Every time I stayed in Kampala when I was still living upcountry, I depended on online shopping, mostly for food and dessert. The local food and supermarket app #jumia made it easier for me to indulge in food I like without even leaving the house.
Then the pandemic happens, and many if not all of us were homebound and became so ever reliant on online shopping to avoid the virus and seeing our neighbors 😁.
Few months down the lockdown, we see a surge of local entrepreneurs competing with established online apps. The variety of products sold were huge, and people’s creativity is boundless.
So when I finally moved to the capital, I had no problem shopping for small items for my new home, and they are delivered to your door on the same day and most accept to be paid on delivery. But there are those that I need to touch and feel to decide, and those that I needed to to make the trip to the mall when I can.
Items sold online are not always cheap and of the best quality. One has to be ready to get different things from what is shown online or be duped with their cash deposits.
I support local entrepreneurs this time of the pandemic, and when I like the product they sell, I don’t bargain. Still, I take time to look for the items online to compare and settle on which one appeals to me the most, including how they (the sellers) respond to my inquiry.
After all, I did house hunting online for a month before seeing the houses in person and virtually seen a little over 15 homes. So I know how to play the online game, and patience of both sides goes a long way.
When I saw an ad in the Kampala ex-pat group on hand-made chocolates, I knew I needed to get them. I was thinking of possible gifts to friends, and seeing the ad made me think what a great idea to gift a boxful of artisan chocolates for the holidays.
Let the tasting begins
I’m not sure of the quality, unsure if the advertised types of chocolate are really what I will get. I am a chocolate addict, biased to dark chocolate – the darker, the better for me! So I know what I want and how I like it. The next thing I know, I am ordering each piece of the chocolate bonbons seller was peddling. Thirteen types in total, in colorful, glittery wrappers, with instructions on what I should try first and what to expect.
Let me remind you that I am nowhere near a connoisseur; I will go with my palate instincts and love for chocolates. However, I did some reading to guide me for the next twelve that I will taste.
For the first chocolate to taste, it will be the first impression I will have of the artist, and the one to shape my bias.
#1 – The Tea Cup 🍵
It is molded to the shape of a teacup, obviously with toffee and caramel filling.
Appearance looks good, shiny with heart shape design. Perfectly shaped but is not smooth, with air bubbles on the surface.
The touch is solid. It didn’t melt between my fingers when I held on to the little cup ear.
The first bite was like biting hard candy. Immediately the filling came through, overpowering the chocolate. When you kept it in your mouth, it leaves you a very sweet after taste of coffee more than the chocolate.
The texture of the chocolate is smooth but doesn’t linger in your mouth. The coffee filling is hard and gritty, while the caramel has the right creaminess but is very sweet.
I almost didn’t want to finish the cup because of the sweetness. I did finish, though, to have the full experience.
It was not a pleasant experience for the first suggestion, according to the seller. I shared my observation and was received very well. The artist told me she’s taking my comments seriously to improve her product. Then, I promised to taste the rest of the batch and give her feedback one by one, following my improvised tasting guidelines.
I don’t mean to be forward or to sound all-knowing, but I hope to improve her product for the other buyers. After all, I spent 14 dollars on what I received, and I deserve to know what I’m getting before I decide to pay more in the future.