Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: TCHO Chocolatey

Lindy's Rating: 6.0
Richard's Rating: 5.5
chocolate makerTCHO
cacao trees(unknown)
size58g ~ 2.0oz
cocoa solids70%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
emulsifiersoy lecithin
other ingredients(none)
list price$5.48
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth, scoring, curving lines
aromaroast (cocoa, hint of smoke), earth (soil), fruit, hint of spice
tasteinitial sour, roast (cocoa, malt), sweet (caramel), hint of vanilla
meltmore smooth
finishslightly acidic, slightly tannin
TCHO is a U.S. bean to bar chocolate maker based in San Francisco that crafts chocolate based on flavors rather than origins. The TCHO flavor wheel has six flavors: Chocolatey, Citrus, Earthy, Floral, Fruity, and Nutty. At present, they do not make Earthy or Floral chocolate. TCHO prides themselves on innovation and leveraging technology to make their chocolate better. They work closely with their cacao farmers to improve fermentation and drying practices.

Chocolatey is a single origin chocolate from Ghana that was made with cacao beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and vanilla beans. The chocolate contained 70% cocoa solids. The two ounce bar was scored in 9 pieces and came wrapped in gold-sided wax paper inside a paper box. There was not a production or best before date for the bar we reviewed, but the box did have a sticker with the number 2021.

The color of Chocolatey was a medium-dark brown close to Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The surface had a smooth finish and was imprinted with an intricate pattern. Depending on the lighting angle, we observed many small lighter squiggles (that appear darker in the photo -- more easily seen if you enlarge the photo and look near the center of the top), as well as a pattern on the back from filling the mold. These are minor, though, and overall the bar had a nice temper.

This chocolate gave off a cocoa roast aroma, with a bit of smoke. A hard snap revealed a strong earth that Lindy identified as damp soil. We also smelled a little fruit, and I detected a hint of spice.

Chocolatey had a brief initial sour flavor that quickly faded below a cocoa roast and caramel sweetness. The roast also included some malt, and I tasted a hint of vanilla.

This bar had a nice more smooth melt. The chocolate flavor lasted 15 to 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone, not quite reaching a medium length. Chocolately had a slightly acidic and slightly tannin finish.

Overall, we found this to be a good basic chocolate bar. As Lindy described it, "nothing detracts, but nothing exceptional."

You can purchase TCHO Chocolately online directly from TCHO for $10.95 for two bars.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure where you got the information that this chocolate is 70℅ cocoa SOLIDs. Unlike European standards, US producers do not have to specifically mention the cocoa mass or solids percent and so some include cocoa butter content. Given how sweet this chocolate is I suspect, that 70℅ is not just cocoa solids. Please verify before propagating this information.