The advent of a Christmas calendar filled with artisan bean to bar chocolate

Not surprised this campaign has already reached its target. What an excellent advent adventure!

Culinary Adventures of The Cocoa Nut

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To the choc-o-phile, the arrival of advent provides legitimate license to eat chocolate every single day – usually before 9am.

But to date, Christmas and craft chocolate haven’t often gone hand-in-hand – at their lowest-rent, advent calendars are filled with morsels that are variously waxy, chalky, sugary, cheap and generally downright nasty; even at their fanciest, you’re unlikely to find anything made from bean to bar chocolate nestling in those windows.

That’s something Lilla Toth-Tatai (aka @littlebeetle_chocolates) is aiming to change. Obsessed with craft chocolate and the people behind it, Lilla started filling her own homemade advent calendars with bean-to-bar chocolate back in 2015 – and, this year, is attempting to bring her concept to the masses via a crowdfunding campaign.

Initially produced in a limited run of 200, the resulting Taste Better Chocolate advent calendar would serve as a showcase of 24 of the world’s finest artisans – the…

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Cocoa Encounters goes live

Just in time for World Chocolate Day on 7th July, I finally took the plunge and launched my new venture – Cocoa Encounters. And what better place to do it than the Chocolate Studio of Duffy Sheardown, as tasting Duffy’s single origin chocolate was really the start of my own chocolate journey.

IMG_1777It was an opportunity to introduce friends and colleagues, all with a passion for fine food, to the chocolate tasting experience. We were joined by members of the local press.  I didn’t want to just tell them about what I was doing but to taste for themselves the difference between standard and craft chocolate. I think they did…we will wait to see the coverage to find out!

The aim of Cocoa Encounters is to help people who love chocolate or fine food to discover craft chocolate and its flavour potential. To find out how to buy better chocolate, to look beyond the fast and convenient and to discover the pleasures of fine flavour and slow eating. I have found getting together with friends or colleagues for a tasting experience is a great way to do this, so that is what Cocoa Encounters is all about.

My intention is also to use this blog to talk about my new chocolate journey: the chocolate I discover, the people I meet, chocolate events and news from world of craft chocolate.

You can follow me here or on social media on facebook @cocoaencounters or twitter @KathrynLincs