Tag Archives: great chocolate gifts

Cococlectic

I have always thought there was a real genius behind the fruit-of-the month club and its many offspring. After all, who doesn’t like a delicious monthly surprise? Now, there is a chocolate-of-the-month club: Cococlectic. This isn’t any ordinary chocolate club, it specializes in small batch, bean-to-bar artisanal manufacturers.

Founder Doreen Leong even includes shipping in the different options which range from $31.50 to $34 a month. (You can also order a one-time only box for $34.) Each delivery includes four bars. The sizes vary depending on the producer.

My sample box came wrapped in brown kraft paper with old-fashioned black and white striped butcher’s string held in place with a wax seal of an embellished “C.” It was original and appealing. Nestled inside were four bars from Twenty-Four Blackbirds, a company out of Santa Barbara, California. Their Madagascar 75% was just luscious: velvety, crisply tempered, complex, and sophisticated. Palos Blancos 75% from Bolivia was a completely different cat: almost black, shiny, beautifully tempered, with deeper notes of leather, coffee, and dark fruits. The Organic Dominican 68% had its own personality, though it still sported their characteristic snappy temper, it was a medium dark color, fairly silky, a tad sweeter, with a balanced fruity profile. I received an extra Organic Dominican to make up four bars.

Ms. Leong’s passion is apparent in her desire to share the wide variety of bean-to-bar wares, allowing you to explore and savor a tasting flight every month. Not only is this a gustatory trip, it’s a way to support fledgling chocolate businesses.

As a special treat Ms. Leong has graciously offered my readers a $5 off discount code when purchasing a subscription. Just use: 5CHOC.

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Madécasse Sea Salt & Nibs, Cinnamon & Sakay Pepper, Arabica Coffee Nibs

I am smitten with these new bars from Madécasse, where creativity and awakened taste buds go hand in hand. Not to mention a humanitarian mission that truly helps cacao farmers by paying them a fair price and keeping the manufacturing in Madagascar which generates 4x more income than fair trade practices alone.

Their Sea Salt & Nibs bar won the Best in Show award at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, and I can easily see why. Crunchy nibs and salt crystals vie for your attention in a 63% dark chocolate whose complexity can stand up to the intense flavors of nibs and salt.

The heat of the Cinnamon and Sakay pepper bar is perfectly balanced with that same 63% chocolate. Sakay pepper is not bitingly hot, but lends some extra oomph to the cinnamon. This is definitely a new favorite, as that cinnamon and chocolate combo is quite addictive.

If you love coffee and chocolate you will swoon over their 44% dark milk bar with Arabica nibs. The creamy rich chocolate is a perfect backdrop for crunchy nibs.

As for the packaging, it is user friendly with a foil liner and an appealingly artistic envelope.