Michel Cluizel – Noir au Cafe

After a hectic week in the UK, we rode the chunnel to France and enjoyed some fantastic culinary adventures. One place we visited was the Michel Cluizel chocolate boutique. Michel Cluizel chocolatier is a shop definitely worth visiting in Paris. A family-owned business since 1948, The Cluizel family fabricates their chocolate art at a small plant in Normandy and sell to the public at boutiques in Paris, New York, and Riyad.

Their artisinal craft is unparalleled, and it is very evident when shopping in their boutique that they’re proud of the product and it’s heritage.

As a cigar afficionado, I’m drawn to the strong flavor and aroma of dark chocolate. My biggest frustration with dark chocolate has always been finding one that has the right balance of cacao, alkalinity and sugar. My favorite has always been Cadbury’s Bournville, but I have now tasted something better…Michel Cluizel’s Noir au Cafe.

Noir au Cafe is touted as “Ground arabicas from Brazil and selected cocoas are blended in a deep chocMichael Cluizel - Noir au Cafeolate – coffee harmony: A superb balance of strengths and flavours“. The 100g bar is beautifully packaged in gold-coloredĀ  foil and cradled in a cardboard box that assures you that this is good quality chocolate. My friend translated the packaging to reveal that it is pure cocoa with bourbon vanilla and contains no soys or lecithin. The ingredients list is simple:

  • Cocoas
  • Cane Sugar
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Coffee Beans

The aroma is very inviting, with hints of espresso and cocoa. The chocolate is uniform in color without blooming or blemish.

Breaking a piece is easy, and it immediately coats the palate in chocolaty goodness. The chocolate is smooth without being plastic and has no graininess. There is a delightful balance of cocoa fat and sweetness, offset by the coffee to stimulate both bitter and sweet sensors at the same time, making it absolutely delicious! The 2nd,3rd,4th, and 5th pieces were just as great.I stopped at 5 because my “friends” had polished off the rest of the bar! I really liked the fact that there was a pleasant espresso aftertaste without the off-tasting bitterness you get from so many other dark chocolates.

I spent way too many Euros in this shop, but everything was simply scrumptious.

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