Thursday, December 18, 2008

Diva Chocolates - Mocha Java Beef Jerky

Diva Chocolates - Mocha Java Beef JerkyDiva Chocolates is a small privately held producer of foods that bridges the gap between chocolate and meat. Based in Clackamas, OR, the two-woman team of Julie Berlin and Heather Wyse got their start in 2006, releasing a line of chocolate-based grilling rubs for chicken, beef, and burgers.

The idea for the company goes back to a camping trip the two gals took with their families. They tried making a batch of brownies over an open fire, and knew it wouldn't bake totally right; they just wanted to see what would happen. They started dipping cookies and marshmallows into the hot gooey batter. Then they got creative and tried dipping their steaks into the stuff. The result was an eye-opening YUM!

The idea for chocolate flavored beef jerky came in 2007, a year after their company launched. The beef jerky itself appears to have been made by a Southern California company that makes the "Bach CUC" brand of jerky. I've never heard of that brand. The chocolate jerky line includes two flavors, "Kickin' Cocoa Bean" and this "Mocha Java".


Beef, sugar, seasoning blend (sugar, paprika, cocoa processed with alkali, ground mustard, salt, coffee, garlic and other spices), water, salt, citric acid. Treated with potassium sorbate solution.


The taste I get from the surface is a moderately sweet flavor, with a slight pungent or soapy taste (possibly from the coffee?). Moving into the chewing, I get more sweet flavor, and some natural meat flavors.

There is in fact a chocolately flavor to this, but it's clearly not a strong taste. It's light but still strong enough to be noticed throughout the chew. And as for the coffee, or "mocha java" flavor, it's a more faint flavor. In fact, I don't really taste anything in this resembling coffee.

However, the sweetness of this jerky is very evident. I'd rate it as the dominant flavor of this jerky. Diva Chocolates says on its marketing materials that when people taste samples of their jerky, they walk no more than 100 feet away and ask for more. I tend to think that people are mistaking the sugar for chocolate and mocha.

The meat itself has a medium-level natural meat flavor, which doesn't seem to overpower the chocolate seasoning. It has a taste similar to the outer portion of a prime rib. Several of the pieces here have some streaks of fat which provide a strong "beefy" flavor that overpowers everything. Otherwise, the natural meat flavors are light.

In terms of salt flavor intensity, I see it as light.

That slight pungent or soapy taste from the surface continues to be there across all the pieces. It should provide a nice contrast to the sugary smooth chocolate flavor, except that soapy taste tends to ruin the chocolate experience rather than enhance it.

Overall, the dominant flavor of this jerky is the sugary-sweet taste, with the chocolate taste being second most dominant, and the natural meat flavors being third most.

Meat Consistency

These pieces appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced in medium thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.

It's mostly a soft and tender style of jerky, perhaps a little more on the dry side. I found it easy to tear apart, and easy to chew.

The chewing texture is very steak-like once it hydrates in my mouth, resembling a well-done steak.

It's pretty clean eating, leaving no residue on my fingers, and no fragments on my lap. It's not necessarily a lean jerky, I found several pieces with visible streaks of fat. I didn't, however, see the fat as spoiling the overall taste, it actually gave off a more steak-like flavor. And I didn't find any chewy connective tissue in the way of tendon or gristle.

Snack Value

Diva Chocolates sells this Mocha Java Beef Jerky from their website at a price of $5.95 for a 2 ounce package. That works out to a price of $2.98 per ounce, making this a very expensive buy.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at this price level, it's a weak value. The meat itself does offer a good natural meat flavor, with a good chewing texture and easy-to-eat consistency. If you like sweet jerky, this is indeed rather sweet. But I don't necessarily find the seasonings to be all that snackable, it's the meat that seems to be more interesting.

As a "Mocha Java" beef jerky, it's a perhaps a great value only because this is the only jerky around that has this flavor. But even then, you're not going to get a strong taste of mocha java. You will get some some chocolately flavor, not a lot, and seemingly none of the coffee taste.


I'm giving this an average rating.

And I'm actually giving that average rating on the basis of the meat itself. The other flavorings seem ok, they're not bad, but nothing that really has me craving for more. It's the meat that actually makes this snackable with its bursts of beefy flavor coming from the small streaks of fat. It's a got a good chewing texture, and is easy to tear apart and chew.

This is actually a jerky for jerky lovers who want to get some chocolately taste, not for chocolate lovers who want chocolate. Because the chocolate taste was more subtle than anything, this jerky has to rely on its meat to win over jerky snackers. If it had more chocolatey flavor, then perhaps it could win people over on those merits, and actually cross over to the chocolate snackers.

I would have rather seen bite-sized chunks of meat covered in milk chocolate, like chocolate-covered pretzels. That would have generated an impressive presentation, and would have really pounded out the company's mission statement to combine chocolate with meat.

As for my beer recommendation, try a Young's Chocolate Stout!

Rating: Average

Buy this online:

1 comment:

  1. Hey Steve, we actually bought this jerky to check it out. Ron kind of liked it. Definitely different.

    Looking forward to your next reviews, it's been a couple of days now. Did you need a break?