Diana’s Review

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Diana’s out of Sandy, Utah makes high quality chocolate eggs and other kinds of chocolatey treats. I was particularly pleased when I opened one of the little packages they sent me and it had my name in white icing. These little touches are indicative of a business that’s willing to go the extra mile to give their customers the best possible experience. I like that. This is one of the many reasons why I decided to start writing about chocolate. I wanted to profile the companies that approached things the same way someone would if they were making chocolate at home.

I appreciate the contribution of Diana’s to my upcoming holiday. Prior to receiving their package, I had become despondent at the low quality of the merchandise I was finding at the store. I thought that I would have to go through another year of cookie cutter stuff. Why does every holiday have to be the same? Why can’t we break out of the normal and come up with something extraordinary? If the world is full of so many people with so many ideas, why are we filling the pockets of corporations that haven’t had an original thought in years.

We should be able to get everything we want out of our chocolate order. If we’re great, we should expect that our chocolate order is great. It’s that simple.  Life is too short to waste precious moments on bad chocolate. You have reached for the Cadbury’s of the world too much. Who even remembers the companies that make the chocolate bunnies. They just churn out the same nonsense year after year knowing that you will buy it. You should go with a company that cares about their products and you.

You will find that kind of company in Diana’s. They are a small town company that has products that are loaded with charm. You can’t ask for more than that. We should rise up to support companies that are bucking the corporate model. A company is not great because it’s small and independent, but it does have the ability to do more and be better to its customers in this position. Diana’s is awesome because you can talk to everyone who works with them. They will write back to you and give you the attention that you are unlikely to get from one of their competitors.

Santosha Chocolate Review


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Santosha Chocolate sure makes an interesting brand of coffee. I will also commend them for the fact that their packaging is some of the most visually appealing I have come across. I understand that the value of a product does not fully hinge upon what the package looks like. At the same time, when a package looks great, it shows that the company in question went above and beyond to present their product in the best possible fashion. A cool looking package makes you more likely to buy the product than one that’s a little plainer. Branding is a big thing, but branding alone doesn’t make a product great.

The taste of the bars from Santosha Chocolate is like the plot of a really complex thriller. I had to go back and sample their bars again and again because there was a lot going on. Even after a few tastings, I felt like I didn’t know what was going on. After taking the time to think about it, I still don’t know what I’m eating when I have a piece of one of their bars. I have a hard time putting into words what that means, which is saying something considering words are the primary thing in which I deal.

I’ll have to come back to Santosha Chocolate at a later date when I finally understand what they’re all about. The review itself was inconclusive because there was a lot to unpack during the process. Normally, when I try a type of chocolate, it’s self-explanatory. It either tastes good or it doesn’t and the reasons why it falls into either category are straightforward. I didn’t have that same experience with Santosha Chocolate. I neither liked nor disliked it. My feelings fell somewhere in between and tilted in either direction each time I tried it.

I am at a loss for words in these situations. I don’t like it. It makes me feel like I am not doing my due diligence to properly review a product. This is why I do not close the door on a company unless the door is closed on me. I want to cover everything in a way that ensures that there’s no doubt in my mind or those of the readers. I have not done that here. I wanted to make sure that they received coverage before my initial feelings slipped back into the recesses of my mind.

Until next time…

Clara Cookies Review

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Clara Cookies are good cookies for a good cause. Every cent that comes from their delicious protein cookies goes towards funding adoption grants through an organization called Team Orphans. The owner of this fine establishment does not take a salary. Instead, she devotes all the money that comes in for these cookies to the aforementioned cause. Regardless of the product in question, I feel like Clara Cookies is worth commendation just for what they’re trying to do for these kids. If I could, I would promote them every hour of every day in the hopes that my efforts to tout the merits of their cookies would somehow bring a dollar or two into their coffers.

Out of all their cookies, I think I enjoyed the Double Dark Chocolate Chip with Roasted Almonds the most. I like almonds in anything and the fact that they worked so well with the chocolatey aspects of this creation made the overall experience that much more enjoyable. The Coconut Dark Chocolate Chip variety would be great for someone who has a fondness for coconut. I, unfortunately, am not eager to have too much of this flavor. I had someone who likes coconut try them and they said that they were excellent. It would be wise to offer one cookie with coconut and another without it.

Their Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookie fits into the same category as their coconut one. I do not like peanut butter either. After trying them, I could see how someone could like them. I brought in the same person who tried the coconut variety and they gave the same stellar praise. These two types of cookies left me wanting a white chocolate macadamia nut. The Double Dark kind is unique and has a flavor all its own. The other cookies in the product line are more or less derivative of each other.

