Better beans to make better chocolate.
A simple concept but a complex process – when we started out, we discovered quickly that there were many challenges to sourcing great cacao consistently.
- Most cacao farmers have never tasted chocolate, even fewer have tasted chocolate made from their own cacao beans. Crazy, right?!
- Most cacao farmers aren’t paid enough to make a decent living, let alone invest in their cacao crops and processes: new drying beds, fermentation boxes, lab equipment, and more.
- The lack of tools and know-how is the main barrier to increasing the quality of cacao produced.
Like we said, complex. So how do we overcome these challenges? The answer is TCHO Source.
TCHO Source is our one-of-a-kind program that addresses this exact gap in understanding. We partner with cacao farmers, cooperatives, and cocoa research institutes around the globe, with the goal to produce the best cacao beans possible. TCHO Source helps supply the tools and training needed, so our partners can become experts at both flavor analysis and cacao production, while earning a better living. TCHO Source is made up of 3 key components:
Fair Trade + Organic
In addition to all of the direct work we do with our partners at origin, many of TCHO’s products are certified Fair Trade and Organic. Fair Trade is a social movement to ensure farmers and artisans are paid a livable wage for their hard work. TCHO adheres to the standards of Fair Trade for many of our products. These standards ensure our cacao suppliers are paid a decent price and receive a special Fair Trade premium, which can be used to fund quality-improvement and social programs. While we proudly source Fair Trade certified cacao, our TCHO Source program and the quality premiums we pay are well above the minimum standards and pricing set by Fair Trade guidelines.
We created our chocolate Flavor Wheel in 2008. TCHO was founded on the idea that focusing on flavor, rather than percentage of cacao, as the defining feature of our single-origin chocolates was not only more user friendly, but also more transparent. We source from different regions of the world to get the best beans that highlight each of the inherent flavors found in cacao. These flavors are most prominent in our four original dark chocolate bars:
While Earthy notes can be found in cacao from many origins, we’ve chosen to focus on the other four sections of flavor and leave Earthy notes as secondary flavor profiles. Whereas, Floral is a more ephemeral note that, while delicious, is fleeting and may only last a few weeks causing obvious issues with shelf life.