A box of chocolates dropping through the letterbox is a sure-fire way to sweeten anyone’s day, so it’s no surprise that the popularity of monthly chocolate subscriptions has skyrocketed recently.
From luxurious truffles to boozy pralines and everything in between, there’s a chocolate subscription package to satisfy every chocoholic’s craving out there – plus they make a great gift for that person who has everything.
After a month of trialling truffles, sampling slabs of single origin and munching on milk chocolate dippers, we’re confident we’ve rounded up the best of the bunch and have found a chocolate treat for everyone – without even having to leave the house.
Where possible we were looking for small independent producers with a passion for chocolate making, but also expanded our search to include a few of the bigger guys who are doing good things with chocolate: there’s room for everyone in chocolate heaven.
So, whether you’re after weird and wonderful flavours, getting your geek on with rare and interesting cocoa bean bars or just need a regular chocolate hit to beat that afternoon slump, we’ve found it.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
The Chocolate Society box of the month
Experimental in ingredients, flavours and techniques, Valrhona-trained chocolatier Alasdair Garnsworthy creates small batches of seasonal monthly boxes out of a professional chocolate kitchen down in rural Somerset.
The July box included summer-packed flavours like ice cream cone praline where the most velvety white chocolate ganache is spiked with vanilla, speckled with luxurious gianduja and crunchy feulletine for a dip into seaside nostalgia, and we couldn’t get enough of the virgin mojito truffle with its impressive zesty zing and mint freshness blended into a “pate” within a fine dark chocolate shell.
We like that you receive two of each variety, which means that sharing is a possibility for once. These are hands down the most lovely-looking chocolates we’ve seen, with their eye-catching, colourful shells decorated with contemporary contrasting metallic flecks then elegantly boxed and tied with ribbon. A warning: you’ll struggle to part with them if you’re giving as a gift.
Chococo truly fresh chocolate club small box
Handmade in Dorset by a husband and wife team, Chococo offer fine, fresh chocolates made from ethically sourced single origin chocolate blended with fresh cream from a Weymouth dairy.
Its emphasis is on natural ingredients, locally sourced where possible to showcase the best of the region which results in tempting creations such as the Great Taste Award winning truffle of Dorset Black Cow vodka blended into a milk chocolate ganache with a hint of lime zest and black pepper: it’s devilishly delicious.
Other standouts from the box we tried were the Dorset apple-smoked sea salt caramel encased in a shining dark chocolate gem, and the fresh Dorset lemon curd-spiked white chocolate ganache was pleasingly tangy.
Chocolates are housed in a bright coloured box that makes for a pretty present even before you spy the intricately decorated chocs themselves (PS, if you lift the dividing grate out of the box you’ll be able to access them far more easily).
Ohso chocolate subscription
Healthy and chocolate aren’t usually words that go together, and when they do the taste is often questionable. Not so with Ohso. This award-winning chocolate is lower in calories than many chocolate bars (should you care), but the selling point is that each sustainably sourced Belgian chocolate bar is fortified with a high dose of probiotic bacteria to aid gut health and no added sugar – and it genuinely tastes good.
The packs come with seven daily bars of 13.5g chocolate – which are a bit on the small side for our liking – to deliver a helpful amount of good bacteria during your afternoon chocolate craving. Choose from four flavours: dark 54 per cent, orange, dark 70 per cent and raspberry, we’re partial to them all.
Cocoba chocolate collection box
Cocoba started life as a pop-up devoted to proper hot chocolate in memory of those shared between Cocoba’s founder and grandfather. Following successful kiosks and cafés in shopping centres, Cocoba branched out into making chocolate bars, truffles, pralines and more from a dedicated Kent chocolate kitchen.
Today it offers a decadent subscription service allowing you to enjoy the hot chocolate experience at home with their incredible melting Belgian chocolate spoons sent alongside a seasonal handmade bar – we tried a scrumptious slab of fudge milk chocolate – several packs of pralines and truffles, plus an innovative chocolatey treat which could be dark chocolate covered coffee beans, nuggets of glorious milk chocolate covered honeycomb or similar and it represents great value compared to some other subscriptions.
