This past weekend was TeslaCon, a full immersion Steampunk convention in Wisconsin. If you were around for last year, TeslaCon means: Steampunk themed chocolate!
I was slightly disappointed this year, because War Pony did not return, but Sweet Steam was back and with several new products! The guys at Sweet Steam were incredible and friendly as ever. I stopped by their booth several times, as I kept bringing more and more people over there. They were in the same spot as last year, which meant that they were outside of the dealers hall, so some people where surprised when I told them there was a chocolate vendor. As they did last year, they were giving out samples of their chocolate, both their Spicy Cogs, and their Clockwork Orange Pocket Watches.
I finally decided to try the Clockwork Orange Pocket Watch and I was pleasantly surprised. Generally, I do not like citrus flavor with my chocolate, it is usually far too overpowering, but this was a subtle flavor. Just enough to be a bit invigorating though. I ended up purchasing a full one.
Next, they had two new Cog flavors: Peanut Butter and Mint (I died). While peanut butter is not one of my favorites, these were very good. Peanut Butter is the only flavor of cog other than the White Chocolate that does not seem to receive the metallic paint treatment. They taste like a Reese’s cup, only rather than chocolate encasing the peanut butter, they are blended together to give a much more even flavor (rather than one bite of super chocolate, and the next being super peanut butter).
The Mint…oh the Mint. I have probably mentioned before that mint is my absolute favorite flavor to pair with chocolate, and these did not disappoint. I ended up purchasing two of these, and I opened the first right away. I ate one cog on the way to the tea room and then gave the second to the ladies working the table. After that moment, the women in the tea room were exceptionally nice to me. I ended up eating the final cog in the package that evening. I have not opened the second package yet, I am afraid I will eat them all in one go.
I think last year they divided the cogs into five per package with each being smaller, whereas this year they were three larger cogs per package. I am sure it is easier to mold them in larger sizes, but it was nice when they were smaller to have a small treat of chocolate. Still, it is easy enough to break one in half, so there is no real issue there.
Last year the bags simply folded over, and were affixed to the label cards with staples to keep them closed until the buyer first opened them. I prefer to seal my chocolate for freshness, so I am glad to see this year they used zip-lock style bags. Now I do not have to worry about my chocolate going bad too quickly if I do not eat all of the contents of one bag right away (I unfortunately left the spicy ones sit too long last year 😦 ).
Finally, to my surprise, there were THREE new flavors of Hot Chocolate mix: plain Hot Chocolate, Mint Chocolate (dying, again), and Pumpkin Pie. I purchased a bag of the plain Hot Chocolate and the Mint Chocolate, but opted out of the Pumpkin Pie, as I already spent most of my money at this booth and I do not usually like Pumpkin Pie. HOWEVER, my friend ended up purchasing a package, and he agreed to give me some of his at a later date, so I will eventually be able to try this flavor as well.
Both hot chocolate mixes were very good, my favorite of the three (including the Spicy Hot Chocolate which I reviewed last year) is definitely the Mint. My only complaint with the hot chocolates is how much of the mix it takes to have a full flavored hot chocolate: 1/3 cup. It seems like it would be too much, and I do not use the full amount. For the plain Hot Chocolate I used four heaping teaspoons, for the mint I used five. Still, I could tell they could be stronger. Granted, I use large mugs, so perhaps I should switch to just drinking smaller amounts at one time.
Overall, I am so very happy with Sweet Steam once again. I cannot wait until next year to spend most of my con money on them once again, and to see what new items they come up with in the future. Now excuse me while I go munch on a Dark Chocolate Cog.