Another confusing part of Clara Cookies is the repeated mentions of four flavors when all that’s displayed is three options. The box I received only had three flavors in it as well. Giving the customer the option to choose from one of many flavors is beneficial, especially when the intention of the organization is to help with a good cause. These cookies are capable of doing a lot of good for a lot of people. People with dietary restrictions can have a good treat while helping out with an important initiative.

Waggoner’s Chocolates Review


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Waggoner’s Chocolates went big, but I don’t want them to go home. The package they sent was something I could best describe as a treasure chest of coffee. Each piece of chocolate I tried was better than the last. I enjoyed the fact that all of their chocolates were individually wrapped in plastic. I have nothing against chocolates that come in the classic box of chocolates format with the small chocolates sized muffin papers (a long way to describe something for which I don’t know the official name). I just like the way that Waggoner’s decided to package their chocolates.

I almost like it better when a company holds back. It opens the door to future reviews. I am left feeling conflicted because, while I appreciate the generosity Waggoner’s decided to show me, I fear that this might be last time I write about them. I know that I will circle back around to them when they cross my mind later on down the line. I never write a follow-up about a company unless I have something new to cover about them. I enjoy writing about companies as time goes on because my writing ability increases and the thoughts about the world change. Perhaps that will be the way I end up talking about Waggoner’s again.

I don’t like leaving friends out in the cold though. The best scenario for me is that I’m able to follower Waggoner’s progression going forward. Companies release new products all the time. I love to check these products out. It doesn’t matter if companies decide that they want to go with the products they have now. They could just change their logo or adjust the way they decided to represent themselves. I like to follow these changes because the reason why they were made tells a lot about the evolution of an organization.

If you’re looking for a company that’s going to pay special attention to how their products made, presented, and delivered, you should go with Waggoner’s Chocolates. I hate goodbyes, so I think I’m going to leave this one as a “See you later.” Luckily, they sent me a good amount of chocolate, so I don’t have to worry about having to miss them anytime soon. The beauty of companies that make an impresson on me is that the idea of me talking about them again is not a matter of if, but when.

Jean Pierre’s Fine Chocolate and Nuts Review


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I like the product I received from Jean Pierre’s Fine Chocolate and Nuts, but I felt like their website left a lot to be desired. I rummaged through everything on their website. I have never seen a website that had less information to offer its visitors. I understand why this is the case though. You would be surprised at how many websites I come across that tell nothing about the company they’re trying to represent. I believe this issue results from the fact that it’s difficult to populate a website with content that’s worth reading. If you guys want me to write some content for you, I would be willing to do that in a second.

Now, on to their product. The product that I received from JP’s Fine Chocolate was chocolate bars. These bars were interesting because they were chock full of nuts. I know what you’re thinking. Chocolate bars with nuts in them are a dime a dozen. You could go to your grocery store and fill your cart with a hundred types this afternoon. The bars from JP’s Fine Chocolate have several types of nuts in them. The way they assemble the nuts on the bar make all the flavors blend very well with each other. I don’t know what they put on the nuts, but it produces an addictive taste.

Suddenly I am reminded of Johnny Carson and what he used to do at the end of a comedian’s performance. I am not saying that I’m Johnny Carson by any means. For those of you who don’t know, Johnny Carson would call comedians whose performances he enjoyed over to his couch for an interview. I would like to invite JP’s Fine Chocolate over to the couch. I thought that the product they sent me was great and I want to try more.

I plan on storing the chocolate I got from JP’s Fine Chocolate like the apocalypse is coming. There’s nothing worse than finding a product you like only to run out of that product. I don’t want to run out of the bars from JP’s Fine Chocolate. The best thing about freezing chocolate is that it can last for longer. Don’t be surprised if I break off tiny pieces of their bars in the hopes they will go on forever. I know this will be done in vain, but I’m hoping it might work.

Lang’s Chocolates Review


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Sometimes you come across a company that introduces themselves to you, but they’re a bit shy. They showcase a product or two, but they leave you wanting more. That’s the kind of experience I had with Lang’s Chocolates. They sent me a few packages of their ReoGood Chocolate Covered Oreos. I loved them. I was shocked when I delved deeper into their product catalog and discovered that trying this product was like skimming the surface of what they truly had to offer. I scrolled through countless images of treats I’ve had in the past and loved, but none of them will be profiled here.

I leave the door open for subsequent reviews whenever I decide to profile a company. That’s what I feel is in the cards here. I recognize that some companies are unwilling to give me a second chance for whatever reason. I understand this fully. There are so many tricksters and swindlers out there that it’s no wonder that companies are reluctant to give reviewers the time of day. At the same time, I feel like I am in a different category of reviewers. I do not like to call myself a chocolate blogger or a coffee blogger. I’m a writer. I find things to write about and these reviews are the resulting product.

