Hey peeps! Jess here, and today we are reviewing Bar and Cocoa’s chocolate club. When you get started in chocolate, there’s just so much to take in. And it’s kind of nice to have someone do the stuff *for* you. Which is what this is meant to be. It starts at 40 bucks a month but monthly is 45 dollars a month. And they just ship you four chocolate bars, And you get to learn a little bit about them. So my goal today is to open this up, see what’s in here, because I don’t know. And see if it’s actually worth your time and money and what might be the goal of this. Now let’s dive in! I do feel like that I should mention before I go too far, that this is formerly Choco Rush. Since then, they’ve added a lot more bean-to-bar makers, including ones that I haven’t even tried yet! But I’m very curious to see what’s actually in here. Thaaat being said, this is how things arrived. The only thing I did here is I removed my address, but holy crud. We were scared! Like, what just happened here? Okay, so, in here, we have red packaging, more red tissue paper, (crinkling noises) we have the four bars. There’s very little packaging. There’s no insulation here. This is the September box. I got this…. surprisingly, I thought I wouldn’t be able to because their shipping deadlines are pretty tight and I missed them. So I am surprised; as surprised as you are. (crinkling paper sounds) We have four in here. Annnd actually. I got an email from them with tasting notes. and I remember that this is actually one from the August box. I’ll have to reconfirm that. Yeah, this is the August box! But it is really surprising that I got this in September, expecting to get it in October, and this is the August box. We’re gonna look at these, we’re gonna see what’s here, and then we’ll taste a few of them. First, we have the 64% from Cacao Hunters. This is their Sierra Nevada bar. They’re based in Colombia and they’ve been just putting out really interesting bars. I haven’t had a lot of them just because it’s not a bar… that I don’t… do. I do more inclusion bars, so I wasn’t necessarily grabbing all Cacao Hunters. I also like that this is actually two chocolate bars, so for someone who wants to share this little square box isn’t as small as you might think. Next we have Tosier. We have a Maya Mountain 70%. I actually really like Maya Mountain, it’s been putting out similar notes to Madagascar, a lot of what you think of- like the red fruit, red berry notes. It’s very snackable chocolate coming out of Maya Mountain. I have not had this particular brand! And they’re small enough that they’re still hand writing their little bits of info here! Like they’re just, they’re newbies. Next we have Primo Botanica, which is from New York. I have also not had this one. And it is a 75% bar and this is from batch number one. And last we have Duffy’s, the 72% from Honduras. Duffy’s is one that if I remember correctly… yes! They are based in England. They are very hard to get your hands on in the United States just because they don’t ship a lot. I think the last easy way to get one from them besides Bar and Cocoa was that Little Beetle Chocolates did have them in their holiday calendar last year. I think I will try the Duffy’s. Honduras has been putting out some really interesting bars… and it’s hard- there aren’t a lot of them though. So inside we have a little bit of info about them and the awards they’ve won. And these beans are from Xoco, which Duffy’s has been working with since 2011. Really cool. A golden wrapper here, feels like a golden ticket. We have the Duffy’s logo, doing its awesome thing. Not the easiest bar to open or share, but I do really like just how clean and cute the logo is, it feels very like “game host.” Very, very cute. Very soft temper. I wasn’t expecting this to be so soft. It just went (makes soft clicking noise) when I broke it. It didn’t have a clean snap, which could be the weather. It smells really spicy and earthy. Mm-hmm? So this bar was fudgy, and really red wine tannin notes, and a bit more drying than I expected for a 72. But it was really pleasant. I’m excited that I got to try this one. Let’s taste another bar! We’re gonna try the Primo Botanica. This is their 75% ~bar~ and I’m very curious about this because I have not played with them at all. I’ve heard a little bit about them, but there are so many brands coming on the market right now that I am completely behind. I do- Oh! Hooo… (crinkling noises) That is some bloom. If you can see how just… It’s very pretty! This is fat bloom. Which means that it’s gotten a bit out of temper whether during processing, packaging, what-have-you, and it is no longer tasty. It will make excellent hot chocolate, don’t get me wrong. I will probably use this for hot chocolate, but it is not a good tasting. So let’s open everybody! So…Tosier. Maya mountain 70%. I am concerned about this wrapper though. It feels very breathable, which might get us the most information about packaging. This though… (crinkling noises) is in temper! Ooh, that is a soft temper. Is everybody in soft temper? That concerns me. Honestly, I do not like this Maya Mountain. That doesn’t mean that this brand is bad, it’s just this bar. It’s crumbly, it’s got a really muted palate. So I expect to see bold flavors out of Maya mountain. And a *lot* of flavor. And it’s kind of feeling like I’m eating something that’s had a pillowcase put over it. Just very soft flavors but not in a way that’s like gentle, but like everything feels toned down. Let’s try the Cacao Hunters, shall we? Oh boy. All right, I like that this is individually wrapped in here. So we’ve got, we got friends! I wish it was resealable, personal preference here. Oh wow! It’s dusty smelling? But very brownie – and mushroom? So very simple, but I’ll soon see. The room is a little warm, so it’s already getting a bit warm. Let’s see how the temper is. (snap sound) All right, that’s interesting. That was actually good temper people! Very peppery though. So a very short profile. It’s got, it’s got a lot of like almost coffee, burnt sugar notes, along with sort of a brownie note. But the profile goes nyoom. So do I think this is worth it? When I tallied everything up it was $34.50 in chocolate value, but that’s not accounting for shipping or tax. Personally, I enjoyed it as a chance to try some bars that I wouldn’t normally reach for and aren’t available. Like Duffy’s isn’t in Seattle. So to be able to have a whole bar to try, it’s a nice treat! I’m really glad I got to try it, and learn more about each these brands that are in the box. My problems: one – what’s going on with the packaging? Like I’d really like to have some better just everything insulation for these bars. I would have actually liked a warm weather option for shipping. That wasn’t available. I’m not sure they do offer that, but it was interesting that there wasn’t a discussion of warm weather that I could easily find. Also, there is no customization. It’s only single origin bars, which is fine, that’s a good way to get learning. But, if you want to comment on what you liked or didn’t like there’s no option to do that. You’re just getting bars. And so if you’re hoping for a particular region, or you want to learn more about something, it’s not up to you, it’s just here’s what we curated. For someone who wants that level of curation though, that’s great! For me, for someone who is a *little picky* about their chocolate at this point, I would like more ability to give feedback. This really feels like it’s for someone who is probably an advanced beginner, has some knowledge about bean to bar chocolate, and is interested in learning about brands that they would not necessarily select themselves. Or they don’t have a chocolate shop locally, so they’re just looking for options for ways to try new things. Is that a bad thing? No. Does it mean I’ll probably buy another box? Not right now, though I might still buy from Bar and Cocoa because they’re the only US location for certain brands, and so I’ll probably buy individual bars instead. So that is my little review of Bar and Cocoa. I hope it helped you figure out whether or not it is a good subscription box for you. If you’d like more on chocolate month, I’ll be putting the playlist right here. Love to hear your comments and thoughts below. Have you tried these chocolate bars? Are there bars you wish were included instead? I would love to hear all about it and I will catch you next time. Laters!