'm no coffee addict.  I am somehow responsible for turning my two best friends into addicts of the black gold, but I mostly only drink it only for the taste (and on rare occasion, for the pick me up.)  In other words: I like good coffee.

Yesterday I tasted a coffee roasted in Kansas City Missouri, Oddly Correct Coffee Roasters.  My home state.  Woo.
The coffee was very full bodied, deep flavored, with a nice chocolatey finish.  No bitterness or bite here.  This coffee finishes clean, with just a hint of smokey aftertaste.  There is a slight fruity sweetness to it when it hits the tongue. Like apricots maybe.  I enjoyed another cup today and so should you.