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14 August 2016 @ 08:07 pm
Darker than Black, Week 20: Adagio Teas Lapsang Souchong Tea Bar  
You might think that I've rigged the choice here, with me just writing about tea, but I swear to you that this was done entirely at random. softlykarou reached into the plastic bag we've put all of our Darker than Black chocolate choices and pulled this one. I was even tempted to ask for a redo, but then I realized that was pointless. What difference does it make whether the chocolate is related to something that we've done recently? Surely that makes it more appropriate, not less? It's not like there's a chance of collusion here or that I need to disclose our chocolate sponsorship, because this is entirely an excuse to eat more chocolate. And such chocolate have we eaten, dear reader.

I'm also a big tea drinker, and while matcha seems to be everywhere in everything, other kinds of tea are much less common in American food. I don't even remember what the other options were now when I picked out this chocolate bar at the checkout--probably other kinds of tea--but I'm glad we got this one and I'm glad we ate it so quickly afterward. Yum.

Tea and sweet...so to speak.

This was fantastic.

I had no idea what lapsing souchong was until last years when softlykarou brought home a bag of it to try, and then later I saw it mentioned in Caliban's War, where one of the characters says it tastes like old socks but she drinks it because her husband likes it. I don know what kind of sludge she's drinking, but I like the smokey taste of lapsang souchong and I really like this chocolate. The tea added the perfect note to the chocolate, it's smokiness counterbalancing the sweetness, but without being too strong. It made itself known without barging into the room and kicking over the table. And this could definitely have been too sweet for me at only 58% cacao, so I'm glad that the tea cut through the sweetness as strongly as it did.

The chocolate also had three different kinds of salt, one of which was smoked, and it's absolutely true what all those articles you read about restaurant cooking techniques tell you--you're not using enough salt. But this chocolate definitely was, and it's the best chocolate I've written about here in a while. Now I wish that we had gotten a few more bars of it, and checking on their website it looks like you can only order the green tea one there.  photo c9a2ed93dbfb11e324f5b3e281e5e1b2.gif

Good thing the shop isn't that far from the office.

Some of the tea fell off when we divided it up and I had to scoop it up with my hands. It was worth it.

softlykarou's Opinion
I grew up in the land of barbecues and campfires, smoke is one of my favorite flavors. It ties into memories like going out back with my Dad on Thanksgiving when he smoked a turkey or being on the path to campfire on Kahdalea Friday nights. Lapsang souchong tea is autumn in a cup to me, though I drink it year-round. Pair that with some darker chocolate and salt and you have something that I would eat everyday. The dry tea adds crunch and the three kinds of salts each bring something different. Some bites are smokier, some are saltier, some are sweet, but it all has great harmony.
Harmony was the melody playing in my head when I was eating this. It really was that good.
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