This year's crop is a bit lower in bright fruits. Gone are the blueberry and blackberry, replaced by fig and raisin.
Just smooth, silky chocolate. While roasting there is toasted macadamia nuts, soft wood and a lovely savory quality. Once in chocolate form (80% for my tests) there is a floral component, lily initially moving to a sweet gardenia as the roast progresses. There is sweet dried fig note that moves to raisin the farther you take the EOR. Gental tobacco and a solid chocolate laced all throughout with a utterly lovely dense creamy mouth feel.
I'm really glad to have this bean back. I've frankly coveted the cocoa from this region for many years. It used to be solely the bailiwick of Green and Black, but actually getting more than just lovely samples from them proved impossible. This is a great collaboration between Cotton Tree Lodge and Maya Mountain Cacao (MMC), the former housing the fermenting and drying beds (which I've watched grow, changed and mature over the years) for the later. This is direct from MMC, and sums it up great.
"Maya Mountain Cacao (MMC) sources premium cacao (cocoa beans) from smallholder Belizean farmers for makers of fine chocolate products. Our model creates an exceptionally high-quality cocoa bean and a growing source of income for farmers, while contributing to reforestation efforts and promoting sustainable organic agricultural practices in southern Belize."
Now, THAT'S what I'm talking about when I speak of Direct trade and Sustainable sourcing. Moving onto the beans and the great chocolate it can produce.
Finally, I have found this bean accepts a pretty wide roasting curve. Light, medium or heavy, the flavor changes, but just does not go bad. Go for it, have fun, and enjoy - that's what this journey is all about anyway.
There are two profile curves associated with the spider charts.
x/10/5.75 @ 255 F and x/6.45/5.9 @ 261
As expected the first marked by slightly higher fruit (delvelopment phase is faster). Likewise, the longer time in the roaster and higher end temperature of the 2nd roast reduced the acity and boosted the percieved sweetness.