August 2nd: Hotel Chocolat Purist Super Boosters

Dark -Kcal 534 Fat 45.9g Fat(sats) 28.0g Carbs 18.9g (per 100.0g)
Milk - Kcal 547 Fat 44.2g Fat(sats) 27.1g Carbs 26.2g (per 100.0g)

Two weeks ago I posted about Hotel Chocolat's recently relaunched Purist range, giving my thoughts on four of their newest single origin cocoa bars. What I failed to mention was that included in that very same sampling package, I was also sent these 'The Purist Super Boosters', which came in some wonderfully unique looking test tube like packets. For those of you begging the obvious ... 'what on earth is a Super Booster?' - please let me reveal that they are 'cocoa nibs covered in chocolate'. If you want the ultra fancy description let me tell you what Hotel Chocolat describe them as - 'Nibbly pieces of pure Saint Lucian Trinitatio cocoa simply sealed in 40%/70% coco milk/dark chocolate'.

Hotel Chocolat go on to claim that 'cocoa beans are naturally full of antioxidants, trace minerals and a caffeine kick'. Whilst it is fact that per 100.0g of cocoa beans you get 175mg of caffeine (single espresso = 90mg, standard tea = 45mg), what I think you need to bear in mind is that these tubes only held only 15.0g of Super Boosters each. Suffice to say I think it is back to the drawing board if you were planning to get your morning caffeine hit from these.
When I was thinking about writing this review I did contemplate writing about them separately but then I realised I had such similar points of view of both there was little point. Speaking of what they both did well is easy so let me start with the packaging and presentation. Whilst the actual cocoa nibs themselves weren't the most glamorous looking of products, the way in which they were presented was unique and I liked the 'test tube' like packets they came in. Both the milk and dark chocolate variants smelt wonderful when the metal caps were unscrewed, with both types emanating sweet scents of cocoa that had fruity hints.

To test both of these out I ate them across a number of different occasions, including with ice cream, slipped in a coffee, hot chocolate, cereal ... you name it I tried. What was consistent across all these occasions were the delicious bursts of chocolatey flavours that sprang to life as soon as they were chewed. As you will no doubt have already guessed, the milk chocolate coated nibs started out a touch sweeter in taste compared to the dark chocolate coated ones, though both tasted pretty similar as soon as they were bitten into, at which time both variants delivered a flurry of delicious cocoa flavours. As the smells had suggested the cocoa flavours had minor notes of red fruits and coffee (dark chocolates ones especially!), though most importantly the taste never ventured into the realms of bitterness. Out of the two I personally couldn't of picked a favourite, though my dark chocolate rejector work colleague was more happy when taking handfuls of the milk variant.

Overall my initial scepticism about these being 'a bit of gimmicky' one from Hotel Chocolat were well and truley washed away by the several cups of coffee that these Super Booster so pleasantly accompanied. When you consider that these are simply just small bits of cocoa bean that have coated with a lick of chocolate, it does reaffirm the argument that sometimes the simplest things can be the most effective. One of the things I really liked about these Super Booster was how great it was coming up with new ways to consume them. Don't get me wrong, eating them straight out the packet was splendid, but for me it was far more enjoyable adding them to cups of coffee, desserts, even spread on top of my toast and cereal in the morning! It would be interesting to hear what occasions you all could come up with for using these Super Boosters - no doubt by the end of the day we will all have some new ideas.

Milk - 8.6 out of 10
Dark - 8.6 out of 10