TCHO, the only chocolate factory located in the city of San Francisco, was founded by a Space Shuttle technologist and chocolate industry veteran with a singular goal in mind: To create “obsessively good dark chocolate.” TCHO takes a unique approach to categorizing and tasting chocolate, expanding on the traditional conventions of varietal, origin and percentage, to focus as well on the flavors inherent in cacao as categories in and of themselves. TCHO personally sources their beans, all of which are then cut-tested, roast-tested and melanged in numerous more tests before lots are given the green light. Then formulation trials ensued, including sugar tests, before the first bars are given to tasters in the company’s “beta testing” format (in which customers participate in the development of new chocolate flavor profiles). TCHO has also distinguished itself in the field by striving to work directly with farmers and cooperatives to improve fermentation and bean drying methods. TCHO also partners with leading research organizations in cacao producing countries to allow farmers access to “Flavor Labs” – a place where they can produce small batches of chocolate from their own beans to better appreciate the flavor nuances. Essentially, TCHO empowers farmers with the tools to become premium cacao suppliers, ensuring better beans for the chocolate companies, and better prices for the farmers.