July 26, 2021
What's the most intense chocolate experience out there? Please allow us to introduce our Sipping Chocolate.
Amazingly simple, delightfully complex, incredibly rich, but not terribly sweet - this 60% dark sipping chocolate is crafted on stone mills by the artisans at Intrigue.
We had been serving sipping chocolate at Intrigue since 2015 (stopping in 2020 during the “Great Pivoting”). The recipe is super simple, and we dreamed of a day when we could help you take the experience home.
At first, we served a blended couverture chocolate made in Belgium - the same we used for the Chocolate Truffles and the Spiced Chocolate Bars - and it was always delicious.
Then we began serving our own single-origin craft chocolate - the same we use for our Craft Chocolate snacking medallions - and the flavors were bold and exciting.
So we’ve taken what we learned from these two approaches and created our own “Chef’s Blend” of craft chocolate. Combining two or more origins allows us to balance the flavors and create additional layers of complexity.
What is a sipping chocolate?
Let's first understand the difference between a hot cocoa, a hot chocolate, and a sipping chocolate by their ingredients:
Hot Cocoa = 1 part cocoa powder mix and 8 parts milk (or alternative). 12oz mug
Hot Chocolate = 1 part chocolate and 8 parts milk. 12oz mug
Sipping Chocolate = 1 part chocolate to 1 part water (or espresso shot). 3oz demitasse or tea cup
Although the ingredients look similar, comparing a hot chocolate to a sipping chocolate is like comparing apples to, well, apple juice concentrate. Regardless of the similarities, their flavor, effect, and experience are drastically different.
A sipping chocolate is a much smaller beverage and the chocolate is less diluted. With less dilution, and because the beverage is warm, the chocolate flavor is intensified and accessible immediately. You smell everything about the chocolate all at once, and as the thick beverage coats your mouth you taste the chocolate with every taste bud. Truly an experience!
In Europe, where sipping chocolate is arguably most well known, the beverage is served with a simple pastry and a side of whipped cream. We recommend alternating bites and sips, or dipping to savor with utter delight.
How to make sipping chocolate:
It's very easy to make a sipping chocolate. We already covered much of this in our pro tip blog last week, the chocolate meltdown. Any and all chocolate *could* become a sipping chocolate by melting the chocolate with an equal part of boiling water by weight. Easy.
Can't I use any chocolate to make a sipping chocolate?
Yes, however not all chocolate is delicious in this format, even if it is delicious in bar form.
Because you are tasting so much about the chocolate all at once, any flaw or off-note in the bean will also be readily noticeable and present. A very dark roasted chocolate may have a burn or char note not noticeable when the chocolate is tempered and solid. If the chocolate is highly processed, it may taste flat and boring. Or you may taste higher acidity, or fermentation issues and care issues during harvest.
Our sipping chocolate is our craft chocolate made right on our mill. We are proud to have you taste it in this format! Experience the delight and special character of this high-quality cacao and you'll understand why it's not right for every bean.
Where to buy:
You can find our new sipping chocolate in our online store. You can also find it at our retail store in downtown Seattle in the historic neighborhood of Pioneer Square.