Wei of Chocolate – Vegan Dark Chocolates

Apparently my distaste for Rochester winters has been, well, apparent. I recently got an email from Lisa Reinhardt, a University of Rochester grad, telling me that she sympathized about Rochester winters.

Fortunately for the sake of the blog, she was also emailing to tell me that she was the owner of Wei of Chocolate, a chocolate company that makes organic, vegan, and Fair Trade chocolates, and would I like to try some free samples, two of which would be chili chocolate? Yes, please!

I got a bag of 6 dark chocolates with very (for lack of a better word) yoga-y names and claims to bring you warmth, insight, joy, etc. According to the company website, Wei of Chocolate will help you “take your experience of chocolate to a whole new level by experiencing the finest quality organic chocolate, infused with intentional blends of deliciously complex flavors designed to balance body and mind.”

I’m too impatient for yoga (I’m a Turbo Kick (R) gal), so I was unmoved by the names and claims, but I’ll be sure to provide them because they’re part of the world of Wei, the brand and message that Lisa Reinhardt is doing an excellent job of defining.

All of the chocolates were molded dark chocolate daisy shapes wrapped in brightly colored foil. Each color corresponded to a different flavor.

Gold was “daily gratitude with chai spices for warmth.” It was a 65% cacao that carried a strong chai smell, heavy on the cloves and nutmeg. The chocolate had a bit of graininess to it, and I found it overly sweet. The chai flavors were super strong as well.

Basically, this guy packed a punch of sugar, cloves, and nutmeg that overwhelmed me. It also left my mouth feeling dried out afterwards. I wonder if that astringency, and the graininess as well, came from the incorporation of freshly ground spices?

Orange was “inner delight with citrus and flower essences for joy.” It had a 70% base that had a sharp snap and matte melt. To me, it still smelled a bit like chai (I wonder if daily gratitude totally took over), but it tasted of deep cocoa and orange oil. The orangey finish had impressive staying power.

Green was “inner clarity with peppermint and flower essences for insight.” It, too, had a 70% base. Unsurprisingly enough, it smelled minty and herbal (lemongrass, maybe?). It started out with lovely pepperminty flavors that then gave way to strong grassy, herbal notes before finally finishing with a bit of bitterness.

The latter half of its flavor profile reminded me of traditional Chinese herbal medicine. A friend who tasted it said it was reminiscent of tea. I found it intriguing and thought-provoking. Perhaps it does provide insight after all?

The purple “inner peace with lavender and flower essences for ease” was the last of the 70%ers. It smelled lemony, tasted like lemon grass, and had a bitterly floral finish.

Pink, with a 74% base, was for “daily love with a hint of chili for energy.” It smelled sweet and floral with an undertone of cinnamon. It packed the perfect punch of spiciness that built as the flavor lingered – enough to make itself known with a back of the throat burn, but not so much that I wanted to chase the burn away with a glass of water. The flavor was also reminiscent of authentic cinnamon.

Finally, red was “sensual love with aphrodisiac spices for love.” It was made with 74% cacao and mystery aphrodisiac herbs and spices. It smelled darker than the pink did, and it tasted darker as well, lots of dusky cocoa flavor and a painful chili burn that needed mollifying. Its texture was super grainy and even gritty, and it had a strong astringent finish.

I really enjoyed the pink daily loves, but the rest of the spectrum wasn’t really for me. They fit their niche well, in that they taste wholesome, all-natural, and yoga-y. And the flavors were complex, as promised. I didn’t immediately notice that they were vegan from just looking at the packaging, but when I gave the bag a second look, I wasn’t surprised to see that they were.

I can see them suiting the clientele at a spa or yoga studio or whole foods-type store that’s not as mass market as Whole Foods is. An O.