A couple of weeks ago I was invited along, to sit in on the first ever chocolate tasting at Luisa's Vegan Chocolates in Sneinton Market.
I have been chatting to Luisa for several months now, she is a really lovely person with a passion for creating wonderful chocolate. All her chocolates are made with a range of indulgent natural ingredients, and can be enjoyed in the knowledge that the beans used are traceable back to their farms. This direct trade ensures the farmers are paid a fair price, enabling them to support their families and empower local communities.
Luisa's unique 'Bean-to-Bar' production process allows her to be in full control at every stage of the journey, resulting in chocolate that is not only delicious to eat but ethically produced.
A new experience concept from Luisa; the tasting is an opportunity to sample the chocolates in her delightfully decorated studio in Sneinton Market. Beautiful pictures from the farms that supply her business adorn the walls and the intoxicating aroma of fresh chocolate being conched envelops you.
The session starts with Luisa and business partner Martin explaining all about the cacao beans, where they come from and how they are processed ready for roasting. It is a really complex process and one about which I had no idea.
Learning about the soil that the beans are grown in allows you to understand how the complex flavours are created. Luisa tells us:
"The volcanic islands we source our beans from are the perfect natural environment for cocoa beans, with the tropical climate and richness of minerals in the soil allowing for sustainable growth of the cocoa bean. "
The chocolates were given to us to taste in both their liquid and solid form and the difference in flavour between the two states was amazing, Martin went on to explain why this was the case and it really opened up my eyes as to how the flavours develop when you eat chocolate.
Once you are suitably full of delicious samples and armed with knowledge of their Bean-to-Bar production process, Luisa and Martin send you on your way armed with more chocolate to eat at home. It was a really wonderful experience and well worth a visit for any chocolate lover.
It's hard to decide which one I loved the most because quite frankly, I loved them all!! The 'Casholate', made with cashew milk, is without a doubt a game changer and I love it, maybe a little too much as I can easily polish off a bar in one sitting!!
The tasting sessions cost £35pp and would make the perfect gift for a loved one or friend who loves chocolate. You can find out more over on her website or Instagram page.