Unwrap our Chocolate down to the roots

We've upped our game by honing our processes from the cacao tree all the way up to our chocolate bars. Discover how we make chocolate the "TCHO" way.

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

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:

Flavor Labs

A huge part of TCHO Source has been the installation of TCHO Flavor Labs at origin.  These Flavor Labs are mini bean-to-bar chocolate-making labs that enable farmers to make and taste chocolate made from their own beans.  For many farmers, this is the first chocolate they have tasted and for nearly every farmer, it is the first time tasting chocolate made from their own cacao beans.

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Improved Infrastructure

We’ve installed improved infrastructure at farmer-owner cooperatives. Including temperature monitored fermentation centers, raised drying beds, and secure bean storage.

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Sensory Analysis

As part of implementing our Flavor Labs, we conduct sensory analysis trainings for farmers and cooperative leaders to expand their understanding of flavor palates in terms of cacao.  The development of flavor in cacao is nuanced and can be affected by many different control points throughout the supply chain – from the soil, to the weather, to how long the cacao beans are dried in direct sunlight and beyond.  Once farmers and researchers have the tools to create their own cacao samples, we spend countless hours building a shared language of taste.

TCHO continuously partners with cocoa organizations around the globe to change the status quo in cocoa sourcing for the better.  Additionally, we request these minimum standards for all of our suppliers.

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