So, we're only just a few weeks into 2021 and is already showing us it'll be another rotten year. If 2021 were a film, it would be called "2020 Returns with A Vengeance."
So, with rolling lockdowns likely to be the norm, we will all need some joy in our lives, but thankfully, chocolatier and chocolate makers across the country are returning back to the web this year, with a series of virtual showcases and tastings.
How Does it Work?
The first step is to sign yourself up (and perhaps your friends or family) onto a live and interactive Virtual Tasting Event. Next, a box of chocolates will arrive on your doorstep a few days later, together with a tasting journey chart. The hardest bit will be resisting the temptation to dip into the box straight away!
Then, on the date of your session, you'll be able to access the group session on Zoom. Arm yourself with your box of chocolates and chart, a cheeky drink or two, and some plain bread or crackers (both are good flavour neutralisers).
You'll join in with fellow chocolate lovers from around the country, ably lead by Firetree chocolate maker, Martyn O'Dare. He'll walk you through his journeys to volcanic islands around the globe on the quest for the perfect cocoa bean. You'll learn about the bean-to-bar process, you'll discover that shoving chocolate in your face isn't the best way to taste it, and there'll also be time for your questions in this fun and interactive hour-long session.
You'll log off with high quality chocolate in your belly and chocolate knowledge lodged in your brain. I dare you to look at a bar of supermarket chocolate in the same way after a session like this!
Dates For Your Diary
The programme of digital online events to kick looks like this:
- Wednesday 27th January 2021
- Thursday 11th February 2021
- Thursday 11th March 2021 (a Mother's Day special)
- Wednesday 31st March 2021 (an Easter special)
Remember, you'll need to order ahead to ensure you receive your box of tasting chocolate in time for the session.
If you're looking for something to relieve your boredom during this latest Coronavirus lockdown, or you fancy learning more about what makes volcanic chocolate different from the rest, then book yourself onto a session pronto!
While I think this will appeal to many chocolate lovers right across the country, I think it's a great option if you're looking to (virtually) get together with some friends or family while taking in part in an activity that's a little bit different yet fun and informative - oh, and there's chocolate!
What Will I Get Out Of It?
Each box contains seven 25g sampling bars from the Firetree single-origin chocolate range. Firetree specialises in rich volcanic chocolate with cocoa percentages between 69% and 100% content.
If you want an idea of what to expect, check out my thoughts on their 72% Karkar Island Papua New Guinea dark chocolate bar, 69% Guadalcanal Solomon Islands dark chocolate bar, or perhaps their 72% Vanuatu Rich Volcanic dark chocolate bar.
It's worlds apart from what most people consider to be "dark chocolate." It's flavourful for starters, but carefully crafted so as to be rich yet unbelievably smooth, and full of life.
In addition, you'll get an insight into the world of bean-to-bar chocolate by chatting with a bean-to-bar chocolate maker.
How Do I Sign Up?
A place on a Virtual Tasting Event is £25 (see below to save an extra 5%). That includes the box of sampler chocolates that will head your way prior to the event, plus the interactive digital group meet-up online.
Remember, the dates for your diary are:
- Wednesday 27th January at 6pm (order by Sunday 24th January to ensure UK delivery).
- Thursday 11th February at 8pm (order by Monday 8th February to ensure UK delivery).
- Thursday 11th March at 7pm (order here by Monday 8th March to ensure UK delivery).
- Wednesday 31st March at 7pm (order here by Friday 26th March to ensure UK delivery).
Looking for a Firetree chocolate discount code? See below.
[AD] Fancy saving an extra 5%? The team at Firetree has kindly created coupon code CHOCOLATIER just for my fabulous readers (that's you, by the way). They'll also give me a share of each sign-up that uses this code to spend on more tasty bean-to-bar chocolates to review, without costing you a penny more. Thank you for supporting Chocolatier.co.uk and Firetree volcanic chocolate.
Have you taken part in an online chocolate tasting event? If so, what did you think of it, and would you recommend the experience? Let me know in the comments below.