Sunday, 27 April 2008

April 27th: Trader Joe's Espresso Chocolates

Kcal 150 Fat 6.0g Fat(sats) 4.0g Carbs 22.0g (per 4 pieces 37g)

These single piece chocolates were another item to me sent to me by Esther in the US from the Trader Joe's outlet. On pack they are described as 'Rich dark chocolates filled with liquid espresso coffee' and came in a nifty pack of 12. Although distributed by Trader Joe's, as Cybele mentioned in her review over at Candy Blog these are actually made in Germany and although still having a very 'clean' ingreidents list (cocoa mass, wheat syrup, sugar, cocoa butter, espresso coffee) offered a slightly different proposition to the normal Trader Joe's products.

Unlike most the reviews on Chocolate Mission which are mostly based on single sitting portions I decided to review these by eating a few a day over the course of a week. I ate them at different times during the day: before my morning coffee, after lunch and after dinner and a conclusion I came to is that these were great to have half way through a morning or alernatively just after a large meal.

Asthetically the box looked nice, the wrappers were a rather boring plain brown with no pattern or designs..but for me sometimes simplicity suffices. Although a little unsure about the shape of the chocolates they did have a nice wooden design etched into the top of each which made the product look suitably stylish.

I ate these chocolates in a number of different ways - I tryed letting them slowly melt in my mouth, biting off one of the ends and eating the centre and also simply chewing them. By far and away the best method was letting them slowly melt on the tongue. It allowed for a nice smooth initial chocolate texture which was then followed by a cool slightly more liquid centre consistency.

The chocolate had a slightly different taste than the previous Trader Joe's dark chocolate products I had tasted before. Im putting the differences simply down to place of origin as I highlighted above. The chocolate itself had a flavour that was really quite sweet for dark chocolate. I personally would had preffered if the chocolate had a slightly less sugary taste which was more routed in the cocoa - it dosent actually say on the box the level of solids but I wouldnt expect it to be particularly high. This wasnt to say it was poor quality chocolate; it was actually rather good but it just didnt deliver the 'rich dark chocolate' it promised.

The liquid centre is obviously the focus of the product and it delivered a good quality flavour. The coffee flavour was a little more subtle than I was expecting, and its syrup like constituents made for a sweeter taste. I guess with the 'Espresso' billing I was expected quite an intense flavour routed in coffee but on reflection this really wasnt the case. Looking at the actual stated strength of the coffee ingredient, on the box it says that four of these chocolates contain less than 25% the strength of caffeine than a 6oz brewed coffee...so yeah...really quite low strength.

Overall these are a product that dont quite deliver on what they promise, though at heart are still rather good tasting. In both terms of dark chocolate and coffee flavours the product dosent deliver the intensity in flavours I was expecting; I would have preffered a richer darker chocolate with a more intense coffee flavour. That being said the standard of chocolate is still high and despite the chocolates being quite sweet in flavour eaten a few at a time and sparingly these are very good. If your looking for an intense coffee flavoured chocolate I wouldnt necessarily reccomend these on that basis, these are still pleasent chocolates though and if you get the chance to try them give them a go you could do far worse.

7.6 out 10

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