Silicon Valley Startup Craves Chocolate

Tcho founders predict a coffee-like revolution for the sweet stuff
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2008 11:18 AM CDT
Tcho is working with cacao growers and researchers via satellite link to better classify and understand the varying flavors of finished cocoa.   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – San Francisco startup Tcho has all the sweet Silicon Valley trimmings, the Economist reports; high-profile tech alums, online beta testing and stock options for all. But its product is even sweeter: top-quality chocolate. The company has developed a means to grade cocoa beans' complex nuances on a "flavor wheel," taking a cutting-edge approach to a timeless artisanal craft.

Seeing a chocolate revolution ahead similar to the one coffee rode to its current level of popularity, Tcho is working with growers to create an “open source” exchange of information between producers to help them improve their beans’ quality and classify their tastes. Food companies love the idea of a consistent flavor profile, and Tcho’s system could become industry standard.