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December 09, 2005

Review: Rapunzel Tiger Hot Cocoa Drink

Rapunzel Tiger Hot Cocoa Drink Overall: **1/2

Rapunzel's Tiger cocoa mix has a lot going for it: it uses organic ingredients, follows fair trade practices through their own Hand in Hand program and looks like a nice rich cocoa. I had high hopes for it when I saw the container at the store. However, it turns out to be a little disappointing -- partly because of my own high expectations.

Tiger is a cocoa mix, not a hot chocolate mix. In spite of that, it was a very rich color, although like most cocoa mixes, it has a muted bouquet. The texture is very fine and it melts more easily in milk than some of the other cocoa mixes like Dagoba and Green & Blacks. The instructions on the container call for a heaping spoonful (or two) to be added to a glass of hot (or cold!) milk. I added about 2 tablespoons and that turned out to be about right. One of the aspects of Tiger that I liked (and would probably appeal to the more sugar-sensitive cocoa drinkers) is that Tiger is not as sweet as most cocoa mixes. That makes for a nice change of pace. My biggest quibble with Tiger is that it's taste is not as sharp as I would like it to be, and it didn't make much of an impression on my palate, blending into an almost forgettable experience. Now, the self-critical side of me says that this could just be due to my sweet tooth being nonplussed by Tiger being a little light on the sweetness (the same way people need salt to bring out the various flavors in foods). But, I like bittersweet chocolates in general, so I don't think that's the case. I should add, just for clarification, that Tiger's taste is head and shoulders above that of the run-of-the-mill cocoa mixes, but it does suffer in comparison to most of the gourmet mixes.

So, while I give props to Rapunzel for its commitment to organic, fair trade products, I am pretty ambivalent about Tiger's taste. Nonetheless, I will be bringing Tiger out when certain friends & family members (who don't like their cocoa inundated with sugar) are visiting.