Thursday, February 26, 2015

Theo: Congo Coffee & Cream

It's been too long since I had any Theo chocolate. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed their products until I unwrapped this bar and delighted in its markings (really, doesn't Theo have a great logo?) and then in its specific flavor. This is their Congo Coffee & Cream milk chocolate, which comes in a nice and solid 45% cacao. I love a deep milk chocolate.

As you can see from the bar's wrapper, this chocolate was made with coffee from Eastern Congo; a portion of sales also goes to the Eastern Congo Initiative. All the ingredients are organic and everything except for the milk powder is marked as fair trade. And there are, of course, only a few ingredients. So now that we have all the ethics and quality down, let's move on to taste.

It's called a Coffee & Cream bar, which implies something sweet and milky, despite the high (for milk chocolate) cocoa content. But remember, Theo is the one who does that lovely Creamy Milk Chocolate bar, which also happens to be 45%. I love that bar and it's one of my favorite, easily-accessible chocolates to share with other people. So the Coffee & Cream, it would seem, uses the same chocolate, just with the addition of coffee. The resulting flavor is like a perfect cafe mocha (you know, coffee with chocolate in it).

The chocolate is rich and warm without a hint of darkness, very creamy and yet not very sweet. The coffee, well, it's in those fine pieces; maybe it isn't so fine as ground coffee, but it's close enough that if you let the chocolate melt away, you'll be left with strange coffee grains in your mouth. So I would recommend more of a chewing approach; that'll also be the best way to blend the coffee flavor with the chocolate.

It's quite something to take an existing idea (creamy, rich milk chocolate) and combine it successfully with another flavor. Everything balances together. Because it's a milk chocolate, this bar is like a semi-sophisticated confection (I don't, however, mean that it's mediocre confection quality). It has enough milky and sugar flavors to remind you of candy chocolate, but then it has that edge of richness from the higher cocoa content and the darker flavor of the coffee. So it satisfies a few different kinds of cravings at once. Well done, Theo. I'm happy.

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