I’ve got industrial quantities of chocolate from some of the finest chocolatiers in Paris here, but I’ve pushed Katie’s Matcha Chocolat ‘The Jade Selection’ right to the front of the reviews queue because I found her last collection: ‘The Emperor’s Selection so delightful.
Matcha Chocolat hasn’t been around long, probably under a year, but they’re just doing so much right. These boxes of sixteen chocolates come in at just £14.95 so I don’t expect the packaging to be as solid as the Melt Selection Box (which is considerably more expensive), but what it lacks in solidity it overwhelms in information, flavour, uniqueness and love. I’m not boasting here, but I do taste an awful lot of chocolate and it has become increasingly difficult to find a chocolatier to stand out from the crowd. Katie, and her Matcha Chocolat brand achieves that without by focusing offering something unique.
What I love is that about this selection box is that your enjoyment starts as you open the box your chocolates are actually delivered in. Even before you get to open the actual packaging your chocolates are presented within, you get to read all about the Matcha story – and if this doesn’t heighten your chocolate excitement, I don’t know what will.
Within the box you’ll find some more information, this time you’ll get a nicely detailed list of the bon bons you’ll get inside. In this selection you’ll get the following: Sencha, China Rose, Liquid Jade, Masala Chai, and Strawberry Summer – are you excited yet?
The first I tried was the Sencha, which from the information to hand shows it as being a white chocolate enrobed white chocolate square with an infusion of Tamaryokucha Koga – which is a variety of Sencha tea. And it looked lovely too. The top was adorned with a golden swirl although the inside was totally unexpected. It was a kind of pistachio green colour which hinted that it would be sweet. I was so wrong! The flavour wasn’t sweet at all. In fact there was a slight crabby taste. Don’t let that put you off. That’s probably my taste buds playing tricks on me – but it was certainly a flavour that I’ve not experienced before. If you’re after a unique flavour, this is certainly one to try.
The second was utterly delicious. It was the Liquid Jade – intoxicating and purely wonderful. Of course there was the alcohol content which always helps, but there were also some lovely floral notes with a caramel edge and a wonderfully resistant texture. Definitely save this one until last.
I then came across the Masala Chai which I’d reviewed before and absolutely loved. Ginger is my thing (as well as chocolate) and the acidic notes with a sort of mulled wine flavour were most divine. You have the choice of eating the chocolate as you find it or strategically trying to save the piece of crystallised ginger until last – this is what I did.
With the sun beating down and Wimbledon about to start it seemed a good idea to try the Strawberry Summer one which had a blend strawberry tea and English Breakfast tea (the staple of my working day). The milk chocolate here had a wonderful sweetness and a very thick base which housed a very soft ganache that melted very quickly but seemed to leave an island of dried strawberry. The ganache itself had a light tea flavour with a hint of fruitiness. It may have been a touch too sweet for my taste, but it was important to add a milk chocolate option in this selection box.
The last of this wonderful Matcha Jade Selection was the China Rose which, obviously, had a rose flavour, but also with a blend of black tea. I loved the pure shininess of this one. But also the strawberry did add a hint of summer, but also memories of eating chocolate ice-cream on the beach. In fact it reminded me very much of Magnum ice creams – not only in the taste, but the texture. The ganache had the same sort of texture as the ice-cream but with the firm chocolate centre. Delicious.