Two weeks till Valentine's Day...

Good morning everyone,

It's going to start out cloudy but they are calling for rain this afternoon, so if there's anything you want to do outside, you'd better do it in the morning. The rain will continue overnight and into tomorrow, but it should stop after lunch. Tuesday  and the rest of the week will see mostly sunny skies and highs above 10C all week.

If you’re looking for some truly special chocolates, then this just might be what you need. Why? Because this “Tea Connection: Fresh Chocolates from Three Uji Teas” set soon to be available from Japanese chocolate brand Sils Maria comes with a hefty price tag of Y100,000! Okay, so it does come with three varieties of quality tea, but still, these are some seriously expensive chocolate we’re talking about.

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The chocolates were created in collaboration with Tsuji Rihei Honten, a tea retailer and manufacturer founded more than 150 years ago. The company is based in Kyoto Prefecture’s Uji City, one of the best-known tea producing regions in Japan.

Sils Maria is famous as the first brand to produce the fresh, ganache-like type of chocolate now known as nama-choco, and combined with Tsuji Rihei Honten’s award-winning teas, the chocolates are sure to be a delightfully refined treat.

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The set includes 20 pieces of each of the following three varieties of chocolate:

● Matcha fresh chocolate using hand-picked tencha
These chocolates contain plenty of matcha (powdered green tea) produced by stone-grinding premium tencha tea leaves grown in Uji. Created with a mixture of cream and Belgian white chocolate, along with the matcha, the makers have also added a touch of champagne to bring out the fragrance of the tea and chocolate.

●Fresh chocolate with roasted stem Uji Gyokuro tea
The unique ingredient in these chocolates is hoji-cha (roasted tea) made with the stem of valuable Uji grown Gyokuro tea. Specifically, the tea leaves used are grown in the shade for over 20 days  and of high enough quality to be sold as premium Gyokuro tea, but are instead roasted and stone-ground into hoji-cha form. The chocolates also contain whiskey for added flavor.

● Fresh Chocolate with outdoor grown Uji sencha (green tea)
These chocolates are made from Belgian white chocolate combined with stone-ground Uji green tea grown in the open (without being covered), which gives the finished product  a vibrant green color. The chocolates also contain sake, which offers a slightly bitter flavor which should mix pleasantly with the fresh flavor of the green tea.

The set also comes with three packets of the hand-picked matcha, two packets of the roasted stem Gyokuro tea, and three packets of the Uji sencha used in the three chocolates, so you can have the full tea and chocolate pairing experience.

▼ And yes, it all comes wrapped up beautifully, in a furoshiki-style cloth.

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So, what can I say? The quality of the chocolate and tea is obviously top-notch, and the presentation is faultless. If you think all of that is worth Y100,000, then you can order the set direct from Sils Maria by phone at 0463-33-2181. They’re now taking advance orders and actual sales will start on February 1, but there’ll be only 30 sets available, so you may want to hurry if you feel like splurging on chocolates for your favorite English teacher!

Have a great day!

 

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