TCHO Chocolate, pt 3: The Taste Test Trip.

In this final installment of our TCHO Chocolate trilogy, Xeni and Pesco go on a magical mystery taste test tour -- think Willy Wonka meets The Trip.
Former NASA software developer Timothy Childs founded the tech-minded chocolate company, and was joined by WIRED co-founder Louis Rosetto.

In previous BBtv episodes we learned about the hacked-together, home-tinkered machines and high-tech wizardry that keep their factory humming. Today we dive in to the genetics of chocolate plants, and the hedonics -- the tasting experience -- of the finished product, where science meets sensuality meets sugar.

Oh hell, who are we kidding, you guys? We sat around and GOT HIGH on neuroactive cocoa alkaloids. We freebased theobromine and we LIKED IT. We liked it a LOT.

Warning: this episode is NSFC (not safe for chocoholics).

Previously on Boing Boing tv:
* TCHO, part 1: chocolate origins.
* TCHO, part 2: magical machines, mysterious molecules.

Related: read a feature about TCHO by David Pescovitz in the current issue of MAKE Magazine, Timothy and the Chocolate Factory.

Here are some iPhone snapshots from Xeni on Flickr: TCHO, Boing Boing tv.

(Special thanks to Amy Critchett, and Wayne & Breanna)

About Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email:
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21 Responses to TCHO Chocolate, pt 3: The Taste Test Trip.

  1. George Ruiz says:

    Dare I say that this was the best BBTV episode ever? Yes, I do.

  2. David Carroll says:

    George Ruiz: (#1)

    I totally agree.

    To the Happy Mutants:

    Given your limited circumstances Dana, Derek and the rest of you rock.

    However for all of the bouquets you deserve I do have a small brick bat:

    Your use of microphones has improved a great deal recently. In this episode might I suggest that because you only had two bug microphones, it would have been better to wire-up the guests. They do most of the talking. You also could have placed the mic. on Xeni’s right lapel and slightly lower to pick up more of Mr. Childs.

    Similarly Posco’s mic should have been on the outside of the other lapel to get more of Mr. Rossetto.

    Finally looping the microphone cords through the mic clip and hiding it behind the clothing would have been a nice touch.

    I am aware that I am not talking about chocolate like I should be. That is because I have yet to sample these TCHO products. Sadly I do not live in the “continental US”. But I am on their “notification of international shipping.” list!

    So I will just have to wait.

  3. bruhinb says:

    Totally awesome!! I just came back from vacation and watched all three episodes back to back. I have to agree with the individual who called this, “the best BBTV episode, ever.”

    (The microphone commenter has somer really good points, too, but I’ll forgive all that, because I can still feel the vicarious chocolate buzz in by bloodstream, even as I type. I love you, man!! No, really, I mean it!)

  4. Xeni Jardin says:

    @#1GEORGERUIZ: Thank you so much. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    @#2#2Carroll, thanks for the kind words about the conent. So, the sound issues are known, we had fucked up equipment for this shoot, and the team did the best they could. Appreciate the tech notes, but the guys know all of this — and this was the best possible under circumstances, we’ve dealt with the issue for shoots moving forward. Bums us out, too.

    #3 eat more chocolate, it’ll cheer you up!

    #4 bruhinb, we LOVE hearing that. I’m glad you feel we’re doin’ something right!

  5. Bender says:

    Terrific webisode. The graphics and editing really were fantastic.

    I too have a small crit though, and that is the dark boring conference room that this is shot in. I think this would have been taken to the next level if the corporate atmosphere was traded for someplace a little more … well, more. Picnic table outside or something.

    MIght just be me though, it sometimes is. Great job nonetheless!


    This was so fun! I laughed my head off at the strange graphic intrusions representing flavors and states of mind. My wife needs to see this pronto.
    I’m such a pig when it comes to chocolate. This reminds me that I should quit hogging down the cheap stuff by the pound and search out quality.
    Thanks for the information. And for the laughs.

  7. holtt says:

    Any word on release date for telehedonics?

  8. superforestnyc says:

    Wow Xeni!

    Great videos, as always.

    Everyone here at SuperForestNYC absolutely adores you!

    Go Xeni!


    Team SuperForest

  9. themindfantastic says:

    Good Chocolate SHOULD make you feel a little high, and I am not talking adding in something, but the actual chocolate itself, and its legal and good for you. Gotta love it.

  10. Antinous says:

    Grey Pilgrim,

    I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but please expel it promptly.

  11. OM says:

    …Howabout a Not Safe For Diabetics warning, kids? Also, Xeni should have addressed TCHO about how they’re addressing the primary difference between US chocs and those made overseas – the lack of alcohol as mandated by the Volstead Act and retained after its appeal.

  12. Mithrandir says:

    Wow, that’s weird. I saw a black cat go past, then another one that looked just like it.

    Deja Vu…….

  13. Bledsoefilms says:

    To All:
    Glad everyone liked the episode!

    I can attest this chocolate is way trippy- but soon everyone will be able to go there and see and experience it for themselves. I believe January is the projected factory open date.


    Derek Bledsoe
    Segment Producer, BBtv

  14. TheDelicious says:

    very nicely done. i feel i must throw out the KingSize Snickers bar in my desk drawer now.

  15. biovert says:

    I agree with @Georgeruiz – this is definitely beyond a doubt, the most fantastic BBTv episode ever. I was LOLROTF. Thanks for the extra production touches BledSoe and thanks Xeni for doing such a great hosting job. I can tell you have never actually tripped – on chocolatl before.

  16. otterson says:

    Another vote for the best BBTV episode ever.

    As to the psychotropic effects of wonderful dark chocolate… My name is Jeff and I am a chocoholic. I started using chocolate about 6 years ago.

    Be sure to read these excellent articles if you are interested in how wonderful strong chocolate can affect you…

    And, as for Xeni feeling “high”, check this out:

    “Finally, chocolate has been shown to contain unsaturated N-acylethanolamines which might activate cannabinoid receptors or increase endocannabinoid levels resulting in heightened sensitivity and euphoria.”


    Wow. It’s no wonder I love the stuff.

  17. Antinous says:

    I eat between a quarter and a half pound of dark chocolate every day. Anyone else have a habit that big?

  18. Justin Ried says:

    @#17 Antinous: 4-8 ounces daily is a lot of chocolate. A quick glance at Dagoba’s site shows that 1 oz of chocolate has ~160 calories (at least half of that from fat). 8 ounces (1/2 lb) is more than 1,200 calories, 140% of your recommended daily fat intake and a whopping 240% of your recommended daily saturated fat intake.

    That, my friend, makes you a dedicated and hard working chocolate lover. You must either be running your ass off to keep the weight down, or blessed with the most forgiving metabolism nature can bestow. I both envy and salute you, sir!

    And yes, definitely one of the best BBtv episodes yet!

  19. neurolux says:

    I love dark chocolate. I’ve recently gotten hooked on Ghirardelli 86% “Chocolate Reverie”. It crumbles in my mouth.

  20. njppa says:

    Chocolate doesn’t last long in our house.. I showed this video to my husband to point out the effects in the video and he just ended up with huge chocolate cravings!

    Me showing him that video was about as nice as the time I got him a chocolate air freshener for his car. 😉


  21. Bledsoefilms says:

    Hah! NJPPA, that is awesome!

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