Saturday, March 22, 2008

Starbucks Chocolates Chocolate & Tea Tasting Squares

This sampler has a trio of tasting squares all infused with tea!

I will skip the whole I love Starbucks routine. I know that you know that I love them and the longer it takes me to write the superlatives the longer it is until I get to the chocolate.

This box has three adorable rows of small "tasting" chocolates- the pieces are small and thin, kind of like a mini Ghirardelli square.

The one I tried first was the:
Passion Dark Chocolate.
When I am in the mood for a cold drink at Starbucks my choice is almost always the Passion Tea/Lemonade blend. In fact the Passion Tazo is one of the few teas I buy to drink hot so I had high hopes for this one.
Once the wrapper is opened the chocolate smells EXACTLY like a fresh cup of the passion tea. It's sort of floral and citrusy at the same time.

The first notes that hit your tongue are all about the tea. So much so that you could almost recreate the flavor of the square by drinking some of the iced version of the tea while holding a few chocolate chips in your mouth. That sounds weird but it actually was an interesting effect.
The chocolate it's self is just sort of there. It's not bad- but it's not good. It's grainy (although that may be the tea it's self), it melts reasonably fast. It's sort of a middle of the road dark. It's not dark enough that it has much bite of it's own (or that it refuses to melt). But it is also not milky enough to be smooth, sweet or have much of a dairy component. What I think I was most disappointed in is that it had no snap to it. Biting or breaking the square just yields a pretty wimpy bend.
Even with the so-so chocolate the Passion tea just tastes so good I would have this square again.

Onto the next square.

Citron Dark Chocolate:
I loved the smell of this square instantly. It smells exactly like freshly grated lemon zest and deep smokey chocolate.

The lemon has a stronger aroma then taste and while the smell is amazing the taste is... well it's not. Furniture polish is what immediately came to mind.
Again the texture is gritty, which in the case I think I can without a doubt attribute to the tea leaves. I love that they used the dark chocolate with lemon (it is one of my favorite combo's) Everything I said about the chocolate with the Passion square stands true here.

This square I will be avoiding in the future... unless I suddenly get the overwhelming craving for edible Pledge.

And last but not least.

Chai Milk Chocolate:
Let's remember that I LOVED the Chai Truffles. I was expecting these squares to be little flat versions of the truffles. While it is clear they are related the squares are not exactly the Mini-Me's of the truffles.

The scent is just as good. Warm, inviting and on the spicy side.
The Chai in the case of the square overpowers the chocolate. It's like there are to many competing flavors fighting each other in the piece. With the truffles it's easy to pick out the individual notes, in the square everything is just sort of mushed together and it ends up tasting more like black pepper then anything else.
Combine that with a slightly grainy texture (although less so thanks to the milk chocolate) and a mediocre milk chocolate, it's just disappointing after how high the truffles set the bar.

The stand out here is definitely the Passion Squares.
Is it worth the $5.00+ price tag for one decent set of squares, honestly? not really but should you see them at steep discount or the Passion squares alone then they are well worth a try.

Kroger (Ralph's depending on your location)

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