I recently received a generous box of free samples from Aequare Chocolates, a newcomer to the fine artisan chocolates field – they debuted just this past summer. Included in the box were their Dark Chocolate Cocoa Beans.
According to the bag, these are “lightly roasted and peeled cocoa beans enveloped in Aequare dark chocolate.” There’s a much longer description on their product page, where you learn that the beans are single-origin, hand roasted and hand peeled, and panned in several coats of Aequare’s 70% dark chocolate.
I love how, in the above close-up, they could just as easily be a bunch of potatoes. The one on the far right even has eyes!
The beans are heftily-sized and much larger than I expected them to be, probably because I was using chocolate-covered espresso beans as my mental reference point. I’d guess that the chocolate-covered cocoa beans are between 2 to 4 times the size of chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Each bean has a generously thick layer of chocolate coating that crumbles and melts in the mouth with no thickness. The chocolate carries dry cocoa notes with a slightly sweet finish.
The beans inside add a dry crunch and grittiness. They taste even more deeply of genuine, pure cocoa flavor and release a winey fruitiness when crunched.
Aequare has managed to produce a complex, intriguing, and deliciously poppable snack. They’re so addictive that I could eat several in one session, yet so intense that it was satisfying to stop after a handful. I was able to spread the bag out over several sessions. I give them an OM.
And bonus kudos for Aequare’s excellent blog post documenting the Dark Chocolate Cocoa Bean making process.