- Published on November 23, 2012
- Written by Lexi Castagna
The concept for 99% started with a simple quest: to make a chocolate bar without sugar that didn’t taste like all the other chocolates without sugar — namely like dirt. But that instead tasted like what we imagined it could — like the purest essence of cacao.
We packaged our first release on an extremely small scale, literally! The Limited Edition 99%, introduced nearly a year ago, was a mere 15 grams, because we had no idea how you’d react. We soon came to realize, however, that even though a little goes a long, long way, you wanted more!
Enter 99% TCHOIntense. A full 58 grams (2 ounces) of insanely rich, not bitter, completely unsweetened chocolate. With no added sugar, our 99% blend is an intense, bold expression of pure cacao. Like a fine espresso is to coffee, this is the purest expression of the bean itself.
Creating a chocolate this good with no added sugar is no small feat; the cacao beans have to be the best and the processing perfect.
The result, we have discovered, is surprisingly addictive. In this dark, dark, dark chocolate, you will discover pleasingly deep fudgy and roasty notes, balanced by hints of berry and cherry that linger through a long finish.
The cacao for this chocolate is a complex and complementary blend from two separate origins. Cacao from an organic, fair trade cooperative in the Amazonian rainforests of Peru (Pucacaca, pictured at left) contributes the bright, fruity notes. Deep chocolatey and roasty notes derive from an organic, fair trade cooperative in the coastal region of northwest Ecuador.
The cooperatives behind this blend are part of our TCHOSource Program. Investing directly with these growers, we have installed solar-powered data arrays, a Flavor Lab (allowing farmers to make chocolate with their own cacao), and advanced solar drying systems.
We have also performed technical sensory training to educate growers on how best to optimize specific flavor notes through careful attention to fermentation and drying practices.
And then we have connected them to our chocolate makers back in San Francisco so that we can synchronize our palates.
Unlike many other unsweetened bars on the market, our 99% bar is notable for its rich flavor, smooth mouth feel, and marked lack of bitterness.
Come over to the (really) dark side. Taste the latest New American Chocolate for yourself! Get your very own 99% TCHOIntense bar now at www.tcho.com.