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Unboxing my Love Cocoa Subscription Box

Disclosure: uOpen and Love Cocoa kindly sent me a trial 3-bar box free of charge for the purposes of a review. uOpen and Love Cocoa had no influence over the content on this page. My opinions are my own. This article may contain affiliate links (identified by a ° symbol). These financially support this website - and our chocolate research - at no extra cost to you. Find out more.

Not so long ago I compiled a seriously long list of chocolate subscription boxes that are ideal for giving as a gift or to satisfy an insurmountable craving or addiction. (That's Christmas shopping sorted!)

One of the companies I featured in that list was Love Cocoa, and its story is very interesting. I wanted to delve a little deeper into the company and also show you what you can expect to receive when you take out a Love Cocoa chocolate bar subscription.

Who is Love Cocoa?

Love Cocoa subscription box packaging
Love Cocoa subscription box packaging

The story of Love Cocoa begins 200 years ago. While Love Cocoa is a relatively new company, founder James Cadbury may well have chocolate in his genes. Yes, his great-great-great grandfather was John Cadbury, a Quaker who founded a small chocolate company in the 1800s by the same name in Bournville, Birmingham. Cadbury chocolate has since become a household name, with Dairy Milk perhaps its most famous brand.

James Cadbury is following in John's footsteps. He undoubtedly has similar grand ambitions, but differentiates his chocolate from the mass market confectionery manufactured by Cadbury owner, Mondelēz International. His brand certainly gained valuable exposure following an appearance on BBC's Dragons' Den last year.

Love Cocoa's philosophy is to reinvent chocolate classics with a contemporary twist, while using natural ingredients and being free from palm oil. The company also pledges to donate 10% of its profits to the Rainforest Foundation.

Its bars are available to purchase online° and in high-end stores such as in Harvey Nichols in London. They are also available to order as a monthly subscription delivery.

Love Cocoa website screenshot
Love Cocoa website

Chocolate delivered monthly!

Love Cocoa's chocolate subscription service is designed to keep you effortlessly topped-up with Love Cocoa chocolate, while being able to pick and choose. Some subscription models include a random assortment of flavours but at Love Cocoa, they put you fully in control. You tell them which flavours you want in your box and they'll ship out three or six bars each month depending on your subscription package. If you fancy a change, log in before the box is packed and swap the flavours around.

As part of my research into monthly chocolate boxes, subscription management service uOpen° arranged delivery of a trial box so I could see what customers receive each month. They chose a lucky dip on my behalf so I had no idea what flavours to expect.

Delivery

Love Cocoa Monthly Chocolate Subscription Box
Inside my Love Cocoa Chocolate Subscription Box

A pale blue box peeking through my letterbox proclaiming “Hello, I’m Yours” is a good way of grabbing my attention.

As soon as I clocked it, I cut through the sticky tape and opened the box. Inside sat three 80g bars including a pair of Great Taste Award winners – a salted caramel milk chocolate, an English mint dark chocolate, and a Maldon Sea Salt dark chocolate.

The front of all three boxes feature colourful artwork in yellow and orange, greens, or blue. A sprinkling of silver foiled text adds a nice touch. The reverse of the boxes list tasting and pairing notes, the ingredients, and nutritional information.

I like the refreshingly short ingredients lists on each box. Love Cocoa doesn't specify a recommended portion size on the packaging, but I've been nibbling the bars one rectangle at a time, getting around 12 servings out of each bar (at a push). Each of the chocolates is very rich in taste and you'll only need a piece or two at a time.

Love Cocoa chocolate reviews

Here's what I made of the trio of chocolate bars in my Love Cocoa subscription box delivery.

Love Cocoa Dark Maldon Sea Salt Organic Chocolate Bar Review

Love Cocoa Dark Maldon Sea Salt Organic Chocolate Bar
Love Cocoa Dark Maldon Sea Salt Organic Chocolate Bar

Love Cocoa Dark Maldon Sea Salt Organic Chocolate ingredients:
Organic dark chocolate (cocoa mass, cocoa butter), raw cane sugar, vanilla extract, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin) (0.1%), Maldon sea salt flakes (Min 1%). Minimum cocoa solids: 70%.

A rich, smokey aroma greets you when you unwrap this bar. It's a savoury aroma, and is earthy and malty in character.

As you can see from the photo above, my bar was littered with scuffs and marks from the manufacturing process. The mould used is bespoke to Love Cocoa, forming irregular segments, some of which are embossed with the 'LC' monogram.

The snap was crisp, and the texture of the chocolate was very smooth. I could barely see the microscopic fragments of the Maldon Sea Salt used in this recipe as they were so fine.

Pieces of Love Cocoa Dark Maldon Sea Salt Organic Chocolate
Close-up of the Dark Maldon Sea Salt chocolate

The salt was the dominant force in this bar, and it added an interesting dynamic when set against the 70% dark chocolate. The chocolate exhibited the same tasting characteristics as I picked up in the aroma - there was an underlying earthiness and malt flavours. It was deep, dark, and mysterious. If you like your dark chocolate, this is a good bar to get your teeth into, especially if you like your chocolate smokey.

There was a slight sweetness to the bar courtesy of the raw cane sugar, which was tickled out by the Maldon sea salt flakes. I'm not a big salted-chocolate fan, but I did find myself nibbling may way through this bar very easily.

