Peru Ucayali 2017/18 Direct Trade

Origin: Peru
Region: Ucayali River
Type: ICS, TCH, IMC, CMP and local varieties
Certifications: Direct Trade, Uncertified Organic
Year: 2017/18

The beans have a lovely floral component.  The chocolate opens with floral notes, namely plum blossom and delicate honeysuckle.  The flavor starts off  with a soft yet tangy first impression with a nuanced delivery of the other flavors.

There is the retrained brightness of strawberry, passion fruit and melon.  There is virtually non-existent astringency and bitterness showing no signs of incomplete fermentation.  And you should not forget or think this delicateness doesn’t include a clarity of chocolate flavors.

This is a very easy eating chocolate, eminently approachable but not even close to being boring

The preparation is perfect on this lot. Very even and no debris to speak of.

Ucayali River Cacao is located near Pucallpa, Ucayali, Peru.  Until recently this area has not been known for fine cacao, but due to the efforts of USAID and Alianza Cacao of Peru there are farmers that are abandoning coca production for Cacao, Coffee and Oil Palm.   URC is working together with USAID and Alianza Cacao of Peru to purchase raw material from these farmers at a price that is above market.   There goal is to produce a high quality fine cacao while helping these farmers earn a legitimate income rather than returning to coca production.

URC is working with close to 400 small farmers.  Many of them are located within a 30 minute drive of the central processing facility. 

While most of the farmers in our area have lots of CCN-51, we work only with ICS, TCH, IMC, CMP and local varieties that are known as “comun”.    This mixture of varieties combined with frequent collaboration with Daniel O’Doherty of Cacao Services, enables us to produce a unique cacao for our customers.

Dan's influence in the fermentation is quite clear with a very even, beautiful and full fermentation.  You can taste another bean collaboration with Ecuador Esmeralda.

Roasting. Just do it. Really. Whatever you do, as long as you actually roast it, is going to give you something memorable. Very light? Tangy strawberry but soft. Medium? Melon and chocolate. And should you do what I did on one roast, and just go so far beyond what you think you should, what you will find is that too is still, somehow, inexplicably, in balance.  And don't be concerned about the floral notes going away in the roast.  Floral notes don't act that way. 

The roast profile for my evaluation was 10.5/2.75/4.25 @ 258 F.  The EOR was just a little lower than some taking into account its moderate fruit and chocolate. 

If you are using a Behmor, P1 for 18-19 minutes with 2 lbs will be just fine.  Go by the aroma.  When it turns sharper near the end of the count down, you are done.  If it isn't there yet, add a bit more time waiting for the turn of aroma.