With a growing number of organic and fairtrade products on the market, chocoholics can now indulge themselves in good conscience (the waistline’s another matter). We set out to find the top buys, by asking 30 CHOICE staff members and three experts to taste 11 different types of organic and fairtrade chocolate blocks - five milk and six dark. The dark chocolate ranged from 46% cocoa content to 72%.
In general, despite their premium price, our test found most of these chocolates taste pretty ordinary; it seems you buy organic and fairtrade chocolate for a clear conscience rather than the taste. However, our experts say there are a few in the bunch that compare favourably with good commercial blocks. Interestingly, our staff and experts didn’t agree on the milk chocolate, but there was general consensus on the dark.
How we test
Our experts and 30 CHOICE staff members assess 11 different chocolates. Brand names are disguised as much as possible without marring the appearance of the chocolate. The lay panel scores the chocolate on a scale from 1-5 – 1 being “like a lot” and 5 being “dislike a lot” – and comments on why they give the rating. Our expert panel provides an overall score out of 10, taking into consideration appearance, aroma, texture and taste. Thank you to our expert panel: Matthew and David Gee run a chocolate appreciation workshop at Barista Basics Coffee academy in Sydney. Fiona Mair is CHOICE’s home economist; she has extensive experience in food and beverage judging.