What role does the cocoa content play in your chocolate?

Welche Rolle spielt der Kakaogehalt in Eurer Schokolade?
Anyone who has ever taken part in our digital chocolate tastings or team events knows how important the quality, varieties and variety of flavors of cocoa beans is to us. As a consequence, many assume that higher cocoa content is also a sign of higher chocolate quality. Here you can find out why this is not the case and what the cocoa content tells you about the chocolate.

What exactly is the cocoa content?

The cocoa content describes the percentage of chocolate made from cocoa beans. In other words: a 100g bar of 70% chocolate contains 70g of cocoa and 30g of sugar. The cocoa beans themselves are made up of about half cocoa butter (i.e. fat) and half cocoa solids. Both contribute to chocolate in different ways: the cocoa butter has a major impact on the texture of the chocolate, while the solids in the cocoa beans are primarily responsible for the flavors.

Cocoa content is not the same as cocoa content

Basically, one could assume that a higher cocoa content also brings more good fat (i.e. cocoa butter) and more aromas into the chocolate and is therefore better per se. However, this is not necessarily the case for various reasons. On the one hand, the subjective taste sensation of each and every individual is decisive. This means that even if we always advertise a cocoa content of around 70% - because this is where you can best taste the aromas in the chocolate - in the end it's all about you and your taste buds.
Do you prefer milk chocolate? Or do you feel best at 80%? We always recommend testing other cocoa percentages, but in the end you know your taste best. On the other hand, a higher cocoa content is not necessarily better because the biggest difference lies in how the chocolate was processed. In the case of high-quality chocolate, the cocoa beans are processed in their entirety, so all the “good” components and good fats – such as cocoa butter – are retained.

Cheap substitute fats instead of cocoa butter

In the case of industrially manufactured chocolate, on the other hand, the cocoa butter is extracted during processing and sold to the cosmetics industry, for example. What remains is a low-fat cocoa component, which is processed into cocoa powder or combined with cheap fats or oils to make chocolate.

good chocolate has its price

The middle thing: the milk chocolate

In the case of high-quality milk chocolate, the cocoa content of the chocolate consists of cocoa beans and additionally added cocoa butter. The extra fat is necessary because the milk powder in the milk chocolate needs to be balanced to achieve a pleasing texture. So if your milk chocolate has a low cocoa content (below 40%) then there is likely to be a large proportion of cheap substitute fats or oils in the ingredients list.
The other way around: the higher the cocoa content, the less milk powder, sugar and additional fats are required...and the more intensely chocolaty the chocolate tastes. To be on the safe side, you should always check the list of ingredients again. Industrial manufacturers are always coming up with new, inexpensive ways to trick the ingredients.

And how about white chocolate

You often ask us whether white chocolate is, by definition, chocolate at all. And indeed this was (and is) controversial in many parts of the world, including the EU . Why? White chocolate does not contain cocoa beans, but only one component: cocoa butter. In the case of white chocolate, the percentage of cocoa therefore refers to the proportion of cocoa butter. And while quality chocolate is high in cocoa butter, cheap chocolate is low and cocoa butter is replaced with more sugar, more milk powder, cheaper fats and oils.

Nice outside, but ugly inside

So instead of orienting yourself to the cocoa content of the chocolate, we strongly advise you to read the list of ingredients and the background information carefully! Be sure to pay attention to the ingredients, the origin and the type of cocoa. The cocoa content is a rough guide but says nothing about the quality of the chocolate. Dark chocolate does not have to be bitter at all , but can be very mild and nutty like milk chocolate. We explain here what else you should pay attention to when buying chocolate .
Want to learn more about chocolate? Then join us for achocolate tasting :-)

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