That being said, I fully recommend Lang’s Chocolates and everything that they offer. I don’t even need to try their full product line (though I would like to) to be able to say that they make top notch stuff. Quality is hard to come by in the chocolate world (trust me, more on that later), so it’s refreshing when I come across a company that’s doing it right in every respect. I admire the honesty they showed me in sending a small sampling of their products. I look at their package as the icebreaker, a beginning to what could be a wonderful relationship.

I never know what to think coming into these reviews. I like to drop all expectations to ensure that my reaction to what I am reviewing is fresh and not obstructed by pretense or misconception. I went into this review having no idea what Lang’s Chocolates was all about. After trying their product, I feel like they should be a more visible entity in their industry. They make wonderful products and deserve far more recognition than what they’re getting.

Tierra Nueva – Coffee Thins Review


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Who would have thought that you could have chocolate that both tasted great and had a strong coffee flavor at the same time? Tierra Nueva’s line of coffee thins has come around the change the game forever and for the better. I enjoy having their chocolate with a cup of coffee because it does provide a decent boost. I have taken them with me when I go on lengthy trips. They work great as a snack. I appreciate the fact that each of their three chocolate packages doesn’t add a considerable amount to my waistline. The calorie count is low, so I am able to enjoy hearty amounts of their treats.

I never thought that the first company that sent me chocolate would be a company with whom I wanted to be friends. Tierra Nueva fits the bill of a company I want to write and know more about. I want to see what other brands of coffee they turn into delicious chocolates. I want to try those new chocolates and then come on here to tell you all about them. I will continue to envision new ways to push the message of this company and the greatness of their chocolates.

Actual partnerships between chocolate and coffee are rarely without their share of gimmicks. Chocolate flavored coffees taste artificial and do nothing but disappoint. Outside of chocolate covered coffee beans, there’s seldom a variety of chocolate coffee that wows anyone. Tierra Nueva has come out of the woodwork and opened the door for contenders who want to put in the effort to make something worthwhile. I hope to see more great coffee chocolate in the coming years. If not, I’ll be sure to hang my hat on Tierra Nueva.

I grow tired of the chorus of doubters who speak ill of the significance of coffee or chocolate. They wonder why I stress over the minutia of both these seemingly run-of-the-mill products. Perhaps we have entered a time where we have so many things available to us that we have been lulled into a false sense of security. We need to venture outside of our comfort zone and realize the true greatness of the things we love. I love coffee, but I don’t necessarily love chocolate. Here comes Tierra Nueva with their coffee thins to make me love chocolate again by masterfully injecting it with what I love. It’s a game changer.

All About Chocolate

Here are Some of the Chocolates I’ve Reviewed
Clara Cookies
Jean Pierre’s Fine Chocolate and Nuts
Lang’s Chocolates
Santosha Chocolate
Tierra Nueva – Coffee Thins
Waggoner’s Chocolates

I had an epiphany recently and it made me want to open up a new section of The Coffee Encyclopedia. The Bean Box sent me a few chocolates in a package and Tierra Nueva included several packages in another shipment. A forthcoming review of Tierra Nueva will be the first entry in this series. Several more reviews will come after that and this section will profile the best of the best in the chocolate industry. I don’t believe that anything gets accomplished when a writer focuses on an industry’s most prominent entities. This approach is akin to pricing the fruit at the bottom of a tree just because it’s the easiest to access.

You have to be willing to exert some extra effort to find the diamonds in the rough. Every chocolate maker starts from the bottom. They don’t become as big as Hershey’s overnight. Giving the little guys the cold shoulder could mean depriving the world of the next chocolate juggernaut. I’ve taken this approach on the coffee side of things and I plan to do that here. If it involves chocolate, you better believe I’m going to talk about it. As far as the connection between coffee and chocolate, that explanation is a bit more personal.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m drinking coffee, I have the feeling I need something sweet. As a big guy, people often think that I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world. The exact opposite is the truth. I actually have an aversion to sugar and am unable to eat it in large quantities without getting the strangest feeling in my throat like the sugar is collecting back there. I used to have a huge sugar problem and I kicked the habit for the longest time. This has resulted in a strange, conflicted relationship between me and the sweet beast.

I think my need to get sugar out of my life came from the uninteresting options I had available to me. This is more or less the same reason I started this blog four years ago. I got bored with what I had in front of me. I thought I would spend the rest of my life drinking the same two or three types of coffee. That all changed when I started writing about coffee and contacting the people who have devoted their lives to making great beans and brews. On the coffee side, it has been a wonderful journey so far and I look forward to sharing it with you.