Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TCHO Fruity

TCHO just announced that they’ve opened a store in San Francisco. They’ve also expanded their “flavor” offerings to include Nutty, Fruity and Citrus along with the initial Chocolatey.

I got a hold of a later Beta of their Ghana (Chocolatey) as well as the Fruity through a friend who ordered it but didn’t like it.

Tcho Fruity

The Peru 0.11 M scent isn’t fruity. I expected berry notes or perhaps apples or pears. Instead it smells strongly of coffee and wood shavings. (Kind of like the break room at a sawmill!)

I have to say that I was impressed when I placed a square in my mouth this time. The melt is silky and creamy. The grain size is much smaller and a lot more consistent than the previous version I tried which was more like a variety ground on a stone wheel.

This is immediately tangy. The acidic notes are bright but very high pitched and puckery. I don’t get any real fruit flavors to go with it, just a tingly burst of the sourness and then the creamy background with some powdery green stick flavors. The balance of flavors was all off, like the whole thing was leaning to the left, about ready to tip over.

So while I appreciate the step forward in texture, the flavor was definitely a step back for me. It took several weeks for me to eat half a bar.

Tcho GhanaThe C Ghana D.99D is the Chocolatey variety that I tasted months ago in an earlier version. Now marked with the cacao percentage, this one is 70%.

As I’d hoped from the Fruity beta, this was much creamier and had a much more pleasing mouthfeel than the previous one I tried.

The immediate flavors I got though were absolutely different from the “Chocolatey” Ghana before. This was an overwhelming flavor of honey, cedar and a light tinge of herby balsam like rosemary or lavender.

The notes were confined to a very narrow spectrum. While the Fruity was high pitched with a couple of low resonant notes in the scent, Chocolatey was pure middle notes, like walking down a narrow hallway with the same pictures displayed over and over again on the walls. It felt repetitive and monotonous and had no finish to it ... it just abruptly came to a halt. (Though I admit I loved the initial honey flavor a lot.)

So while both have a much more pleasing texture than the previous test batch, and I can appreciate the differences in the beans without even looking at the labels ... I didn’t like either of these bars. I understand that they’re still in beta mode, I have to say that I’m glad that I didn’t pay for these samples.

Related Candies

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  6. Treat Trip: Scharffen Berger Factory
Name: C Ghana 0.7 AH
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: TCHO
Place Purchased: gift
Price: gift
Size: 1.76 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, United States, All Natural, Fair Trade, Bay Area

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:00 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Recently, I tried some “Meiji Gold Premium Cacao Fruity Milk” and my experience with this “fruity” chocolate was similar to yours. That is, it had coffee flavors and was rather acidic and closer to bittersweet chocolate despite being a milk chocolate. I’ve read that Madagascar cocoa is supposed to be “fruity”, but I didn’t detect strong fruit notes except a hint of dark cherry.

    Comment by Orchid64 on 11/25/08 at 4:56 pm #
  2. When I was in Peru on business several years ago, I expected the chocolate to be fantastic, but it was very bland and unexciting.  The coffee I had in Peru was some of the very best I’ve ever tasted, but the chocolate was some of the worst.  Since then, numerous co-workers have brought back chocolate bars from a few different places in South America, and I’ve felt the same way about each that I’ve tried.

    I have one exception to this, and that is Helena’s Chocolates, which a co-worker gave to me as a gift recently.  Their truffles were outstanding.  And I would assume that they use Peruvian chocolate, since their main factory is in Peru, but there was nothing on their website that said where they get their chocolate from.

    Comment by Brandy on 11/26/08 at 6:38 am #
  3. Sera's avatar

    I tried the TCHO line at the NYC Chocolate show earlier this month and I wasn’t impressed either…. :/

    Comment by Sera on 11/26/08 at 9:41 am #
  4. I tried TCHO in December last year and was disappointed. It was very expensive and not that special.

    Comment by Andrew Sherman on 11/26/08 at 11:02 am #
  5. Hm, really? I sampled this at a festival a while ago. They had two different flavors of “fruity” and were having people vote on which one they should make into a product. I thought both were fine, but nothing standout.

    Comment by Jeni on 12/04/08 at 1:32 pm #
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