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A chocolate bar from Romania with coffee beans? What the hell? Is this good chocolate? Do they use premium coffee? Is Heidi from Romania top tier stuff? Let the Chocolate Republic fill you in, okay?  

Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Heidi Cocoa & Coffee

     
Heidi Cocoa & Coffee 
Posted: 29 March 2014    3.5 
Heidi Cocoa & Coffee from Romania This is a bar which poses at greatness. The entire brand does.   Where Heidi falls short is on taste. Their 30% milk chocolate blend is too sweet. And the coffee?  The wrapper shows a drawing of some savory coffee beans, and Heidi uses clear wrap to expose what appear to be sprinkles of coffee beans on the surface of the bar. In reality, the coffee content comprises just 1% of the bar, and the sprinkles are just bits of shaved chocolate cocoa pieces -- and not very tasty ones at that.   Avoid this brand like the plague. 
Avg price/gram: USD 0.041   Cocoa %: 30  Size: 100g   
       


I must be losing my mind. What can I say?  This sort of happens as you age.  You don't cling to memories as much as you used to and tend to forget mundane things you did just last year, mundane things like tasting Heidi brand chocolate bars.       

Last May, I sampled two bars in Heidi's Grand Or range, the Milk & Almonds and the White & Hazelnuts.  Both were appraised as below average.  I should cut myself a bit of slack.  The experience wasn't worth remembering, so I didn't.  Then, last weekend I was at the gourmet market store here in town which imports a narrow variety of chocolate bars.  Among them were a few Heidi bars from Romania.  The same thoughts came to mind this time as they did a year ago.  "Mmmmm. Romanian chocolate.  That would be great for adding diversity to the Chocolate Republic."          

After sinking my teeth into this Cocoa & Coffee bar, part of Heidi's Gourmet range, I was sure wishing I remembered how the Heidi story had ended the last time.  Heidi, in a nutshell (or in a chocolate wrapper, as the case may be), is the reason the Chocolate Republic hasn't reviewed a single bar in five months.  There is a dearth of challenging bars to be sampled among the choices on Thailand's grocery store shelves. As the unchallenged arbiter of good taste at the Chocolate Republic I am supposed to be open-minded about a brand until I've sampled it.  In this example, I forgot I was already acquainted with Heidi and hence dug into another of their milk chocolate blend bars.  Once my taste buds were re-tortured,  I quickly remembered the disappointment previously.  How open-minded do you think I will be about giving Heidi bars a try yet one more time?      

Heidi goes part of the way towards exuding a luxury chocolate bar.  Their packaging is up to Western European standards. So is their pricing. On a per gram basis, Heidi is pricier than Lindt and Green & Black bars, both far superior brands. Where Heidi falls short is on taste. Their 30% milk chocolate blend is too sweet. And the coffee?  The wrapper shows a drawing of some savory coffee beans, and Heidi uses clear wrap to expose what appear to be sprinkles of coffee beans on the surface of the bar. In reality, the coffee content comprises just 1% of the bar, and the sprinkles are just bits of shaved chocolate cocoa pieces -- and not very tasty ones at that.     

This is a bar which poses at greatness. The entire brand does.  Heidi drops misleading hints of being a Swiss chocolatier.   Sorry, Heidi, you're not.  No real Swiss chocolatier with a reputation would risk denting brand image by manufacturing chocolates in Romania.  Mainstream Lindt and Frey could probably setup factories in Romania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe to cut down on labor and manufacturing costs.  They don't.  Part of the allure of Swiss chocolates is the price premium.  We expect to pay more for them because we expect them to taste better than the average mainstream chocolate bar, and they do. Heidi, however, can't even cut it against Ritter Sport or mainstream Japanese brands like Meiji, which charge just a fraction of the price.       

If Heidi spent nearly as much time making good chocolate as it does talking about it, the company could become the torch bearer for a chocolate renaissance in Eastern Europe.  Heidi instead prefers to glorify achievements it has never made, making the company sound more and more like the fat cat Communist regime which was toppled just five years before Heidi was birthed.     

Chocolate this bad should be priced at a third of what it's selling for and be offered in the discount bin or tossed straight into the trash bin.  It shouldn't be gracing the shelves of high-end import shops in Asia.  When you see bars like these landing choice supermarket shelf space, you realize it really does come down to who you know.  Heidi must be sleeping with someone very, very important to be given carte blanche to ruin Asians' blossoming chocolate experiences.              

Avoid this brand like the plague.  If forced to taste, regurgitate at the earliest possible moment.       

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 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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