Hot Chocolate: Taza VS JP Licks
For the first pair of parallel tasting, I went out to find which hot chocolate I would like more between Taza’s and JP Lick’s.
Taza has a good reputation in Chocolate, and JP Lick’s is know for their creamy ice cream. Given these pre-conception that I have I expected them both to be able to provide pretty similar kind of flavors.
The main criteria that I explores for this pair are appearance, fragrance, and tastes.
Top: JP Licks’ Bottom: Taza’s
First, for appearance. It is quickly noticeable that JP Licks’ liquid is dark brown. The amount of foam present is moderate, but the foams were not as fine as Taza’s. The liquid looks very watery. The most notable observation here is that JP Licks’ liquid surface looks very smooth and the opaque color gives an impression of depth, and you can see the faint white line of cream in the chocolate.
Taza’s liquid seems to be watery as well, but it does not look cohesive. From the picture below, you can see that the color looks cloudy and the drink seems to be sprinkled with bits of undissolved chocolate.
^ Taza’s: has bits of undissolved chocolate here and there.
^ JP Licks’: Everything looks smooth, the color is very opaque and gives ‘depth’ visual to it.
For smell, JP Licks’ leads with a strong scent of cinnamon. Under that cinnamon scent, you can also smell the underpinning milk on the bottom. The milk gives off a very sweet and round scent.
Taza’s main smell seems to be of bitterness and a hint of faint sugar. The bitterness infact makes the chocolate smells woody and aged. It reminds me of some sweet, chewable tree barks.
Then come the sipping. JP Licks’ texture were surprisingly soft and creamy (but not to the point of being silky). It has a nice ‘body’ — not too light or too rich. My palette detects a lot of cinnamon and rich milk. It’s almost as if the staring character roles were being competed between cinnamon and chocolate. The sweetness of the drink was very round and comes in very smoothly and richly. The drink’s sweetness reminds of the softness marshmallow. The aftertaste are mostly sweet milk that lingers around the back of your throat.
For Taza’s, it was not very creamy but rather watery. Texture was very light, and the undissolved cocoa bits makes it feel sandy. Astringent plays a big role in this drink. It comes with the chocolate bits and stay around for the after taste. Accompanied with the sharp sweetness of white sugar, I find the combination very unfamiliar.
Conclusion: I discovered that Taza’s hot chocolate has a lot of charm to it with its unique signature and find it unsurprising that JP Licks’ go for extra creaminess and milkiness. After tasting the two, I am inclined more toward Taza because it seems to have more complex elements to it. I find JP Licks’ to be just an extraordinary hot chocolate among the averages.
It has always been a myth to me if the two types of waffes at Zinneken’s (Liege and Brussel) are different in anyway other than their shapes.
Appearance: Liege is a lot heavier and looks much denser. The edges look solid, and when poked with a fork, the waffle almost exerts a slight resisting force back. The dough was indeed very dense that it was hard to cut and separate them into small pieces. The side-look below also shows that the waffle bread are thick and filled up. Its color are brown with dark spots that seems to be thin sugar glazes.
Smell: The waffle smells mainly like oil to me. I tried very hard to smell other things such as butter, or even milk, but they are very light and overwhelmed by the smell of cooking oil.
Taste: The first thing I noticed after taking a bite was the soft crunch of crispy shell that quicly melts into the soft, moist waffle cake. Once it is on my pallete, I the sweetness of power sugar rushes in and disappears quickly, then the smooth sweetness of the dough comes in. It was also very chewy, as you chew, more of the dough favor comes out and it gets sweeter.
Appearance: It comes in a light yellow color. The edges of the waffle looks rather porous and crispy as shown below. The waffle itself was very light, easy to cut and separate. It almost looks like it can crumble when I fork it.
Smell: It smells strongly like egg white and milk. I was reminded with the smell of a doughnut when speculate closely.
Taste: As I bite into the waffle, I quickly realizes that it has very little waffle meat. It has a very crispy but thin outer shell, however, it is hollow on the inside. As soon as a chunk lands on my tongue, the dough flattens out quickly, spreading a strong scent of egg white and milk before it dissipates quickly within a couple of chewing. Because each waffle bites does not persist long in my mouth and has a very light body, I mostly get to taste the sweetness from the powder sugar on top. The aftertaste also smells strongly of oil.
^ very thin waffle body and air bubbles
Conclusion: It is easy to see that Liege would win the majority votes. Because of its chewy texture and ubiquitous sweetness, the experience associated with it is a lot more fun. Meanwhile, Brussels seems to be a good choice when coupled with a light coffee break. However, I wish more can be done about the heavy aftertaste of oil that leaves your palette feeling uneasy after each bite.