I've been a fan of Artisan du Chocolat for many years. You obviously don't hear about them so much as part of this Great British chocolate making revival as, as far as I'm aware, they don't actually make chocolate from the unroasted bean. But for many people whether a company itself makes chocolate from the raw bean or buys roasted beans, nibs, cocoa mass or whatever, isn't as important as the final flavour of the chocolate. And if this where your mind is then this review is for you.
Firstly this chocolate was £3.50 for 45g from the Artisan du Chocolat website and I bought it with another 'no added sugar' bar. The downside was that delivery, even for two bars was £5 via next day delivery, rather than £2 or so via Royal Mail First Class.
There is no information about origin or if this is a blended chocolate from a variety of different bean types or origins - for the purist this may be a negative feature of the packaging. The website, however, does state that the chocolate is made from Criollo and Trinitario beans 'from chosen regions'. This ambiguity could mean that they have used different sources of cocoa mass, mixed them and then processed to requirement.
The first time I tried this chocolate it brought the Casa Luker cocoa mass we sell and which is has been very well received by our customers. It's not an exact match of flavours but there is a similar earthiness, dryness and general appeal. However, the Casa Luker has a nuttier profile whilst the Artisan has flavour much lower down the overall profile - it is less prominent and a touch more acidic.
The two chocolates may be from the same source but are different batches etc. - to be honest I don't know. But if you did like the Casa Luker 100% I'm sure you'll like this. The delivery charge may put some off, but if you're in London then it shouldn't be too much effort to pick this up and perhaps some of their sweeter offerings for your friends.