Review: The Chocolate Tree – 55% Ecuador Milk Chocolate (***1/2) + 72% Madagascar (***)

Double trouble on a sunny evening… Cue a dramatic music and the camera slowly panning towards a tight duel between two chocolate bars. One milk and one dark bar. Made by The Chocolate Tree in Scotland.

Actually, the pure milk bar will be the first origin milk chocolate ever reviewed on my blog. Still a favorite for many people, I hope to discover what artisan chocolate makers are able to bring out combining milk and quality cacao.

The second bar features my favorite origin, Madagascar, home to tantalising fruity cacao.

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The Chocolate Tree’s 55% Milk bar is produced from Ecuadorian Arriba Heirloom cacao bean, combined with milk and cane sugar. Many typical chocolate brands use about 30 to 35% of cacao for their milk bars, but Artisans like The Chocolate Tree raise the numbers to 55%, meaning it will definitely show pure cacao aromas. Something to look forward to.

The wrapper of this bar is featuring a nice pale blue and the typical flower designs. Inside the pretty bar awaits you to experience its aromas.

Bean: Arriba

Origin: Ecuador

Production: The Chocolate Tree – Edinburgh, Scotland

Price: Unknown – 45 g given as a sample

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Color: a nice lighter brown, yet darker than expected from a milk chocolate. Still the difference to the Madagascar bar on the left is very obvious.

Aroma: A great cacao smell, hay and light wood combines with a creamy diary heart.

Taste: Surprisingly, it has a nice snap on breaking. The bar opens with a nice caramel flavor. Toffee comes to mind to. And a whisk of flowers, hard to tell which ones exactly. Behind a very slight coffee bitterness draws attention to the fact this is still a powerful chocolate in nature. The melt is nice, not too quick, as I’ve noticed with other milk chocolates. Especially nice to notice how the chocolate isn’t buttery or clinging to the palate. The aftertaste flows on more pronounced woody tannins combined with the last touches of dairy with a moderately length. This bar offers delicate aromas without being to sweet, even though the cacao percentage is quiet a bit lower than most fine dark chocolate. It even has a slightly bitter heart, which was rather unexpected but seems to be somewhat of a red line through The Chocolate Tree’s line of bars



The Madagascar bar is made from a Criollo and Trinitario blend, made with nothing but cacao beans and cane sugar. 72% should be a nice percentage to bring out the wonderful fruit aroma’s the Island is so renowned for.

Bean: Criollo + Trinitario

Origin: Madagascar

Production: The Chocolate Tree – Edinburgh, Scotland

Price: Unknown – 45 g given as a sample


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Color: a powerful dark brown, much deeper than the Ecuador bar.

Aroma: A strong bodied smell. Lots of earthy cacao tones and a typical Madagascan fruity acidity.

Taste: Slowly starting, this chocolate opens with distinct earthy cacao and coffee bitter tones. Ones these subside, the Madagascan dark fruits show through reminding me of dark berries, although they seem a bit subdued and never blossom fully. Flowing through the main taste, some subtle vanilla tones. The chocolate melts slowly, prolonging the taste experience. By the end of the melt, some tannins return and make way for the aftertaste who concentrates on wood aromas, tannins and chocolate – making a dark impression.
The bar shows two faces, starting off powerful with the strong raw cacao tones before mellowing down and leaving room for the fruit flavors to develop. But once more the bitter tones somehow take my attention away from the other tastes.

One thought on “Review: The Chocolate Tree – 55% Ecuador Milk Chocolate (***1/2) + 72% Madagascar (***)”

  1. I really enjoyed the Madagascar 72%. In addition to the fruityness I tasted a bit of tar in the chocolate which was very surprising.

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