I do not consider myself to be a chocolate connoisseur. However, I have figured out the difference between great chocolate, good chocolate and not-so-good chocolate. As I pointed out in my Patric Chocolate reviews, here and here, I've never been a fan of dark chocolate. Until recently, I never wanted to taste a 70% Cacao bar because I thought they'd be disgustingly bitter. But here is another 70% cacao that is neither disgusting or bitter. In fact, it is wonderful! TCHO (pronounced "choo") is a fairly new chocolate startup that does the full bean to bar chocolate making process. They do it a little differently than everyone else since they have a technology based chocolate process--including beta chocolate (a term used in the tech field). Even their own company blog and packaging has a very techy feel to it.
I love the packaging on this bar...great colors with a 1960's Spirograph feel to it. The picture below shows the "chocolatey" bar with the same patterns from the cardboard cover carried over and molded onto the bar itself. I love the gold wrapping on the bar and the stories you find inside the wrapper. The flavor wheel (which covers the six different TCHO flavors including "nutty" and "fruity") is a thing of genius. I wish more companies adopted such a simple way to tell you what you are buying. This bar, for instance, shows up as "chocolatey" on the flavor wheel, so I anticipated a straight-forward chocolate flavor.
Upon opening the package you are greeted with a VERY chocolatey smell. I sat for a few minutes and enjoyed the smell before breaking off a corner and letting it melt in my mouth. The flavor was fantastic. There is a nice woodsy taste with a lightly bitter dark chocolate taste. The bar was smooth and I would sum up the texture by saying it was fudge-like. No really, this bar reminded me of fudge and I loved it. I didn't taste any complexity to this bar, no floral or citrus flavors mixed in. It's all chocolate, all the time.
I'd highly recommend this bar to anyone. It is a little pricey, but well worth trying if you love chocolate. The TCHO company has a great blog and their page on chocolate 1.0 is a very interesting read. You can also read two other excellent reviews at candy.about.com and candyblog. I'm ready to move on to the other flavors on their flavor wheel, I think I'm moving clockwise and will try "fruity" next. I love the sound of it.
Taste: 4/5 Really Liked It
Calorie Counter: 1/3 bar = 1 serving = 110 calories, 6g fat, 7g sugars
Price: $5.95 purchased at Starbucks
TCHO Web Site