This picture doesn't even capture how pretty the box was for this bar -- bright orange, with little raised letters and images. Michael got it for me at Cardullo's in Harvard Square, which is one of the best specialty food shops I know of. Plus, I saw Ben Affleck there once -- I bet I've already written about that on this blog. How embarrassing. This is the first tea infused bar I've ever had. It may or may not be the last:
The Tea Room: Mate & Cacao Nibs
Cocoa content: 72%
Notable ingredients: green yerba mate tea; nibs
Those who know me know that I am really not a tea drinker, but that has little to do with flavor and everything to do with my aversion to hot water. Unless it's pouring down over my body from a spigot, I want nothing to do with it. Anyway, of the teas that I do sometimes drink, green teas are not among them, so I wasn't too optimistic about the taste of this bar. I do enjoy nibs, however, which are just little bits of unground roasted cacao bean. They create a pleasant crunch and a slightly burnt taste, which I enjoy.
Sadly, I didn't encounter any nibs on my journey through this bar. Maybe they were too fine for me to detect, but if that's the case -- why bother? The rapture of nibs relies mainly on that crunch, so when the crunch is missing it's kind of a wasted ingredient. Which brings me to the tea. Maybe it's just because I'm not so into tea and haven't therefore Known it, but I really didn't taste anything that was distinctly tea-like. Maybe it was kind of bitter, but so is most single-origin dark chocolate. And anyway, what does green tea taste like? Grass, right? Would you infuse chocolate with grass?
I can only conclude that the high point of this bar was its box. And really, the bar itself wasn't bad: it probably would have been worse if it had tasted like tea. But instead it was just a decent single origin bar with a beautiful box and a misleading mention of nibs.
I most likely wouldn't return to this bar but I'm willing to give other tea infusions a chance just because I feel that green tea is the bottom of the barrel, and other teas might produce a better flavor. I give it a B-.