TCHO chocolates have long been on my radar. I finally got to try them when my roommates were kind enough to bring me a variety pack from California. The variety pack contained 2 each of their fruity, chocolatey, nutty, and citrus flavors.
All of the squares were about 5 centimeters across the diagonal and quite thin, just half a centimeter. All were comprised of 70% cacao.
“Fruity” was made with organic and fair trade beans from Peru. It had a sharp snap with a very dry mouthfeel. There was a definite red fruit fruitiness to it, but the overall flavor was dominated by the stale taste of paper/cardboard.
At first I thought I just had an off square – I had unwrapped it to take photos and then rewrapped it for later -? but that cardboard taste pervaded the other, not-unwrapped-until-tasting-time squares.
“Chocolatey” (beans from Ghana) smelled duskier and featured strong cocoa notes and an almost savory tinge. Its mouthfeel is also dry, but it’s a bit smoother/creamier once it starts melting. The paper/cardboard taste is present in the finish.
“Nutty”, made from organic and fair trade beans from Peru, was the softest and creamiest of the bunch, and it did carry a distinctly nutty favor. But that paper tinge is still there.
Finally, “Citrus” (organic beans from Madagascar) smells sweet and has a very dry and crumbly melt. It tastes a bit chalky with a sweet bright finish, and again that infuriating, ruinous tinge of paper/cardboard taste.
I think TCHO needs to rethink their packaging on these bars, as they all took on an unpleasant, papery overtone that ruined the taste experience. I’ve had them sitting around for a few months, but bars should keep for at least that long, especially when you’re selling them in 90-day supplies.
I’m torn on how to rate these. The paper taste warrants a —, but that doesn’t seem quite fair, as TCHO didn’t mean for them to taste of paper. Then again, they did choose the packaging and neglected to put a “best by” date on the package or any storage guidelines (that I could find) on their website. So the — stands, with the caveat that my supply was off.
4 thoughts on “TCHO Chocolates”
Paper taste? Ugh! I hope they fix this up, because I really like the concept. I love nutty/earthy flavours in dark chocolate and try to avoid those with citrus-y notes, so I’d quite like to have my picking-and-choosing work done for me 🙂
Shame! I’ve heard of these fellas and have been meaning to try them for a while. Not so sure I will, now! 🙂
the samples they had out in the store definitely weren’t papery like the citrus square i tried this morning, so i think you’re right about the packaging. so lame! especially because i have another 8-pack that i got for a friend but haven’t yet mailed to her.
NOT GOOD NEWS! I’d like to follow up on this. Do you have the lot numbers and/or know the place of purchase? That is not typical of our products and could be due to heat/humidity exposure.
I’m sorry your first TCHO experience wasn’t positive 🙁 We hope you give us another try (check your messages).
Sam & the TCHO Team