Monday, June 20, 2005

New Tree Chocolates

Name: New Tree Chocolates: Vigor, Forgiveness & Tranquility
Brand: New Tree
Place Purchased: Monsieur Marcel (LA Farmer’s Market)
Price: $3.35 each
Size: .95 oz
Calories per ounce: no nutrition facts listed on box
Type: Chocolate

I reviewed another of these bars, called Renew a few weeks ago and I wanted to try other flavors. I found these little boxes with tasting bars at the Farmer’s Market and picked up an assortment. The one that had me most intrigued was Tranquility which bills itself as soothing. It’s milk chocolate with Lime Blossom and Lavender in it.

The packaging, first of all, is delightful. I put a quarter in the photo so you could see how tiny these bars are. New Tree extols itself as all natural, healthful chocolate what eschews genetically modified organisms (I’m not sure if Monsanto has gotten around to modifying the cocoa plant) and infuses their Belgian made chocolate with sometimes incongruous flavors and extra fiber. Turns out the no GMO part applies to the soya lecithin.

The Tranquility bar was very nice. It’s not terribly smooth, which is often what happens when you put dried stuff in chocolate. For Belgian milk chocolate it’s a bit sweet, but it doesn’t have that milky taste. The lavender notes come through loud and clear and leave a pleasantly fragrant note on the tongue long after the chocolate has dissolved. I wasn’t able to detect the lime blossom, but I’ve never eaten lime blossoms before and they might taste just like lavender for all I know.

I had to try the Vigor bar early in the day, as eating a full ounce of this is the equivalent of one cup of coffee (and I’ve already had a cup of coffee). At 73% cocoa, this bar smells unabashedly like pure chocolate. But upon putting it in my mouth, it melted quickly and I tasted only slight hints of rich coffee flavors. Naked coffee and chocolate are a great combo, as they both are roasted and smoky and contain lots of alkaloids. This is a barely sweetened bar that also boasts that it contains extracts of guarana. I’ve had more mocha tasting bars in the past and to be honest, I don’t want a caffienated chocolate bar, because I’d be tempted to eat it later in the day and then curse it as I couldn’t sleep later in the evening. But if you’re good with caffeine at all hours, maybe this is the bar for you. I don’t recommend pairing it with Red Bull or other energy drinks unless you enjoy heart palpitations.

The last bar, Forgiveness, was in the yellow box and was flavored with lemon and said that it helps metabolism. Again, a very dark bar with 73% cocoa. This bar also smells suspicously like chocolate with a slight lemon essence to it that’s more obvious after eating. It’s not a zesty taste, like a lemon bar or anything, just a hint of it. It’s actually very nice, a big difference from the heavily flavored bars from BruCo (don’t get me wrong, I liked those, too). The “helps metabolism” part got me curious though. There are “natural extracts of cactus” in it. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but there are a lot of cactus out there ... that’s like saying something vague like has “natural nuts” in it. The website says that the cactus is Opuntia ficus-indica. A quick google search reveals that this is a prickly pear, and looks a lot like one I have in my back yard. Further searching reveals that this particular cactus also contains mescaline. I’m sure that my teensy bar that’s less than a third of an ounce does not contain any measurable amounts.

I guess this is where I can get into the topic of candy for snacking and candy for savoring. There are some folks who enjoy wine and drink it for the joy of drinking. Then there are some folks who enjoy wine for all its nuances and savor every sip. I’m somewhere in the middle there when it comes to candy. I love consumer candy, stuff you just eat, that you put in your mouth and you finish and you want more. This New Tree stuff and many of the other gourmet bars are not meant for munching. They’re more complex, like a fine cheese or something. As a reference, I still have a little bit of the Renew bar left and it’s been weeks. This is not candy that calls out to me to be eaten. (Yes, sometimes I hear the candy calling me ... mostly things like maltballs and I can also hear smarties calling from several hundred yards.) Maybe some will accuse me of not being sophisticated enough and I’d be inclined to agree with them. You can dress up my vitamins in gumballs or chewables, but that doesn’t make them candy. Candy is a treat, not a chore.

I feel kind of bad for not liking these bars more, like I’m not sophisticated or stylish. I also feel bad because they’re so hugely expensive. Which I guess goes to prove that good quality candy does not have to be expensive. And expensive candy is not neccesarily great.

I think over the past few months as I’ve been trying more of these bars, my favorite fancy flavored bar has been the Dagoba Milk Chocolate Chai. I ate that, it tasted good and I wanted more. That’s what I want in my candy ... one that gets me addicted.

Ratings:
Vigor - 6 out of 10
Tranquility - 6 out of 10
Forgiveness - 6 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:25 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewNew TreeCaffeinatedChocolateCoffee6-TemptingBelgiumUnited States

Comments
  1. Belgian chocolate…

    I have no idea what the difference is (differences are?) between Belgian and any other chocolate.

    How much caffeine is in the Vigor bar? It sounds like a lot, given your cautions!

    Comment by russ on 12/31/69 at 4:00 pm #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    The website says that 1 oz of chocolate equals one cup of coffee.

    Comment by Cybele on 12/31/69 at 4:00 pm #
  3. I have just bought a new item from http://www.naturesfinestcorp.com ITS PINE HONEY.
    Actually a Prine Tree Extract in liquidy form that is healthy.
    Its sweet and my children drink it with hot water.
    I use it on waffles and pancakes.
    WHO NEEDS CHOCOLARTE AND SWEETS, WHEN PINE HONEY IS AVAILABLE.
    Mayer Bendet

    Comment by Mayer Bendet on 1/01/07 at 3:57 am #
  4. Newtree bars are very good and different in that they offer some exotic flavors such as lavender. A great way to try all 9 of the Newtree bars is is to get the nine piece mini-bar sampler which can be purchased online at http://www.iluvchocolate.com  Then after you try each one you can order the ones you enjoyed the most.

    Comment by DS on 3/26/07 at 8:57 am #
  5. These are some of my favorite chocolates and this is now one of my favorite blogs so imagine my pleasure when I did a google on “Newtree” and came up with this page! Out of the series my favorite has to be the Tranquility (lavender), which was such a surprise the first time I tried it; I bought it on a whim, based solely on the novelty of the flavor combo but was shocked when I loved it. To me it’s kind of a mint-esque taste but… not. I also love Rejoice (orange with rice crisps) and I’m dying to try Comfort (with cinnimon).... I’d recommend these for anybody who’d like a unique chocolate experience.

    Comment by Steph.K on 12/21/07 at 5:02 pm #
  6. I just picked up a little three pack sampler from the Safeway.  Being as I love your site, I decided to go for it and be bold… try something new.  (I also picked up some crunch bars… call me an old skooler)  I had no clue that you had reviewed these yet, but I tried the tranquility first.  I dunno how I feel about it.  I do taste a tingly, woodsy note.  You mostly feel it at the back of your tounge.  Not someplace I usually taste things.  My husband tried the cinnamon one, and he loves it.  He wont go further than that.

    Comment by A B on 5/01/08 at 5:46 am #
  7. I just purchased these awesome bars from http://www.gourmetindulgence.net/newtree1.html and agree! They were great in flavor. I really enjoyed the vigor in the morning but my favorite has to be the rejoice. I love orange and chocolate!

    Comment by John on 1/11/09 at 2:55 am #

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