Whittaker’s Chocolate – Zealong Tea style

As I occasionally do on cold wintery nights; I decided that my evening would be spent rugged up on the couch with a duvet, an array of snacks and a good movie. Upon entering my local supermarket to collect my stash of treats I was faced with a stand full of the new Artisan Collection of Whittaker’s chocolate. I’d heard a bit about them, and I’ll admit they ALL looked pretty good. I circled the supermarket tossing up between two flavours before making my final choice. I tend to go for chocolate that has a higher percentage of cocoa (supposedly better for you – or so they say!), so my decision was between the ‘Kaitaia Fire Chili Spice’ and the ‘Waikato Grown Oolong Tea’ varieties. Having decided to eliminate the Kaitaia Spice as I’ve had chili chocolate previously; I settled on the Oolong tea and was off on my way.

Once home I settled in on the couch and having been unimpressed with the movie I chose; a rom-com which is probably to be expected as they aren’t generally known for being exceptional, I turned my attention to my Zealong Tea infused chocolate.

The Whittaker’s Artisan collection is made with ingredients that have been sourced from local artisan producers from around New Zealand. I try and support local produce where I can so this range really appeals to me. The particular kind that I chose, the Oolong tea, is infused with tea grown at the Zealong Tea estate in Hamilton. The Zealong Tea Estate is set on 48 hectares of land just outside of the city of Hamilton and can produce near 100 tonnes of tea leaves, which are processed in Zealong’s own on site tea factory. The Zealong Tea Factory produces – literally – the purest tea in the world; as they hold the title of being the only ISO22000 HACCP certified Tea Company. Despite having always loved a good cup of tea, I’ve never put much thought into where it’s produced so was quite surprised to learn that such a huge amount of high quality tea comes out of New Zealand. 

Whittakers Oolong Tea Chocolate

Whittaker’s Oolong Tea Chocolate

Back to the chocolate; the combination of Zealong’s Oolong tea with Whittaker’s dark chocolate really worked for me. The tea wasn’t too overpowering, so you still very much got the rich dark chocolate taste. I could definitely happily eat it again.

After a good peruse around the Zealong Tea website I decided that I’d make the most of my Sunday and drive down to the Zealong Tea Estate. It’s only a one to two hour drive from Auckland depending on which part of Auckland you’re leaving from. At the estate there’s a restaurant catering to high tea and light lunch, and you can also book in a Discover Tea Experience; a tour covering how tea is made, a traditional tea ceremony and learning about the history of tea. The Zealong tea estate grounds are quite spectacular so I spent a while wandering the grounds which had a very serene feel to them.

 Zealong Tea Estate

The Zealong Tea Estate

For all the tea fans the Zealong Tea Estate is well worth a visit, whether for the day or just to drop in on your way through as you head south. And why not pick up a block of chocolate for the road trip!