Whenever you stop by Ritual Chocolate Cafe for coffee, chances are high you couldn’t leave without grabbing a few chocolates as well. Who wouldn’t be tempted by the jars full of samples, or the mouthwatering smells floating from their on-site factory?
That small factory is where Ritual’s staff produces handcrafted, small batch, bean-to-bar chocolate, sourced from the highest quality cacao producers in the world. With no added flavors or emulsifiers, the pure, authentic flavor of the chocolate stands out in any of their products — from bars to truffles to drinking chocolate.
Now, Ritual is infusing their exceptional chocolate with flavors from two local favorites — High West Distillery and Townshend Tea. We caught up with chocolatier Marcie Blackburn and John Lankford, production manager, to learn more about these tasty collaborations.First up: The Bourbon Barrel Aged chocolate bar, infused with High West bourbon. Lankford fills used High West barrels with 150-plus pounds of chocolate nibs, then pours two bottles of bourbon to infuse the nibs. The result: A delicious bourbon-barrel aged chocolate bar with hints of honey nougat, oak and whiskey.
Blackburn, the creator of the tasty truffles sold at the Whole Foods coffee and chocolate bar, also uses High West whiskey in a special High West truffle made with Mexican 75 percent chocolate, High West Campfire Whiskey, and maple syrup.
In another local collaboration, Blackburn has created a series of truffles infused with Townshend Tea.
Each truffle is crafted to showcase Ritual chocolate’s pure taste, and Blackburn chooses a chocolate that pairs perfectly with the tea blend without overpowering the flavor. The artistic decorations on top are handmade from homemade cocoa butter, colored with the tea.
The tea-infused truffles that Ritual currently offers include:
London Custard: Mid Mountain 70 percent, Townshend Tea’s Creme de Earl Grey, honey, vanilla and cream
Matcha: Mid Mountain 70 percent, Townshend Tea’s raw Matcha, blueberry jam and cream
Vanilla Chai: Vanilla Madagascar 70 percent, Mexican 75 percent, Townshend Tea’s Vanilla Chai tea and cream
Superberry: Belize 75 percent, Madagascar 75 percent, Townshend Tea’s Superberry tea, pomegranate jam and cream
Perfectly timed for the season, Blackburn has also created a pumpkin spice truffle featuring Townshend Tea’s pumpkin spice tea, pumpkin puree, maple syrup and cream, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.