Shawn Askinosie, founder of Askinosie Chocolate, calls it a “chocolate crush.” The chocolatier from Springfield, Missouri had admired both the coffee and business ethics of Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee for years. The former criminal defense attorney began turning his attention from the legal bar to the chocolate bar in 1999 and, as his business grew, dreamed of pairing with the coffee powerhouse on a project.
After years of paying close attention to Intelligentsia’s direct trade efforts and dedication to farmers, Askinosie began a discussion. Intelligentisa, in turn, mentored Askinosie and in 2012 the Dark Chocolate + Coffee CollaBARation was born. Now the rich dark chocolate and coffee combination bar has made its way to the mug.
Askinosie Sipping Chocolate + Intelligentsia Coffee is made out of the same single-origin chocolate as the bar, but it’s milled into tiny pieces. Mixed with warm milk or cream it becomes a thick, rich almost drinkable fudge.
The Sipping Chocolate was designed as a limited-time-only specialty beverage but Askinosie says demand has been so great it will likely become a permanent offering. Food & Wine Magazine even named it an Editor’s Top Ten Pick in January 2013.