Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Lover's 85%

Richard's Rating: 5.5
chocolate maker(unknown)
barDark Chocolate Lover's
cacao trees(unknown)
size100g ~ 3.5oz
cocoa solids85%
added fatcocoa butter
emulsifiersoy lecithin
other ingredients(none)
list price$1.49
colordark brown
PANTONE 19-1314
Seal Brown
texturesmooth, scoring, image imprints, adhered bits
aromavanilla, marshmallow, sweet (butterscotch), roast, spice
tasteroast, chalk, marshmallow, fruit
meltmore smooth
finishsomewhat sour, slightly acidic, slightly bitter
We first reviewed this chocolate in October 2010 and didn't like it at all. Based on feedback from our readers over just the past couple of months, though, we needed to try this chocolate again. I'm glad we did.

Trader Joe's sells several chocolate bars under its own label. Unfortunately, we do not know who actually makes the Dark Chocolate Lover's bar. The cacao for this chocolate came from the Tumaco region of Colombia.

The ingredients of Dark Chocolate Lover's were cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and natural vanilla flavor. Cocoa solids (cocoa mass and cocoa butter) made up 85% of the chocolate. Inside a paper box were two 50 gram bars, each individually sealed inside a plastic wrapper with an image similar to that of the outer box. Each bar was scored into 16 pieces, half of them with a flower imprint. The best before date of the chocolate was 18 October 2013.

The color of the chocolate was a dark brown Seal Brown (PANTONE 19-1314). The surface was smooth with a glossy top. There were some bits of chocolate adhered to the top, mostly near the edges. The bar had a hard snap.

Dark Chocolate Lover's had a pleasant aroma of vanilla, marshmallow, and a butterscotch sweetness. There were also scents of roast and spice.

The chocolate tasted of roast, marshmallow, and fruit flavors, along with some underlying chalkiness. The taste was also slightly acidic.

The melt was more smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted about 20 to 25 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a medium length. The finish was somewhat sour, slightly acidic, and slightly bitter.

Both the aroma and taste were much better than the bar we reviewed in 2010 (perhaps it was from a bad batch, or it is greatly improved). Although the taste still did not impress me, you should try Dark Chocolate Lover's. If you like this chocolate, it's an amazing value at literally the lowest list price per ounce of any 100 gram or smaller bar we've reviewed.

You can purchase Dark Chocolate Lover's for $1.49 at most Trader Joe's stores.


  1. I love this one...admitedly, the price maybe part of it lol.

  2. I'm eating it right now and agreed with your prior review completely. Terrible. Trader Joes has a strong brand following, and that plus the low price may explain the other reviewers. For a budget good chocolate I go for the Cachet 70%. Otherwise I'm a big TCHO fan.

  3. I'm convinced this is the best dark chocolate bar for under $5. If you don't like dark (DARK) chocolate, then steer clear.

  4. quite good... for under $2!

  5. It's our go to chocolate bar. Low in sugar and quite satisfying after dinner to satisfy your sweet tooth!

  6. Don't like it. Acidic open on the tongue, more of a synthetic licorice or marshmallow taste after, reminded me of a Good & Plenty candy. Nice melt. But no real fruit undertones or complexity that I'd expect. Get what you pay for, I guess.

  7. This is a great chocolate with fruity notes. It's not so trong for an 85% but for sure it has great health benefits. Looks like Colombia is growing great cacao.

  8. Love this bar! great taste and great price! Just wish they had it all the time!