Being the clever guy I am, I worked out that Pep Giapponese actually means ‘Japanese pepper’. Being the unsophisticated guy I am, I have no idea what that is. After a touch of research I’ve found out it’s a herb with the Latin name Zanthoxylum Piperitum which doesn’t sound too appetising. The packaging of this T’a Chocolate not only gave away some crucial information such as that it was made with Trinitario cocoa beans from Venezuela but really sets the scene with its appearance. It reminded me of the sample shampoo and shaving foam sachets you occasionally get in magazines. I’ve not had any fine dark chocolate in this form before, so it was nice to witness a different approach.
I’ve spent the last half hour trying to work out what the aroma reminded me of and I’ve think I’ve pined it down to either the Amatller Ecuador or the Amatller Ghana as it had the same dusky, mouldy cupboard aroma. This no way distracts from the experience, it’s just that it’s fairly distinct. The aroma also gives off that peppery characteristic that is very much like peppermint, but not quite as harsh.
In terms of texture it feels dry and brittle and occasionally a touch gritty. But that’s just a sideshow to a very interesting flavour. The peppery, minty tones are very nice indeed. They’re different from what you’d normally expect and ensures this bar is one that you’ll keep coming back to. These flavours are mild, playful, jazzy and nonchalant.
Overall, there’s nothing robust, smooth, powerful or salient about this bar of chocolate. It’s an obstructive bar that doesn’t play by the normal rules. And reminds me of this piece of music:
I don’t think it’ll be everyone’s cup of tea as it’s granular and inconsistent. But because of that, I’m sure it’ll attract its fans. What’s more, there’s no artificial preservatives used, which again, I feel will attract a bit of a following.
T’a Chocolate are still yet to launch properly yet. But I fully expect them to do well and I look forward to the 40% milk chocolate and sugar free bars they’ve sent.