/ Doug's Chocolate Republic / Review: Seattle Chocolate Company
Pike Place Espresso
Seattle Chocolate Company Pike
Posted: 19 October 2011
The texture was smooth, I'll grant that. Smoother than Ghirardelli. But the coffee flavor was weak. Seattle Chocolates uses Turkish ground decaffeinated coffee in this bar. I've had Turkish coffee before,
and it hits your taste buds like a freight train. This coffee flavor merely taps your taste buds like a coasting bicycle.
price/gram: USD 0.043
Cocoa %: 53
The next American chocolate coffee bar to be
tested after Ghirardelli's
Espresso Escape is
a bar manufactured by a company I hadn't yet sampled before,
the Seattle Chocolate Company, known as Seattle Chocolates
on the label. The company has been around since 1992 and, according
to the company's own web site, their chocolates are available in over 8,000 grocery stores nationwide.
Having just reviewed some
chocolates by another Seattle-based company,
Theo, I couldn't help
but be unimpressed with what I read about Seattle
Chocolates. Where Theo sourced only organic and fairtrade
chocolate, Seattle Chocolates did not. Where Theo was a
bean-to-bar manufacturer, Seattle Chocolates was not.
The web site says that their "chocolates are carefully
prepared in small batches with the highest quality,
all-natural European chocolate." The chocolate is
manufactured by another company then, and Seattle Chocolates
just recombines the chocolate in its own flavor
combinations. So far, the company was starting to
sound a lot like another European sourcer,
Duc De Praslin,
whose overpriced range in Thailand nearly killed me.
What makes Seattle Chocolates
different, says Seattle Chocolates, is the addition of one
special ingredient. Unique cacao beans?
A special type of sugar? Vanilla brought in by rockets
from the planet Uranus? No. The ingredient is fun. I'm assuming this fun is
American-made, on Seattle Chocolates' premises, rather than
imported with the chocolate from Europe. All fun in
Europe is heavily taxed.
Truffles are what makes the
company 'famous', and espresso is legendary in Seattle, so a
bar entitled Pike Place Espresso truffle Bar should show off
the best Seattle Chocolates has to offer. You would
hope so anyway.
Ascribe no meaning to Pike Place in the bar's title.
Pike Place Market is a large public farmers' market in
Seattle overlooking the Elliot Bay waterfront. I am
assuming that Pike Place in the title is just a way to bring
the Seattle roots into the company's chocolate bars.
If the bar were truly
composed of 53% cacao solids, it still wouldn't be a dark
bar, but more a bittersweet one. This bar isn't even
purely 53%. A glance at the ingredients show
that Seattle Chocolates' 53% is the primary blend, but that
their 33% milk chocolate blend is also added. All the
tasty coffee/espresso bars I've sampled in the past, off
record, were dark chocolates. Real dark chocolates.
I can't think why a manufacturer would want to milk this
down unless it's a move to reduce costs.
The texture was smooth, I'll
grant that. Smoother than Ghirardelli. But the
coffee flavor was weak. Seattle
Chocolates uses Turkish ground decaffeinated coffee in this
bar. I've had Turkish coffee before. Swensen's
here in Thailand sells a Turkish coffee flavored ice cream,
and it hits your taste buds like a freight train. This
coffee flavor merely taps your taste buds like a coasting
bicycle. I should add that I wasn't that impressed with the
chocolate flavor either.
It's a slightly better
than average product, and I
wouldn't put it in the same lower league as Ghirardelli.
But Seattle Chocolates isn't batting in the same league as
Theo. The ingredient listings on this bar read much
like you'd expect on any mainstream producer. Soya
lecithin and palm kernel oil make appearances and so does
non-hydrogenated coconut oil. Seattle's slacked
elsewhere on the list so what comes to mind first is that
the vegetable oils are there to cheat on cocoa butter content.
It's a fair assumption, but in this case, the coconut and/or
palm kernel are there to give the chocolate its creamy
consistency. Lindt adds coconut and palm oil to their
Lindor truffles line.
If you're in Seattle and see
this on the shelf, try it. You can say you ate
something local. If you're at any of the other 8,000
grocery stores nationwide stocking these, pick up something
there that's local.
chocolate in Washington is Seattle Chocolates, more properly known as Seattle Chocolate Company. Seattle has
espresso which it mixes with American chocolate and dark chocolate for a unique truffle coffee flavor