I've noticed quite a buzz around James Cadbury's Love Cocoa brand at the moment.
I recently reviewed Love Cocoa's Dark Maldon Sea Salt Organic Chocolate Bar, Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Bar, and English Mint 70% Organic Dark Chocolate Bar (Vegan) as part of my Love Cocoa Subscription unboxing review.
A while back, Yorkshire-based Oski's opened my eyes to the world of Earl Grey milk chocolate (which I adored), so, when I clocked a bar of Love Cocoa's Earl Grey 37% Milk Chocolate in Harvey Nichols in London, I knew I had to pick it up.
The cardboard box follows the same design template as previous Love Cocoa bars I have reviewed, with a cute grey teapot with red handle motif depicted on the front. There's no mistaking that this is a British tea flavoured chocolate bar, and that Earl Grey is the tea of choice. Silver foiled decorations add a nice touch, although these are almost lost in the sea of grey.
The reverse of the packaging contains a brief history of the Love Cocoa brand, information about the bar itself, and recommended pairings. Beneath this sits the ingredients list and nutritional information.
Love Cocoa Earl Grey Milk Chocolate ingredients:
Organic milk chocolate (cacao mass, cacao butter), while milk powder, raw cane sugar, vanilla extract, emulsifier: sunflower lecithin 0.1%, organic bergamot oil 1%. Minimum cocoa solids 37%.
All the ingredients except for the emulsifier are certified organic. The recipe is free of alcohol and is suitable for vegetarians. It's also gluten-free and soy-free.
As you may have spotted, there isn't actually any tea in this chocolate bar, making it ideal for those who wish to enjoy the Earl Grey flavour without consuming tea.
Inside the box is a silver metallised plastic wrapper that is heat sealed to keep the chocolate fresh. There's little hope of neatly opening this (I tried and failed) so you'll need to decant into an airtight container or wrap the remainder in a piece of foil to keep it fresh.
As soon as you pierce the inner wrapper, you get an unmistakable waft of bergamot. Behind the citrus tones, there's a creamy body to the aroma together with a sweetness.
My bar had sustained damage somewhere along the line, so arrived in four pieces. The Love Cocoa mould makes use of geometric shapes and the 'LC' moniker. The dull yet clean snap meant I was able to portion this bar into around 10 servings, which felt about right.
While the citrussy bergamot is quite strong in aroma, it doesn't translate that way in the flavour. Clearly, it's an unmistakable aspect of the taste, but it doesn't overpower the taste of the milk chocolate. Indeed, the cold pressed bergamot oil works in harmony with the 37% Dominican Republic milk chocolate to create a balanced flavour. The chocolate delivers the sweetness and milkiness and the bergamot delivers the Earl Grey flavour.
Sugars make up 49% of this bar and all this sweetness is left unbounded, so as I meandered into the aftertaste, I felt the urge for something savoury to bring my senses back down. It's rich in flavour so my limit was a piece or two to nibble on as a treat.
I would like to see more depth to the chocolate flavour in this bar to help combat the sweetness. The bergamot oil feels like it should withstand a punch from a more intense chocolate, although perhaps, without as much sugar, the flavour might not balance quite as well.
Love Cocoa recommends eating this bar alongside a pint of citrussy pale ale, or a cup of Earl Grey tea to accentuate the notes of bergamot. I agree that something fruity and fairly mild and delicate would be best here. As much as I craved something savoury or bitter afterwards, I think stronger flavours consumed alongside this Earl Grey milk chocolate bar would only serve to muddy its distinctive flavour.
If you are a tea drinker, you'll enjoy this bar. I don't often drink Earl Grey but I loved the bergamot flavour in this bar, and found myself nibbling on small pieces here and there. The flavour together with the hit of sweetness meant this wasn't a bar I wanted to devour in one sitting, but was instead indulge one I nibbled upon here and there.
Love Cocoa Earl Grey Milk Chocolate Review Review
RRP: £4.00 | Love Cocoa | Shop now
A sweet milk chocolate bar with a lovely bergamot flavour. Best saved for nibbling on in short bursts as it's too sweet to devour in one go.
Have you tried Earl Grey milk chocolate? What did you think of the flavour combination? Spill the beans in the comments below.