Virtual Tastings – Past Videos

James Hoffmann – Nov. 2020

James Hoffmann, co-founder of Square Mile Coffee Roasters, author of The World Atlas of CoffeeYouTube sensation, World Barista Champion, Prufrock Coffee, to name just a few items of his work… is also a craft chocolate aficionado and a dear friend of Cocoa Runners. During this Craft Chocolate in Conversation with James, we delved into some of his favourite bars – bars that he chose for being particularly fascinating.

James Hoffmann – Mar. 2021

During our second Craft Chocolate in Conversation with James Hoffmann, we hand-picked six bars that demonstrate the similarities between craft chocolate and specialty coffee. James and Spencer discussed some of these similarities in depth, and wondered together about the myriad ways in which craft chocolate can learn from specialty coffee.

Philipp Kauffmann

On this evening we were joined by Original Beans founder, Philipp Kauffmann. Former conservationist at the World Wildlife Fund and the United Nations, Philipp started his chocolate-making venture with the focus on protecting farmers, the rainforest, and thousands of endangered species. All through the means of incredibly delicious and sustainably sourced cacao.

Rachel Khoo

On this evening we were joined by TV chef and award-winning cookery book writer, Rachel Khoo. Using the medium of chocolate, Rachel and Spencer discussed her fascinating life story and journey from childhood to the pinnacle of the cooking world.

Julian Baggini

Philosophy, Religion and the Sacred Cacao Bean. In this philosophical talk and chocolate tasting, we took a look at what makes chocolate truly divine, or perhaps something even better. Philosopher Julian Baggini has just published a book on the greatest food movie of all time, Babette’s Feast, and Julian applied ideas from that to chocolate, in an attempt to persuade you that much of what we seek in religion can be found in the mortal, material world, and that cacao is one way to unlock this.

You can buy a selection of bars, complete with Julian’s new book and presented in a stylish Cocoa Runners gift box, here.

Tim Spector

Tim Spector is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College, a craft chocolate aficionado, and one of the driving forces behind the crowded Covid-19 app. He is also passionate about fermentation and its importance to our gut health. During this Craft Chocolate in Conversation with Tim, we delved into Tim’s newly-published book, Spoon-Fed, and discussed a range of topics from fermentation to our microbiome – along with tasting some of his favourite Craft Chocolate Bars too.

If you enjoyed this tasting, why not buy the book and bars for a loved one this Christmas?

Barry Smith

Barry Smith is a professor of philosophy and director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. He is also the founding director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists. A philosopher of language and mind, his current research is on the multisensory nature of perceptual experience, focusing on taste, smell and flavour.  And he believes that Craft Chocolate is a fantastic tool to explain and explore how these multi-modal  experiences of taste, flavour, smell and texture.