A Post For The Chocoholics Amongst You | A Love Cocoa Review* |

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Tasting chocolate for my blog is definitely up there with one of the best things I have been asked to do!Love Cocoa sent over three of their delicious bars for me to sample - 70% Ecuadorian Dark Chocolate, Maldon Sea Salt 70% Dark Chocolate and Honeycomb and Honey 37% Milk Chocolate. 

Each 85g bar is handmade with love here in Great Britain. I love it when a company are proud to be British and source other ingredients from independent producers; it makes for a double win when tucking into a bar....! 

So who are Love Cocoa? Well, sit right there and I'll tell you all about how James Cadbury came to be making such delicious chocolate...! 

It all started way back in 1824 when John Cadbury (James's great-great-great grandfather) opened a grocery shop and refused to sell alcohol, preferring instead to sell coffee, tea, cocoa and drinking chocolate. Later on he opened a warehouse to produce them both but due to ill health, passed on his business to his sons, George and Richard.  

  George sourced a cocoa press from Holland which made the chocolate purer...and therefore the best. This helped to transform the once small business into a worldwide company and so new premises were needed; wanting to move away from the cramped and dirty city and improve conditions for their workers they purchased land outside of Birmingham and built that oh so famous Bourneville factory we all know and love today. But did you know that they also built houses for their workers as well as an extra 300 houses to create Bourneville village? It was important their workers were looked after and they went to great lengths to do this. 

The first 'Dairy Milk' was launched in 1901. George Cadbury was a philanthropist at heart and donated much of his fortune to charity, including putting £60,000 into a pension fund to look after his workers. Sadly, he passed away in 1922. 

James Cadbury was born in 1985 and his family are no longer involved in the chocolate business as it was involved in a hostile take over with Mondelez International who despite promising to look after the workers and keep factories open, lay off about 400 jobs at the Somerdale factory as well as axing the Christmas chocolate gift to pensioners which was one of the outstanding perks. (Not to mention that Dairy Milk as a whole tastes different now, including our beloved Creme Eggs!) 

Thankfully, John Cadbury's great-great-great-grandson James started Love Cocoa, basing it on the original Cadbury's principles and 100 years after Fortnum and Masons stocked the original Cadbury's bars, Love Cocoa now gains listings there too! (2016) Brilliant!

And that my friends, is the story of how Love Cocoa came to be!

Ok Sarah, thanks for the history lesson but all I want to know is WHAT DOES THE CHOCOLATE TASTE LIKE!? Ok are my reviews of these three bars... 

70% Ecuadorian Dark Chocolate:

 "....perfectly balanced chocolate has the subtle floral, blackcurrant and spice profile of the recently rediscovered Cacao Nacional, "Black Gold" the chocolate of legend." (Source)

My Mum and I tried this bar and we both agreed that it was by far the best dark chocolate bar we had ever tried. Like, ever. Not being a fan of dark chocolate usually I was wary of how this would taste, but I needn't of worried! It was silky, smooth, full of flavour and absolutely has to be said that the bar didn't last long! No regrets! You could really taste the fruits here although they weren't overpowering; rather like a good wine, they blended together wonderfully to create this dark chocolate bar.

Honey and Honeycomb 37% Milk Chocolate.

"These bars have hints of elderflower and champagne as we have infused them with Barnes & Webb’s SW7 postcode honey, the winner of "London's favourite honey" at the 2015 Urban Food Awards." (Source)

This bar blew my mind! Being a 'Crunchie' fan through and through and loving honeycomb I couldn't wait to tuck in. What awaited me was subtle honeycomb pieces wonderfully interlaced with the subtle sweetness of honey. The chocolate itself was as silky and smooth as the dark bar, but the milk chocolate worked beautifully to combine with the honey and honeycomb separately but at the same time, bringing them together to combine in the most delicious mouthful. To say I was sad when this bar was finished was an understatement, I wished I had more in the cupboard just waiting to be tasted. You can keep your cheap and nasty (now that it's owned by the Americans who like to ruin everything) Crunchie bars, I shall instead be spending my money with Love Cocoa who still retain the principles of old and make exceptional chocolate to boot! 

If you're after a more grown up version of said chocolate bar, please do pick up a bar of this because it is absolutely worth the wait and would be the perfect way to round off a dinner party when coffee is served, or indeed broken up and served over ice cream. Decadance in a bar, what more could you want?! Oh yes, British Bees doing their thing and contributing the honey...! Another reason to pick up a if you needed one!

Maldon Sea Salt 70% Dark Chocolate.

"Hand-harvested crunchy Sea Salt flakes bring out all the flavours of our organic, fair-trade 70% cacao dark chocolate from Nacional in Ecuador. Make your taste buds dance!" (Source)

As I write this, I am sampling this bar, the last of the three I was sent to review. Yes this makes me sad, but it means I am making it last and enjoying every bite. I have only recently become a fan of sea-salt in dark chocolate but I am so thankful that I am because it is absolutely heavenly! The contrast between the silky softness of the dark chocolate and the bitter sea salt work together perfectly to combine into one amazing mouthful; harmonising both sweet and savoury bitter notes. 

You do not taste the sea salt at first, rather it sits in the background patiently waiting for its time to shine. As you let the chocolate melt on your tongue, the smooth dark chocolate plays on your tastebuds, leaving you with just a hint of sea salt. This is a bar to be savoured and enjoyed, more of a grown up chocolate bar. Like the Honeycomb bar, it would go perfectly with coffee. 

I have absolutely loved tasting these three bars from Love Cocoa. Big love to James for sending them out to me..! They were all delicious and I now want to taste the Mint, Earl Grey and Gin & Tonic bars......

So have I convinced you to pick up your own bar from Love Cocoa? I do hope so because as a small British business they need all the help and support they can get! (Please see their Crowdfunding page!) 

And if you know me at all you'll know that I love nothing better than supporting them and championing their products to whomever will listen! So please, visit their website and post yourself (or a friend!) a Letterbox gift today! 

Love, Sarah

*Samples sent for review but all chocolatey thoughts are my own - and my Mum's! 

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