[A re-post review from November 2011]
It's been a stressful day. I've even got one of those stress headaches. What I need is something to soothe my psychological aches and replace them with some Zen-like state.What on earth can do that and fight against the coldness I can see trying to envelope me through my office windows? The answer is always hot chocolate. At this time of year as the ruffles of redness signalling the end of daylight start to appear in the sky through that window, the only thing worth reaching for is hot chocolate. In its original form we probably wouldn't find much to wax lyrical about, but in a refined form that has adulterated with intoxicating spices I'll be waxing for a very long time.
Of course spice is important to me, I once had a blog about chillies, so if anyone combines it with chocolate then you're on to a winner (well almost). But if somebody manages to produce something that grabs the back of your throat and abuses it with a food-form blow torch then I'd be eternally grateful. This hot chocolate from Jaz and Juls is almost as powerful as I'd like it, but probably as much as the vast majority of hot chocolate lovers would appreciate.
With most chilli chocolate it seems to be virtually all about the heat and not so much about the flavour. But not here. I could certainly pick out the nutmeg while the cloves and the chilli were also fairly pronounced, and there's also cinnamon to add some roundness. If there's anything you'd need to fight the bugs at this time of year, this has to be it. Those ingredients are commonly believed to have antiseptic-type benefits. Of course, Jaz and Juls don't make any claims to this effect, but if you're interested in natural remedies, have a look on the internet for reliable information.
Another aspect of this hot chocolate I very much like is that it’s not at all sweet. Sugar is the second most prevalent ingredient with cocoa being the first - which I believe is from the Grenada Chocolate Company (although I could be wrong). It’s what Jaz and Juls do with the main ingredient that counts. Even after consuming much of the hot chocolate before I started this review and only taking the odd sip, the back of my through still has a warm glow. But it you want to turn up the heat a few degrees don't stir it vigorously and you'll get a very intense chocolate gloop at the bottom of your mug. Consuming this is just heaven.
Often I'll let my wife bake with the leftover cocoa powder from my reviews, but I'll be storing the rest of the sample for when it gets freezing. The important question, however, is whether or not I could also save the second sample they sent which is interestingly labelled as 'Mintchievous', to be honest, I doubt it.
At £8.50 for between eight and ten servings, you're not talking cheap. If you want cheap (and intensely sweet), go for Nestle Aero hot chocolate at just £2, which will give you about six servings. If you appreciate unique, excellent hot chocolate made by a small business then go for the Jaz and Juls hot chocolate, Nestle surely have enough money (£15,700,000 net profit for Nestle Holdings (u.k.) Plc in 2010) - that's a whole lot of chocolate!