Having now reviewed well in excess of 1000 different chocolate products its now somewhat of a rarity that we come across a new brand that we think is offering something new. Today however we had one of these rare occurrences and it was with great delight we got to try our first ever chocolate from a brand called Cafe Hernando. We dont usually like receiving samples through the post without being given prior notice, but the sound of a milk chocolate flavoured with masala chai tea created just too much intrigue for the team not to give it a review.
As aforementioned this 70.0g bar came through the post as a sample so we weren't ones to feel the brunt of the premium £4.00 price point. The package we received contained the usual marketing spiel about how the bar was inspired by trips to India. With this sort of thing we aren't so much influenced by the content but we do appreciate the effort that Cafe Hernando went to tell their brand story - especially since we weren't aware of them beforehand. The wrapper itself was presented nicely, though for a £4.00 bar of chocolate you might have expected something a little more advanced than a standard paper/foil combination.
Upon opening the bar the Chai tea influence was very obvious with several spicy fragrances escaping the foil confines. We were somewhat worried this was going to overpower the chocolate but to our delight we found it to be a very good balance between the two. The 34% cocoa recipe made for a very high quality milk chocolate offering that was very notable for its clean, crisp fresh milky chocolate flavours. This very pure taste struck a nice balance of sweetness and rich cocoa but it was really only the start of things as the tea influence came in to play later on in the melt development. The Masala Chai was implemented superbly - with elements of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger all wonderfully forthcoming yet never overly dominant. It was a chocolate incredibly suitable for an after dinner coffee - full of flavour and for the main part satisfying.
Overall this first dip into the Cafe Hernando range can be seen as nothing other than a big success and it certainly lived up to its billing as offering the differentiated experience we hoped for. The base chocolate was very tasty and if its the recipe they use across the rest of their range we would definitely welcome that. The India themed Masala Chai could easily of been just a gimmick but the flavour theme was not only captured accurately but was very tasty. Your own enjoyment will be down to your willingness to pay the premium price tag and unsurprisingly whether or not you enjoy this sort of flavoured tea. If you are curious then it we would recommend it well worthy of a try.
8.5 out of 10