Virginia Gourmet owners prepare special chocolate coffee for fest

26 Mar

Lenny Berl believes good coffee should be enjoyed on its own, not loaded up with lots of sugar and cream. Although, he’s not averse to adding a little chocolate.

Berl and his partner, Joy Bryant, own Virginia Gourmet, a business that specializes in Virginia products, many of them that use natural, healthy ingredients. For the upcoming Art of Chocolate festival, Berl is preparing a chocolate coffee from a coffee and heart-healthy chocolate that were both made especially for the store.

“We noticed a lot of people dumping sugar and creamers into their coffee – why would people do this?” says Berl. “So we started to sample the coffees that were out there and we found there was a bitterness to a lot of them.”

Berl’s research led him to develop his own line of coffees that he roasts in a special way — he won’t say exactly how — to produce a smooth-tasting brew. It comes in a regular blend called Revolutionary Roast and two flavored blends, Colonial Roasted Chestnut and Colonial Southern Pecan.

Berl pairs his coffees with chocolates he developed that are made by a local chocolatier and for sale at the store.

“We use natural cocoa beans and skim some of the fat off,” says Berl. “Then we add cocoa butter and a little sea salt which makes the flavor pop. It’s all about food science.”

The chocolate Berl sells is 98 percent dark chocolate, and studies have shown that high-percentage chocolate is good for your heart, he says.

Virginia Gourmet sells the chocolate in small bouquets of chocolate-shaped roses and baskets of bite-sized chocolates. For the festival, he’s creating chocolate-coated spoons that can be stirred into cups of coffee.

Source: Daily Press

Buy Chocolate, lollies and confectionery online at Moo-Lolly-Bar Australia

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