Mexico Tabasco - Direct Trade - 2021

Origin: Mexico - Tabasco

Region: Comalcalco

Type:  Forastero - Amelonado

Certifications: Direct Trade

Harvest Year: 2021

Flavor notes:

The aroma starts off with tangy blackberry and a hint of slightly toast clove.  There is a clarity of flavor with each component seeming to shine own its own.  The tang of lime and a hint of grapefruit, the clean bitterness of hops, some pith astringency and a good but slightly understated chocolate flavor wrapping it all up.  There is the barest hint of some not sweet nut (Brazil maybe) that should you treat this roughly is going to really increase in bitterness.

The entire flavor profile is relatively mild and approachable and gives yet another dimension to the variety of flavors that can come out of one country, or even one region.  There is a date sweetness that adds a bit of liveliness to the whole experience.

 I'm not honestly sure I would recommend this for a really dark chocolate.  My 80% evaluation chocolate was not exactly approachable.  I would steer more toward 70% or lower and for once (I rarely make this recommendation) it would excel and show through nicely in a milk chocolate.

This origin comes from  Comalcalco  (also a municipality of the Chontalpa region). This coop  also  belongs  to  the  same  program  of  the  University  of  Chiapas with  the  aim  of  rescuing heirloom varieties. The coop is so new that it does not even have a name yet.  This is their their first lot ever. The members (around 90) are mostly old and motivated people assisted by an engineer of the University of Chiapas looking for a way to escape the buyers of Nestlé, Hershey’s or Barry.

This cacao can undoubtedly be described as forastero. Pods are smaller, “rounder” and with a smoother skin. They also call them “calabacillos” or “amelonados” (melon shaped). The beans are deep purple when fresh (due to the high tannin content).

With the moderate 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.  Likewise, if you are pulling this at a lower EOR, make sure your Finishing phase is 4-5 minutes long or you risk extra astringency from under roasting.

In the Behmor 1600 2.5 lb for 20-22 minutes is fine, lowering the power to P3 when you get near the 16 minute mark.  Just watch for the sharp ending.

The specific profile I used on to evaluate this is 10/12.5/17.5 @ 253 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.