Dean’s Sweets’ Chocolate Espresso Beans

Dean’s Sweets is a chocolatier and confectioner based in Maine, owned by Dean and Kristen Bingham. One of their selling points is that they use local ingredients whenever possible, in addition to imported chocolate. Given that the sample of their artistry sitting on my desk right now is Chocolate Espresso Beans, I doubt that the ingredients came from Maine — although, as it turns out, the beans were roasted there.

OK — disclaimer time: As you’ve probably gathered by now, I love chocolate. I also can’t start the day without a cup or two of americano in the morning. (I don’t remember the last time I had a cup of drip coffee.) So, it’s no surprise that I was looking forward to this sample of Dean’s Sweets offerings.

And now that I’ve opened the package — a small resealable envelope with a see-through window, containing approximately 1.7 oz of chocolate-covered espresso roasted coffee beans — it’s time for the real test.

The first taste, before you bite, is dark chocolate (70% cacao) — that does’t last long, because of course you’re going to bite down on it. As expected, it’s crisp, and the bean fairly explodes in your mouth with the flavor of espresso — almost, but not quite overpowering the chocolate. What you have is a nice blend, one of the classic combinations: chocolate and coffee.

The only downside is that you’re likely to be sucking bits of coffee bean from between your teeth.

Dean’s Sweets is worth checking out — they offer a wide range of chocolates — bars, sauces, assortments, and seasonal specialities.

About Robert Tilendis

Robert M. Tilendis lives a deceptively quiet life. He has made money as a dishwasher, errand boy, legal librarian, arts administrator, shipping expert, free-lance writer and editor, and probably a few other things he’s tried very hard to forget about. He has also been a student of history, art, theater, psychology, ceramics, and dance. Through it all, he has been an artist and poet, just to provide a little stability in his life. Along about January of every year, he wonders why he still lives someplace as mundane as Chicago; it must be that he likes it there.

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