Let's talk about sugar...
There is has been much talk in the media recently about high st coffee shops offering drinks with very high levels of sugar.
We would like to reassure all our customers that here at Chococo, we are chocoholics, not sugarholics and as such take the role of sugar very seriously in all the forms of chocolate that we offer to you. In fact, the longer that we work in this industry, the less sweet-toothed we have all become. All our team members would say this as they realise the difference between what we offer and the overly-sweetened commercial hot chocolates & chocolates widely available elsewhere.
With regards to our range of hot chocolates as we sell in our cafes in Swanage & Winchester, whilst you can choose a white chocolate hot chocolate if you really want to (& yes that will be very sweet), our classic house hot chocolate is made with 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate from Madagascar that we melt into hot milk. We dont use any powdered hot chocolate products that have been adulterated with significant amounts of sugar - often the cocoa solids content of such powders available in many outlets is only around 35%...that's not much cocoa & a lot of sugar/other ingredients!
Further, if you want even less sugar in your hot chocolate, you can choose our 75% Tanzanian, 80% Ugandan or even our 100% Colombian, which by definition is sugar-free. We do offer a small pot of sugar & teaspoon measures on the side for customers to add their preferred amount of sweetness, but like an espresso, most of our customers enjoy this particular hot chocolate "neat"!
With regards to our range of handmade chocolates, we are passionate believers in not adulterating our creations with sugar. It is standard practice, even in the fine chocolate industry, to add glucose syrup, sugar or honey to recipes to extend shelf life (the more sugar in a product, the longer it will last). We don't do that unless the sugar is required, for example to make honeycombe or our salted caramels, or the honey is there to add a flavour note to a chocolate.
This is one of the reasons why our fresh chocolates have such a short shelf life, as they are unadulterated & also why they have such a clean taste & mouthfeel.
We also appreciate that most consumers still prefer milk chocolate which by definition is sweeter than dark chocolate. Many milk chocolates are relatively low in cocoa & high in sugar. However, our house milk chocolate from Venezuela, is very high in cocoa (or cocoa solids as it is defined on packaging) containing 43%. This compares to the UK's biggest milk chocolate brand which contains around 20%....
Further, as the amount of milk in milk chocolate is usually between c20-25%, the balance pretty much is sugar. It is quite easy to work out how much sugar is in milk chocolate when you add up the cocoa solids & milk solids together - what's left is there or thereabouts sugar (there is usually a tiny amount of natural vanilla & sometimes soya lecithin in fine chocolate - cheaper commerical chocolate can have vegetable fats including palm oil & other flavourings in there too....but that is another story!).
By the way, white chocolate is even sweeter than milk (& most white chocolates, unlike ours, are made with very processed cocoa butter that has had all its cocoa flavour notes removed, hence the use of large amounts of vanilla in many white chocolates). This is why we do not work with it as much as milk or dark chocolate and I would strongly recommend that you do not feed white chocolate to small children as their first experience of chocolate...all that will do is train their palettes to think of chocolate as something very sweet - start them on good quality milk or even dark chocolate and they won't look back!
As my Scottish Granny used to say "A little bit of what you fancy does you no harm" & if that little bit is a Chococo hot chocolate or a Chococo chocolate, we hope that you will enjoy your Chococo experience all the more knowing that we care about sugar too & have worked hard to ensure that as much as possible, you can enjoy the taste of fine chocolate, not sugar.
Best regards, Claire Burnet