Region: Bahia, Ilheus
This is a really interesting bean from numerous perspectives. First and foremost it is an albino forastero called Catongo. That genetic mutation makes the beans white and has on again off again been mistaken for porcelano. Both the flowers and beans are a stark white and the chocolate it produces looks like a milk chocolate. If you have a look the beans are also an unusual shape, being a bit oblong. I've not found any issue with roasting because of that. Finally I feel compelled to mention the price. There is a lot of farm side labor that goes into keeping these separate from the rest of the beans. Since they are also pretty rare the per batch cost is higher both farm side and transportation wise. Plus I never barter prices and farm gate deals are often a bit more than others. So the prices is indeed due in part to it's rarity but as a consequence and not a surcharge. As it is, I've dropped the traditional pricing scheme I usually use and lowered the price so they are just a little more approachable. And to all that, there is a limited supply and when they are gone it will be for a while so do try this really unique bean while you can. On with the show.
The aroma has consistently had a unique green pepper scent with occasional hints of vanilla. Again because of the albino nature of the varietal the flavor is very mild and not incredibly complex. The chocolate level is moderate. It starts off with a light and delicate lemon twist and a pronounced clean candy like sweetness. In the lighter roasts there are intriguing spearmint tones and apricot here in there as the roast progresses. Green pepper and uncured tabacco is present in flavor in the lighter roasters (EOR temp 250 of so). This is one fruit flavor that does not proceed like other fruit flavors in that it doesn’t turn into dried or cooked pepper flavors as the roast progress. It just steps into the background.
One last thing is that the same mutation has basically made a near astringentless beans. If you have been dying to make a 100% bar, certainly start here.
Last year I visited Brazil for the 1st annual Bean to Bar festival in Sao Paulo Brazil. While there I had the honor to meet so many amazing people. Chocolate makers, growers and farmers. One such person was Pedro Neto of Lajedo do Ouro. He has an incredibly beautiful farm located in the northwest corner of Brazil in the Ihious Region of Bahia. He was also gracious enough to host me for the night during our tours. His farm very organized and well kept with varietals as segregated as possible. This bean is one just varietal that they take care to keep separate and out of their farm blend due to its really unique nature.
The beans are fermented in traditional boxes and turned on a schedule dictated by how the temperatures rise and fall. They are sun dried of open patios with huge roofs on rollers that can be quickly put in place should rain come in.
On the Behmor I would suggest P1 as your starting point and roast at least 20 minutes and 22 works great too. Although it is light in color and flavor this absolutely does not mean you have to treat it gently. It is actually quite the opposite. Being a forastero it appreciates a heavier hand to develop the flavors. Now if you want it even more mild and delicate, with the potential of grassy flavors then keep it more delicate, stopping at 17-18 minutes.
The drum roasting profile I used for the evaluation sample was 14:40/17:30/22:30 @ 251 F and I found the green pepper and spearmint quite dominant. Note the very long Development time - nearly 3 minutes. The tasting notes were based on the profile 10:50/13:20/17:30 @ 256 F.