Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brewed Chocolate

So recently I came across the Cabaret Brewed Chocolate website and was intrigued. There's nothing better than hot chocolate on a cold fall/winter day, coming in from the cold and wrapping your hands around a nice warm cuppa. But the problem with hot chocolate is that it usually comes packed with sugar, and if made with non-skim milk, there's fat in there too. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Swiss Miss, and can actually eat it dry straight out of the package. Even better with little mini marshmallows. But there must be healthier, low-sugar, low-fat options, right?

So I thought I'd try this brewed chocolate.

What's brewed chocolate, you ask?

The marketing from their website: "We brew whole raw cacao beans in water to extract the flavor and essence. Much the same as coffee is brewed from coffee beans -- except it takes a lot longer and it takes a lot a beans. A full pound of whole raw cacao for every jar. Then we sweeten this wonderful liquid with organic evaporated cane juice and reduce it into concentrated syrup. You stir this syrup into hot water - by the teaspoon - to instantly create a small cup of brewed chocolate."

So what are the good things about it?

1. Organic cane juice is a healthier option than refined sugar
2. Cocoa beans are very high in theobromine, which has much the same effect as caffeine without the jittery side effects. It supposedly promotes general mood enhancement and calm.
3. It's different and interesting, and it's always good to try new things!
4. Ancient Mexicans apparently valued chocolate more for how it made them feel than how it tasted - so the effect of the theobromine in the chocolate can raise your mood as well as making you time warp back to the New World.

And what are the bad things?

1. It's DAMN expensive! The 6oz jar (about 24 servings) costs $15, which comes to about $20 with shipping.
2. It's an interesting flavor. But it tastes more like brewed adzuki beans than chocolate. It's not bad, it's just not going to fulfill a hot chocolate craving. Maybe if I brewed it with hot milk instead of hot water, that would make a difference.
3. Ancient Mexicans apparently valued chocolate more for how it made them feel than how it tasted - so this also says that the company isn't trying hard to make it taste good, they're just focusing on the effects of it.
4. The website says that the flavor is "light, delicate and remarkably complex" - hm...well, it definitely is light, sure. Delicate I can get on board with. Remarkably complex I'm not so sure. Maybe I'm just used to bold flavors, but the flavor just seemed rather weak to me.

I don't regret trying this out, I always like trying new things. I wouldn't buy it again. But if you prefer mild, light flavors, and want the benefits of a hot beverage without the negatives of caffeine, then you might want to try it. I'm not sure if they sell in retail stores, you might have to just order it online.


Leah J. Utas said...

Intriguing. I'm game to try some of this just to see for myself.

Missicat said...

hmmm...sounds interesting. May have to give it a try also.

Charlotte said...

interesting! I LOVE chocolate so this appeals to me. But I'd never pay that for it. Ah well.

Anonymous said...

If you want the flavor stronger, try using more brewed chocolate per serving. I also enjoy adding a tablespoon or so of milk to mine.