Preston from Hello Cocoa took on the challenge of sending me these chocolates during the first heat wave that hit the mid-Atlantic area, and though he did an excellent job with packing everything, USPS decided to leave the perishable package in the sun. Sadly the truffles did not do so well. I did not want to sample the truffles because while I let them sit around room temperature to re-solidify, I’m guessing some condensation stayed in the packaging and caused the truffles to grow mold. Preston, please don’t worry because I definitely want to try your truffles but I will wait until fall rolls around again! In the meantime, you can find Hello Cocoa’s truffles here and here.

Despite the outcome of the truffles, the bars miraculously survived! Only the Mocha bar showed some blooming, but I’ve tried and enjoyed this bar before. Some blooming will not prevent me from demolishing this bar 😉 I’m going to taste the rest of the bars before I finish with my favorite Mocha bar.  My boyfriend joined me in sampling these chocolates and I’ll include his thoughts. We usually taste different flavors in chocolate, which is great for getting two different views and feedback.

If you want to read a bit about Hello Cocoa’s story, you can find more about them here from when I first tried a couple of their bars!

74% Venezuala

This bar smelled bright and fruity. I tasted citrus and with a touch of astringency. Midway through my bite the chocolate tasted floral along with the citrus flavor. These two flavors lasted through the aftertaste. The boyfriend tasted cherries and tartness. The Hello Cocoa website lists the tasting notes as gardenia, light apple, strawberries and cream.

70% Dominican Republic

This bar had a strong fruity scent that reminded me of mangos. Throughout my bite I enjoyed the tropical fruitiness that I’ve usually experienced when tasting chocolate made with cacao from the Dominican Republic. The boyfriend said this bar tasted “milkier and brighter,” and like raspberries and pear. The flavor description Hello Cocoa uses is “bold, fruity flavor.”

Ooh La Lavender – 64% Dominican Republic + Lavender + Honey + Vanilla

The back of the packaging says that each lavender bar purchase helps support the I’Mindful Gives Back Foundation, which in turn teaches veterans, firefighters, police officers and other non-profit organizations about “awareness, compassion, non-judgment and emotional intelligence through the practice of mindfulness.”

The scent of lavender was strong from this bar. I first tasted the sweetness of honey followed by the lavender. Every once in a while there was a crunch from the cocoa nibs. I didn’t taste the vanilla until the end of my bite. What’s nice is that though lavender was the dominant flavor, it wasn’t overpowering my taste buds. The boyfriend tasted lavender, honey and vanilla. Honey and vanilla were very subtle for him. He liked the lavender being the dominant flavor.

57% Uganda

This bar had a cocoa-ey and earthy scent. I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted like coffee and cream! At the end of my bite it tasted a little nutty as well. The boyfriend said it tasted like a cappuccino to him. Coffee + chocolate are one of my favorite combinations, so this will be a contender with the Mocha bar as my favorite by Hello Cocoa. I won’t be surprised if after the tasting we finish the rest of this bar! Hello Cocoa’s tasting notes for this bar are coffee, toasted coconut and blackberry.

Spring Fever – 57% Ugandan Cocoa + Dried Apricots + Basil

I remember the first time I tried this bar was when we went to the first D.C. Chocolate Festival. My boyfriend and I sampled this bar and we were both amazed by the combination. The scent of basil was light.  I first tasted coffee (due to the Ugandan cocoa) before I detected basil. The basil started off subtle but increased in strength as my bite melted. It never overwhelmed my taste buds. The dried apricots gave a nice chewy texture and bits of fruity flavor. The boyfriend also liked the combination of apricot with basil.

Mocha – 52% Dark Milk Chocolate + Mama Carmen’s Black Apple Espresso

I’m finishing with what I usually refer to as my favorite bar by Hello Cocoa! It had an apple and deep espresso scent. The chocolate had creamy, strong espresso and subtle apple flavors. According to Hello Cocoa’s website, Mama Carmen’s is a local coffee shop and the chocolate is from the Dominican Republic. The boyfriend also liked this bar and said, “It tastes like real coffee rather than imaginary coffee” (referring to the Ugandan bar) 🙂

Will the Mocha bar remain as my favorite Hello Cocoa bar? I’m kind of torn now between the 57% Uganda, Spring Fever and Mocha bar. If I absolutely had to choose just one bar, though, I’m staying with the Mocha bar. I liked that it combined fruity, coffee and creamy flavors.

Thank you again, Preston, for the chance to try all of the Hello Cocoa bars! I will return for the truffles later in the year!

Hello Cocoa: Made in Fayetteville, AR

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.