Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tea + Chocolate = ???

Mid-week I found myself in desperate need of chocolate after I started nodding off at my desk at work, so I popped over to the Theatre Square Marketplace for my caffeine fix. For those of you in Louisville, the marketplace is located on south Fourth Street and is home to a restaurant, wine shop, Nancy's Bagel Box, and a small grocery that contains a modest chocolate selection. Almost all of the chocolate bars sold in the grocery are imported brands; when I was there this past week, I'm pretty sure the only American brand was Scharffen Berger.

I ended up buying this:

Yes, that's right. DARK CHOCOLATE WITH EARL GREY TEA GROUNDS. According to the Dolfin website, "Our Master Chocolatiers dare the most unexpected associations, inventing harmonies subtle look at the team finest ingredients, they select from what Nature has to offer." (Okay, their website is in French so I had Google translate it... but you get the idea.) Needless to say, I was intrigued by the tea+chocolate combo, so I paid the $5 for this bar, ignored the red sticker on the back that stated it was best before February 28, 2010, and dug in.

The first thing that caught my attention was the packaging. Rather than being wrapped in the standard paper packaging of most bars, the Dolfin came in a resealable plastic pouch (to preserve freshness) with the actual bar tucked inside and wrapped in an additional, much thinner, layer of paper.

I have mad Photoshop skills.

The second thing that struck me was the smell. The Dolfin smells exactly like a hot mug of Earl Grey tea would; as a coworker who sits on the other side of my cubicle noted, it was so strong that she could smell it over the divider between our desks.

And then... oh, the taste. At first, I thought the Earl Grey was underwhelming compared to the rest of the chocolate. But the more I ate, the more I realized that it contained just the right amount of Earl Grey. If any more tea leaves were added to the chocolate, it would taste way too strong and the chocolate flavor would be overwhelmed. I also loved how the ground tea leaves were visible in the chocolate, adding a crunchy texture that I rather enjoyed.

My only complaint is that the chocolate seemed rather hard, but that may have been because it was apparently way past the expiration date. Either way, it's a small quibble that I'm sure most people won't even notice.

All in all, an excellent chocolate bar. If you like Earl Grey tea and dark chocolate (and don't mind paying $5), this is the perfect bar for you. I'm on the prowl now for other Dolfin chocolates; apparently they have bars with peppercorn, ginger, mint, crystallized orange peel, green tea, cinnamon... the list goes on!

Dolfin Noir Earl Grey rating: 5/5


  1. Dolfin also makes an excellent lavender chocolate bar.

    Scharffen Berger's also good! I'm still a bit miffed that they (Hershey, who bought the company) closed the original factory in Berkeley, CA. I visited there twice and it smelled fantastic.
    But they still make the chocolate in the USA, East Coast. So it's okay.

  2. I loved how I could still taste the Earl Grey even after I was finished with my sampling. It lingered, which was nice. I do think the hard texture was a product of the expiration date. I can't believe it was still on the shelf, because February was awhile ago. It didn't seem to affect the taste though. Totally agree with this rating.