Mexico Almendra Blanca - Direct Trade - 2018

Origin: Mexico

Region: Tabasco, Chontalpa

Type:  Almendra Blanca (White Almond)

Certifications: Direct Trade

Harvest Year: 2018

Flavor notes:

This is the first time I've had opportunity to try this particular varietal from Mexico.  It is reasonably delicate in nature.  The chocolate turns out a light brown, hence the White Almond description.

The aroma starts off with lovely fresh berry and blossom notes. They put me in mind of various yellow fruits like plum (Japanese style) and gooseberry.  The chocolate is tangy and sweet yet again like a fresh berry.  It is a very soft flavor, and lingers. 

I was going to say the nut flavor is cashew but upon contemplation the flavor that remains in my mouth (don't laugh now) is that of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  There is a little malty sweetness that you even get from certain white breads.  Again, that round, soft mouth feel plays over and over.   It is devilishly approachable.

 

Almendra Blanca  is a Mexican variety of cocoa, coming from the Chontalpa region in Tabasco Mexico.  They come from around 30 farmers supported by Maxiterra’s Cocoa Program, based on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Sustainability and Fairtrade thru FAO’s Farmers Field Schools model (FFS).

Process:

Cocoa beans are fermented during 3-4 days (1+1+2) in wooden and slowly sun dried to obtain 6.5%-7.5% moisture content.

Traceability:

Every production batch or lot number is set on the daily income of raw cocoa coming from plantations, which contains details on farmer’s name and location, volume purchased and price paid, and general data on technical assistance, training and agricultural practices executed on every farm.

 
With the really light bitterness and astringency, plus the nut component, you are not going to want to take this to a really high end of roast temperature or you are likely to make the nut bitter.  Mid 250s are fine and high 240s are ok.  That does NOT mean you have to roast it super delicate though.  2.25-3.0 minutes in the development phase will do great.  Just pull the roast when it starts to get sharp and expect it a little earlier than some beans.

In the Behmor 1600 2-2.5 lbs for 18-19 minutes is fine.  Just watch for the sharp ending.

The specific profile I used on to evaluate this is 10/12.5/16.5 @ 256 F.  I really slowed it down there at the end.

In the oven, follow my standard roasting profiles and pay attention to the nose.  You may not get much chocolate or brownie aroma with this one.