Friday, July 3, 2020

Black Butterfly: Patagonian Wild Guava Tea

The reason that I have not reviewed anything from Black Butterfly since October 2018 is that Tracy Taylor makes many beautiful chocolate bonbons and such small chocolates are better eaten right away if the weather is warm. They usually can't take a drive back down to the valley, unless properly stowed in a cool environment (which is certainly not the way I keep my car, air conditioning or no). So while I have been there a few times in the last year or two, somehow I've not reviewed anything.

And now is the time to remember to spotlight the small businesses. So now I have a Patagonian Wild Guava Tea bar to share. Besides the chocolates in the glass case, Black Butterfly also always has speckled bars like this and bags of bark and such like. The chocolate here is a 61% dark and the Patagonian Wild Guava Tea is from Nectar Apothecary. Talk about spotlighting small businesses. Nectar Apothecary is also a favorite of mine. They sell bulk herbs and teas and oils and shea butter. They also have an amazing bar dish soap. They're just around the corner from Black Butterfly, so you can always visit them in pairs.

What exactly is in this tea, you ask? Well, Chilean wild guava, quince, linden flowers, strawberries, and eucalyptus. It all sounded pretty normal until we got to the eucalyptus, right? The tea makes a thick snake on the surface of the chocolate bar. The look is quite feminine, what with the pale fruit and the light red strawberries contrasting against the dark brown background. The aroma of the chocolate is quite sweet.

Because the tea snake runs through the middle of the bar, the first bite was mainly chocolate. Smooth and sweet as expected, like semisweet chocolate chips. Because it has been hanging out next to the fragrant tea, even the plain bites will have just a hint of other flavors to them. Mainly, though, of course, you taste the tea when you bite into it. As I was taking that second bite into the heart of the tea snake, I smelled the eucalyptus--and then tasted it.

 I was transported to the Arboretum in Southern California. To childhood, that is. So in fact, the light and fun, sweeter dark chocolate goes well with that feeling. While eucalyptus first sounds a little different to have in chocolate, something about it is akin to mint, anyway, isn't it, and mint is more common than anything in chocolate. Eucalyptus being a strong flavor, it does tend to dominate. But there is also a zingy flavor from the fruits that goes along with that lighthearted, outdoorsy, summery feel.

Initially I'd thought it would be nicer to have the tea cover the whole bar instead of just that snake in the middle. But the flavors of the tea can in fact be quite strong, so having a buffer isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're going to eat more than two bites. But given that it's so flavorful, I'm more of a two bite person on this one, not surprisingly. Once more, Black Butterfly brings chocolate that is both beautiful and artfully flavored.

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