May 24, 2021 2 Comments
Have you ever experienced a piece of chocolate that just will not melt in your mouth? We hear this story from customers at the shop all the time, especially from people who claim not to like dark chocolate. Well, there is an easy solution: increase the temperature of your mouth with hot tea or hot coffee.
Few things are as frustrating as chewing on a piece of unmelt-able dark chocolate. What is the point? The flavor is weak. The aromatics are weak. Eventually the chocolate gets powdery and feels waxy and stuck in your teeth as you desperately chew, at which point you must decide whether to continue trying! Never get to this point when the solution is so easy: have a hot beverage nearby.
Tea or Coffee work well. As you sip, allow the temperature of the drink to melt any chocolate that remains in your mouth, thereby resetting your palette for the next piece. Light and refreshing tea flavors are ideal. Any tea will do, but for a complete chocolate experience, check out our cacao hull tea for a complimentary flavor and an extra dose of delightful Theobromine (the stimulant in chocolate often confused with caffeine - shop cacao hull tea). Coffee is great, too, but be mindful of any delicate flavors in your chocolate that might not stand up to the robust roast flavor of coffee.
The science behind this tip is all about the temper of chocolate. The first thing to remember is that chocolate melts at body temperature, so if your mouth is cold (drinking something with ice, for instance), then the chocolate will not melt!
The second reason a hot beverage is helpful requires a bit more explanation. Cocoa butter in chocolate has 6 different crystalline matrixes it can form. The one we love in chocolate and melts at body temperature is form 5. In this form, the chocolate looks shiny and snaps in half loudly. The 6th form, however, is the most stable, and therefore the form that all chocolate gradually moves toward as it ages. The more stress put on a form 5 chocolate (temperature changes, physical impact, etc.) the faster this transitional process happens. Whereas form 5 is shiny, form 6 has a white powdery exterior which most people think of as “old chocolate” but is just the cocoa butter moving into a different shape and is now visible. Most importantly, chocolate in form 6 will not melt at body temperature, no matter how much you chew.
Don’t be afraid to pair any beverage with your chocolate. We love drinking wine, beer, cocktails, and milk with it. But if the chocolate “goes quiet” in your mouth, you now know it’s just too cold. Switch to a hot – but not too hot – drink and see what happens!
Many people enjoy a warm beverage in the morning. If you do so as well, try adding a small piece of dark chocolate to your morning beverage routine. If you love it, you will join a myriad of people doing the same, and you will discover a whole world of new chocolate opportunity.