Peru Norandino FT/Organic - 2015/16

Origin: Peru

Region: Tumbes

Co-operative: Norandino

Type: Criollo

Certifications: Organic, Fair Trade

Year: 2015/16

Like I need to offer yet another bean from Peru.  But, damn it.  This is a real gem.  Heck, even the spider diagram looks like a cut gem – and no, I didn’t do that on purpose….but it did inspire me to call it a gem.  It’s smooth, and supple and well rounded.  At first look you might think boring, but to my taste it is only boring if you don’t want to eat more.  This is quintessential balance in my book.   

The preparation is perfect on this lot.  Very even and no debris to speak of.

There is orange marmalade, molasses and dried pear competing for dominance.   No real florals or acidity in the aroma, but there is very classic chocolate.  The bitterness and astringency are perfect to support the other flavors without detracting.  And there is a base loam like earthy quality that weaves here and there.

I’ve listed this as “Norandino” in an effort to keep confusion to a minimum.  Norandino is the name of the cooperative in the Tumbes region of Peru. Generally speaking they work with about 500 farms and farmers in the region. 

But this should not be confused as the next crop of Tumbes or Tumbes in general.  In this case, Norandino identified the Chulucanas region outside of Piura as an area of great potential.  The farmers there are organized into small regional groups of 30-40 members that have each centralized fermenting and drying as a group, thereby adding value to the overall community.   This is the result of that effort.  A beautiful, consistent cocoa of great quality.

Roasting.  Just do it.  Really.  Whatever you do, as long as you actually roast it, is going to give you something memorable.  Very light?  Tangy, orange but soft.  Medium?  Pear, loam, and chocolate.  And should you do what I did on one roast, and just go so far beyond what you think you should, what you will find is that too is still, somehow, inexplicably, in balance. 

Actually, most of the tasting notes here are based off that ‘ruined’ roast.  It was sharp and acrid going into the Melanger.  I was actually wondering why I was even bothering to put it on.  It tasted not unlike some of the darker brewing cocoa.  But after 48 hours, it could have been the poster child for ‘alchemy’.  Transmutation from one thing into something completely different and greater.

So, roast it!