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.