Intelligentsia Coffee

by Askinosie
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Flavored   (Coffee in 77% cacáo-content)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Philippines   (Davao, Mindanao)
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style New School      
No one should accuse former defense attorney Shawn Askinosie of being unethical or anti-environmental. He is neither. Just the opposite: Askinosie Chocolate exemplifies both ethics & ecology.

Add one more attribute: acumen.

Intelligentsia, part of Askinosie's CollaBARation series, in this case with the coffee-grinder of that name out of Chicago, IL. The old saw about 'too many chefs in the kitchen' gives way to a cooking demo of '2 minds are tastier than one'.

Like close friends, this bar engages in having a conversation with itself over coffee & cocoa.

Just smarts with good taste.

Appearance   4.6 / 5

How do you spell ASKINOSIE?
With c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e, of course.
Color: blackened brown
Surface: usual choc imperfections (scuffs, release marks, flakes, whirls, grease spatter)
Temper: glistening hot
Snap: odd, no 2 breaks the same but all in the lower register
Aroma   9.4 / 10
highly unusual (most coffee-cocoa combos have the café steamroll the chocolate) & very black (& no, not black coffee) but chocolate seamlessly tucks coffee in, ruminating on some blackberry-caramel & lightly blackstrapped molasses -> only on the 2nd or 3rd inhalation does a cinnomonized-coffee appear; brilliant
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: waxen & dry
Melt: heavy cream
Flavor   47.4 / 50
hard knock café in defiance of the Aroma, grounded & sharp -> sinks into rubber 'n wax (the cocoa butter FXs) where those greater Aromatics really lie... especially blackberry, rung here by some lime, the latter the bridge over chocolate's melt-thru to dark lemon-caramel (close to Java territory) -> cinnamon-on-breadfruit dunked in coffee (includes a tickling snap at the back of the throat) -> Dark-Milk close -> candied mocha-violet in the aft-bloom
Quality   18.5 / 20
Clear & sweet for such a high-percentage.

Many call out Mexican coffee as mild, even neutral or, worse, bland. Nothing could be farther from La Perla de Oaxaca which Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago contributes to this CollaBARation project. On its own it shakes vibrantly.

Strange then that Askinosie, usually consistent in enclosing virtuous circles, would eschew his own Mexico cacáo seeds sourced from Xoconochco there. Then again, Askinosie can be unpredictable when one least expects. His innovative White Nibble for instance... among the very first of its kind.

So instead the Springfield, MO barsmith elects to go with his Davao from The Philippines as the base here. Maybe because The Philippines received the first documented shipment of cacáo to leave its American homeland in 1670... from the port of Acapulco, Mexico (though practically none of its descendants are commercially available today, having been trangressed by clones & hybrids introduced to the islands at later dates).

Or possibly because the Davao offers stronger backbone & stamina, & at 77%, can handle the potency & range of La Perla de Oaxaca. Plus, a little essence of pearl endows the Davoa chocolate's own inherent flavor to match that namesake coffee.

Whatever the exact reason, Askinosie executes a well-coordinated pairing as they both stand up to one another & alternate in complimenting the accents in each before conjoining. Ultimately, however, chocolate here sits in the rare & delicate position of having an impact well beyond just mocha or being coffee's doormat to just take it laying down. It provides support for coffee rather than, typically when done right, the other way around -- galvanizing & drawing out the substantial profile in this particular coffee berry without surrendering.


INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, cane juice, coffee, cocoa butter

Reviewed April 26, 2012


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