Colombia - Arauca 2022 Direct Trade

 Origin:  Columbia - Arauca

 Region: Sierra Nevada

 Crop: 2022

Certifications:  Direct Trade

 Flavor Notes:

The chocolate starts off with a rich toasted biscuit, full chocolate and dried apricots in the aroma that starts the mouth watering.  The chocolate flavor is full, deep and fudge like with a great mixture of sun warmed apricots and a balancing vibrancy of orange citrus hints.  The overall profile is round, full, creamy, succulent and eminently satisfying.

I marked the acidity a little high but it is more a vibrancy than acidity.  That vibrancy is clean and comes across as a noticeable but not bracing acidity balanced by a little macadamia/cashew nuttiness and just a hint of clean loam.  At first you might not think there is much bitterness here, or maybe none, but there is some but it is covered by the inherent sweetness.

The Arauca region lies on the border of Colombia and Venezuela along the Arauca River basin. The region is rich in ecological resources, biodiversity, and fertile floodplain soil where some of the best cacao in the country grows. Cacao is an important source of employment for female heads of households and has helped in the recovery of peace to the region. The cacao from Arauca is full of depth with a sweet aroma and comforting flavors of nectarine, honeysuckle, cream, and cashew.

Over 600 species of birds populate these fertile river banks where the cacao trees grow to sweet perfection. Arauca beans come from a private farm run by Elizabeth Agudelo who is a second generation cacao farmer. Elizabeth has identified Arauqita5 which is a native cacao on her farm. The production capacity of this farm is about 10MT, and the farm meets the fermentation and drying standards set by Cacao de Colombia and Uncommon Cacao, ensuring high and consistent quality for these delicate and delicious beans.

Drum Roasting

The drum roasting profile I used for the evaluation sample was 14:55/17:25/21:30 @ 254 F.  You can likewise take this bean a little farther EOR since the bean is bolder in flavor than many.  Due to the nutty nature keep your attention focused on sharp aromas that can make the nut go extra bitter.  Overall it is a durable bean, so just be mindful.  It isn't a delicate flower of a bean.

Behmor Roaster

Roast 2 lb and use P1 on the one pound setting, for 19-20 minutes or until you hear a pop or two.  Then take it longer.  2-3 minutes.  It is virtually impossible to over roast in the Behmor with 2 lb in there.  If you are using the current model with Manual control, turning down the power to P4 (75% power) when it starts to become aromatic (or smells sharp) is a nice way to keep the EOR tempering in check.

Oven Roasting

Pre-heat your oven to 325 F. Put 1-2 lb of beans onto a tray single layer deep.  Check the temperature every 5 minutes, stirring at that time.  When the beans are in the 205-215 range, reduce the oven temperature to about 10-15 F above your target EOR, so if you are going for 255 F, set it to 270 F.   When the beans reach your desired temperature and/or are smelling sharp, another 15-30 minutes, remove them and let them cool. This should give you a nice fully developed roasted bean that is in little danger of being over roasted.