Everything we tried was dangerously moreish and sadly we’ll never be satisfied by instant hot chocolate again.
Paul A Young chocolate club
Paul A Young is the first and last word in the world of gourmet chocolate, and his chocolateries are truly something to behold – if you haven’t been, go.
Paul’s multi award-winning chocolates are all handmade freshly on the premises in small batches using artisanal techniques and flavours range from the deliciously familiar (hazelnut praline, real Champagne truffles) to the Willy Wonka-esque (think the korma and poppadom, a spiced coconut and almond white chocolate cream ganache hand-rolled in Guittard 38 per cent Soleil d'Or milk chocolate which has crushed poppadoms incorporated).
Paul’s monthly chocolate club is the best way to enjoy his amazingly innovative chocolates each month, with two nine-piece boxes of assorted pieces from the House Collection and seasonal range.
The current collection might include delights such as the pineapple upside-down cake (pineapple caramel atop sponge cake ganache of white and caramelised milk chocolate in a white chocolate sphere), marmite truffle (yes, really!) or the blood and sand cocktail of guittard white chocolate ganache with whisky and a hint of orange layered with a red wine and cherry ganache then hand rolled in valrhona single origin Brazilian dark chocolate.
Love Cocoa three bar chocolate subscription
Love Cocoa is a luxury ethical chocolate brand by James Cadbury (who just happens to be the great-great-great grandson of John Cadbury) and happily his newly designed bars are now available on a subscription basis meaning you can enjoy three or six bars of the good stuff a month straight to your door.
All chocolate is made in the UK, is single origin, palm oil free and boasts 100 per cent recyclable packaging complete with compostable liners made from wood pulp. Love Cocoa aims to blend luxurious chocolate with contemporary flavours, so bars include varieties like 70 per cent dark single origin Colombian chocolate with gin and tonic, or smooth single origin milk chocolate with salted caramel.
We loved gin and tonic which was properly juniper-forward – and really liked the pairing suggestions where lapsang souchong is matched with the Maldon sea salt dark chocolate and “your favourite Champagne” is recommended with another.
Specify your favourite flavours or leave it up to a surprise; packaging is letterbox friendly and each bar purchased equals one tree planted in its Plant a Tree project.
Graze chocolate treats variety box
Graze isn’t perhaps the first place you’d think to go for a chocolate treat, but we’re pleased to report that its new chocolate treats hit the spot for some tasty afternoon snacking when only the sweet stuff will do.
There’s a new choccy wonders mix of dark chocolate nibs with pretzel and hazelnut, banana and peanut or almond and coconut so you can feel vaguely healthy (they’re also 75 per cent lower in sugar than most dark chocolate) but we’d plump for the sweet and savoury goodness of the cocoa and hazelnut pretzel dipper which is a grown up version of nostalgic chocolate dippers.
Dormouse bean to door club
Professional chocolate maker and founder Isobel earned her stripes working for a luxury chocolate brand where she was trained in the art of bean to bar chocolate making, thus sparking the idea of Dormouse, a Manchester craft chocolate company.
The brand believes good chocolate starts with good beans and has a passion for finding unusual and new beans to work with – all of which are traceable and ethically sourced – from around the world.
The subscription model means each month Dormouse sends a new bar to your door, crafted in micro-batches either from a new origin or flavour combination they’ve been experimenting with, along with details of the origin and information about the inspiration behind it.
Recent bars include a bread and butter milk chocolate of fruity Guatemalan milk chocolate expertly blended with brown butter and local Manchester sourdough; heaven. Membership to the Dormouse Bean to Door club is the only way to get a look in at some of these blends and beans, so run don’t walk if you’re keen: membership is limited as these batches only produce a small number of bars and you really don’t want to miss out.
The verdict: Chocolate subscription boxes
We’ve picked The Chocolate Society’s subscription as our Best Buy as it manages to combine luxury, creativity, value and taste in one delicious box of chocolates.
If our pockets were a little deeper we’d go for Paul A Young’s chocolate club and truly appreciate every morsel of his chocolate genius. For a budget-friendly pick me up, Love Cocoa gets our vote.
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