Ecuador - El Limon 2020 UTZ

Origin: Ecuador
Region: Cotopaxi and Los Rios Province

Type: National Arriba, SAVORU

Genetics: EET 19, 95,96 48 Y 103, HCP Heirloom Cacao 3

Year: 2020

Certificates: UTZ

Flavor Notes:


The chocolate starts off with lovely mouth watering chocolate, tang and lovely tannins.  Given the name, I wish I could say it had notes of lemon, but that isn't the case.  The closest (and it is a far cry) is a slight plum blossom floral note.

The first taste impression is full body, and smooth velvet.  There is a delicate clean bitterness of ale hops and wine tannins. The acidity that of dried Bing cherry, sun warmed.  You might at first glance think this is over astringent (3/5) but the sweetness and earthy leather notes keep it in near perfect balance.

Depending on the roast level you take this too, the cherry can be bright and fresh or deeper and dried.  By the end, I'm left with a very satisfying chocolate that will hold up to a dark chocolate from a balance standpoint or milk chocolate given its more bold character.

Limon and Guantupí currently have their own post-harvest facilities which are being modernized and expanded to process the cacao produced in the farm under 12Tree standards.

12Tree determines standard fermentation and drying protocols for for the mix of National clones. SAVORU clone is separated in the harvest and fermented and dry monoclonal.

FERMENTATION VARIABLES:

  • Percentage of fermentation can be adjusted to client’s needs (usually 70-80%)
  • Wooden crates
  • Anaerobic fermentation + aerobic fermentation

DRYING VARIABLES:

  • We dry the cocoa in “tendales” by sun. We are going to improve the infrastructure and dry in “marquesinas” with dry beds.
  • Drying protocols are carefully developed to ensure that off-flavours are not developed.
  • Slow drying during the first 5 days.
  • Total drying process can take from 3 up to 5 days (depending on the weather).

You can take this probably as heavy or light as you want. The large chocolate flavor will benefit from a fast, hot roast but will still develop (to a lesser degree) with a more gentle roast. You will get those dried cherry flavors and leather notes as the EOR pushes into the 260s. Light will just moderate those flavors. Given how well this bean is fermented I think you could easily take it pretty light and still have a wonderful chocolate.  Just make sure you give it the minimum of 3 minutes of finishing time to make sure you don't accentuate any additional raw astringency.

In the mean time, 2.5 lbs for 20 minutes in the Behmor on P1 does a great job.

In a drum roaster that is going to correspond to a bean temperature of 258-262 F over 20 minutes or so.

In the oven, follow my standard roasting profiles but add on 25 F to each of the temperatures feel free to draw out the end. You are going to be hard pressed to over roast this in a home oven if you follow the basics.

The profile that I used for my test batch was 11:00/13:30/18:30 @ 262 F.