The smokiness of the cocoa dominated the aftertaste which lingered along with the hints of malt.

If you want to pair this chocolate with a beverage, I'd suggest looking for something light and fruity that counters the malt and smoke flavours. Love Cocoa recommends pairing it with a medium bodied red wine, or a cup of Lapsang Souchony tea.

Love Cocoa Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Bar Review

Love Cocoa Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Bar
Love Cocoa Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Bar

Love Cocoa Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate ingredients:
Organic milk chocolate (cocoa mass, cocoa butter), whole milk powder, raw cane sugar, caramelised sugar (1.5%), Maldon sea salt (0.5%), caramel flavouring (0.1%), emulsifier (sunflower lecithin) (0.1%), vanilla extract (0.1%). Minimum cocoa solids: 37%.

This one is a goodie. I polished the bar off very quickly, and very nice it was too!

The initial aroma is of a freshly made salted caramel. It smells near identical to the irresistible fragrance my salted caramel I make to top gooey home-made brownies. Buttery, creamy, and very sweet.

The snap is clean and crisp, as is the texture inside the bar. Again, the production process has left scuff marks on my bar.

Pieces of Love Cocoa Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate
Segments of the Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Bar

I immediately picked up all the sweetness in this bar, and there is a lot of it - almost too much. It may verge into being too sweet for some, but this made it very easy for me to devour. Maldon sea salt also finds its way into this bar, and that helps to accentuate the sweetness further, while adding a background savoury note. I wasn't keen on the occasional crunch of salt crystals while nibbling on my chocolate.

The sweet caramel flavour comes through quickly, and is pleasant. Hints of butter and syrup comes through from the flavouring.

The very sweet flavours linger in the aftertaste, and my mouth craved something savoury to calm back down. I'd pair this bar with something quite bitter to tone down the sweetness.  Love Cocoa recommends it goes very well with a crisp and refreshing Champagne, although I'd worry about a sweetness overload with this suggestion.

Love Cocoa English Mint 70% Organic Dark Chocolate Bar Review (Vegan)

Love Cocoa English Mint 70% Organic Dark Chocolate Bar (Vegan)
Love Cocoa English Mint 70% Organic Dark Chocolate Bar

Love Cocoa English Mint 70% Organic Dark Chocolate ingredients:
Organic dark chocolate (cocoa mass, cocoa butter), raw cane sugar, vanilla extract, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin) (0.1%), Summerdown Mint oil (0.1%). Minimum cocoa solids: 70%.

Garden mint; peppermint; spearmint. That's about the limit of my mint knowledge. I was surprised to discover there are 7,500 varieties of Lamiaceae (mint) out there, including fun-sounding mint varieties such as chocolate mint. But Summerdown Mint is a new one by me, and it turns out they cultivate "astonishingly aromatic, barrel-aged" Black Mitcham peppermint oil.

It was no surprise that the pungency of the mint oil in the Love Cocoa English Mint chocolate bar was quite intense. It was not a mint flavour I could place as it had a unique character unlike the run-of-the-mill peppermint used widely in the food industry.

Pieces of Love Cocoa English Mint 70% Organic Dark Chocolate
Pieces of the English Mint 70% Organic Dark Chocolate Bar

The fierce aroma of the peppery mint oil overpowered any hints of cocoa in this bar, which given the small quantity of it, and the 70% cocoa solids in the bar, was an impressive feat.

Mint dominated in the flavour too, although it was more tame in taste than aroma. There was a slight creaminess to the chocolate which helped to soften the mint oil, but it was difficult to see past the mint. There was a slight hint of cocoa flavour but it was a fleeting glimpse. The sugar content and the mint oil helps this one behave more like a milk chocolate than a dark chocolate, which is impressive. If you're not a fan of dark chocolate but love mint chocolates, try this and let me know what you think in the comments below.

The minty flavour continued to lead in the aftertaste, but there was a slight depth finally released from the cocoa. Despite being dark chocolate, I looked for something quite bitter afterwards to tone down my palate. Love Cocoa seems to be on the same wavelength with its recommendation of pairing it with a dark and smokey beer. It also suggests a sweet mint tea might work equally well too.

Love Cocoa 3 Bar Subscription Box Review

RRP: £10.00 | Love Cocoa | Shop now°

A good selection of chocolate bars, packaged to easily fit through most letterboxes. The flavours of the bars in my selection were clear, if a little too intense for my tastes on certain characteristics.

Packaging
Appearance
Ingredients
Taste
Creativity
Score: 3.8

How to sign up

At the time of writing, the 3-bar box cost £10 per month, and the 6-bar box cost £20 per month. That makes each bar around £3.33 delivered. As a guide, I recently paid £4.50 for a bar in Harvey Nichols in London (and you can expect to see a review for that soon).

Personally, I'd love to see an option for a random selection to be delivered each month, but for the time being, you'll need to pick your favourite flavours. If you fancy a change each month, you'll need to log into the website and change your preferences. This requires you to remember to change your preferences, and also takes the element of surprise out of the equation, which is disappointing. That said, choosing your preferred flavours means you won't be let down by the arrival of a bar you dislike.

You can sign up for the Love Cocoa subscription box service on their website°, or you can manage your membership, along with many others, on the uOpen platform°.

Have you tried any of Love Cocoa's chocolate bars? Do you have a favourite? Spill the beans in the comments below.

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