Mexican Lavados (washed / unfermented) Tecpatán 2021

Origin: Mexico

Region: Tecpatán

Type: Trinatario

Certs: Direct Trade

Crop: 2021

Fermentation: None, washed raw cocoa

Flavor Notes:

I'm going to start with a quote from the grower.

"Due to the rainy weather and cold climate, cocoa fermentation is an impossible task.
However, farmers “wash” cacao according to the Mexican tradition. And as washed cacao the bean shines in drinking chocolate with its strong and herbal flavor notes. "

There are a few things to unpack here.  First and foremost, this cocoa is not fermented and because of that, it is particularly unsuited for classic eating chocolate.  I'm not going to bother with my classic spider chart as it will show 11s (and it only goes to 5) for extreme bitterness and astringency, plus other really funky notes like green banana skin and citrus pith with undertones of sour stone fruit.  So why am I offering it?

Basically because I think it makes a superior drinking chocolate and component to coffee based mochas.  This unfermented and raw cocoa is absolutely great for drinking chocolate.  I'm not meaning Brewing cocoa nor am I meaning sipping chocolate that is little more than melting chocolate in a cup.  I'm meaning something you would mix with water or milk and as little or as much sugar as you would like.

 Compared to the Oaxacan and Sonucusco Lavados, this one is slightly more mild in flavor but slightly bolder in aroma.  It is slightly more astringent, but keep in mind, in the realm of drinking chocolate, that isn't the negative that it normally would be.  I would not be offering it if it were too astringent.  I'm not going to get deep into normal and relatively detailed tasting notes as it just really isn't all that pertinent in a drinking chocolate. 

I recommend making a 50-60% chocolate with it as you normally would.  For drinks, grate up about 1-2 oz per cup of liquid and mix it until well incorporated.  I personally like using my espresso machine to steam it together but just doing it on the stove top or pouring boiling water or hot milk over it and then whisking will do just fine.

This cacao is grown high in the mountains of Northwestern Chiapas. Due to its geographical inaccessibility, it was until recent times one of the most isolated population centers in Mexico. The village of Tecpatán borders the “Selva Zoque” (English: Zoque Forest), the largest tract of tropical rainforest in Mexico and that contains most of the terrestrial biodiversity in the country.   The isolation and poverty of the area has historically led to the emigration of men to the US and to the big cities in Mexico, hence cacao is often grown by female farmers

Elvira (on the left) is in charge of sourcing our lavado cacao from Tecpatán. Elvira’s husband emigrated illegally to the US and was never heard from again, that is why she calls herself a widow. In the photo you can see her with her mother and her only daughter.

Cacao in Tecpatán is being grown at the highest altitude in all of Mexico and possibly in
Central America also. The cacao tree usually thrives between 0 and 700 m above sea level and Tecpatán cacao grows at an altitude above 1000 – 1200 m, which is the highest limit where the cacao plant can grow and bear fruit. Genetically speaking, the Tecpatán cacao is very unique due to the extreme isolation. The micro-climate present in this area also contributes to this uniqueness due to the high altitude and extremely rainy weather.


The thing about unfermented cocoa is that it hardly cares or is affected by roasting profiles.  Don't worry about profiles, just apply heat until you get to an EOR temperature of 255-265 F.  It is really no more complicated than that.

If you are roasting blind in the Behmor, P1 loaded with 2 lb going to 18 minutes will be just fine.  It isn't like you can make it extra bitter or astringent.  If you are doing 1 kg, go on to 20 minutes and 2.5 you'll probably need another couple after that.