I am finding there seems to be a real clarity of flavor with the current sets of Guatemalan beans and this one is no exception. It’s really exceptional that way.
This is a unmitigated fruit bomb. Lemon, lime, tangy berry and eye flickering tartness. It many ways it makes me think of a lime sherbet. There is also a grapefruit level astringency. It is quite refreshing and dynamic on the palette. The middle level chocolate has a long finish and satisfies.
In some darker roasts the tames down a bit, turning into layers of sharp caramel and toasted walnuts. The acidity drops a little also, but never fully goes away, nor would you want it to.
San Juan Chivite is a community of 100+ families only accessible by spindly swinging bridge. The community is nestled inside of what was once an enormous cacao plantation, owned by a single German family and abandoned during the Guatemalan Civil War. The land was latered parceled out to the workers’ family. This community is the newest supplier and microlot to Cacao Verapaz – in the past, the community hauled low-quality cacao on their backs, over the swinging bridge, up to the highway to sell to intermediaries for low and volatiles prices. Today, the community has come together as an association of 40 families and is processing the cacao at a fermentation and drying center that was developed in collaboration with Cacao Verapaz. Volume of cacao and farmer participation is both growing, as is market demand for this special bean.
I've taken this bean through multiple roasts. Very light roasts (which at first I thought were too light) showed the really dynamic, bright lime sherbert like qualities. Medium roasts (the general middle road I recommend) tame the acidity and astringency a bit and darker roasts bring out chewy caramel notes.