Online Mystery Chocolate Tasting With Chocolate Ecstasy Tours

Posted by in Misc on July 19 2020 | Leave A Comment

Online Mystery Chocolate Tasting

Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of Jennifer Earle’s Chocolate Ecstasy Tours; walking tours of some of London’s best chocolate shops and sweet treat establishments.

Unfortunately, the current pandemic has meant that these tours have had to go on hold, and Jen has had to look for other ways to keep the spirit of the tours going, while giving a much needed boost to some of the smaller chocolatiers and chocolate makers who have struggled during the lockdown period. To that end, she has come up with a couple of great ideas for finding great chocolate without ever leaving the comfort of your home.

First up, Jen has created a directory of online sellers, an extensive list of small producers in the UK who are selling sweet treats and baked goods online. It’s a great place to find a chocolate gift for a loved one or a pick-me-up for yourself!

More recently, she has introduced a new and exciting idea, the Online Mystery Chocolate Tasting, and she was kind enough to send me a tasting pack for the latest tasting.

When you sign up for an Online Mystery Chocolate Tasting, you’ll be sent one of these packs in the post and a link to join the Zoom videoconferencing event via email. One of the great things about the tastings is that anyone can join the Zoom event and watch along, but obviously you’re only going to get the full experience if you have the tasting pack.

Online Mystery Chocolate Tasting

On this occassion, Jen had invited master chocolatier Paul A Young along to talk about the chocolates as we tasted them. Although structured, the discussion was quite informal and conversational. Paul gave some insights on how he uses particular flavour profiles in his own work, and after tasting and discussing each piece of chocolate, Jen revealed what it was and gave plenty of background information about the maker.

Online Mystery Chocolate Tasting

In our case, all the producers were British bean-to-bar chocolate makers, but it’s important to note that there will be different chocolates – and types of chocolate – for each tasting event. Otherwise, of course, it wouldn’t be a mystery! If you are looking to find out more about the chocolates, or have specific dietary requirements, then you can drop Jen an email beforehand just to check the chocolates in your chosen session are suitable.

Online Mystery Chocolate Tasting

While the video chat was limited to Jen and Paul, the rest of us were able to make comments via the Zoom chat as well as give quick feedback via the “Thumbs Up” feature. This was a great way to involve everyone while avoiding any chaos that may have resulted from everyone being allowed to speak. There were over 70 people in the call, so this was probably for the best!

I really enjoyed the format of this online tasting, and thoroughly recommend it to anyone who loves chocolate. It’s a great little gift, or something to do as a couple on the sofa (the tasting packs contain enough chocolate for two) and you can engage as much or as little as you are comfortable with. I really appreciated the fact that anyone can come along and join in, and Jen has also made the video from this tasting available in full. You can watch it below.

At the time of writing, the next tasting event is August 12th 2020 with Bettina Campolucci Bardi of Bettina’s kitchen. Tasting packs cost £19.95 and you can purchase yours here.

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