June 1st: Hotel Chocolat Dark Costa Rican Coffee Selector

I'm sure you will all be glad to hear that Hotel Chocolat have sent across my latest sampling package containing all manner of Summer and Jubilee themed chocolates for 2012. In the coming weeks I will be giving you all the JCM scoop on those new products, however today the focus will be on one of their all year round available 'selector products'. Indeed hogging the spotlight today we have these Dark Costa Rican Coffee beans - 'Whole roasted Peaberry coffee beans sealed within dark chocolate'. Being both a coffee and dark chocolate lover I couldn't have been more excited to try these out.

As I mostly get sent my Hotel Chocolat goodies as samples I often miss out on providing you guys with the pricing information but today I couldn't help but take notice. Looking on the website one of these 100.0g packs costs only £3.50 - as you will come to learn from the enjoyment I got out of these I thought they were outstanding value, especially given the quality of the ingredients.

Before I start lavishing the praise out again I will briefly speak of the one negative which I thought was the presentation. I've commented on this before with this type of packaging but I think it's worth making mentioning again that the plastic packet/tray combo is not something I think stands up for either the Hotel Chocolat brand or their products. Packaging snobbery aside :-) these were otherwise glorious. First off they smelt amazing. The coffee and cocoa scents that overcame my senses once the plastic packet seal was broken were just drool worthy and from my first handful I was hooked. The dark chocolate was just the right strength (I would guess 70% cocoa) and the rich, earthy, chocolatey cocoa flavours grew beautifully in their intensity as I let them slowly melt away on my tongue. Once the chocolate had melted away it was time to get munching on the remaining coffee beans and boy were they equally as great! They were fresh, crunchy and provided the most delicious rich roasted coffee flavours - the small caffeine buzz they provided was an added bonus for my mid-afternoon coffee and snack.

Overall after reading the above I'm sure you become well aware that I absolutely loved these. Casting my thoughts about the packaging style aside I thought these were just wonderful. I don't for one minute think they will change anyone's opinions on coffee flavoured chocolates if they don't like them, but for the rest who sit in my camp of loving them I have no doubt you will get some serious enjoyment from them. As with all Hotel Chocolat products I never had any fear about the quality of the chocolate - it was up to it's usual standard here and the strength chosen really suited the coffee beans it coated. The coffee beans themselves also lived up to the standard of the chocolate and as suggested by the product description they were evidently carefully chosen for their depth of flavour and quality. Coffee chocolate fans get involved! You wont regret it.

8.9 out of 10