Region: Lanquín, Alta Verapaz
It looks like the Guatemalan supply market is starting to open up. This is a pretty straight forward chocolate. Very much a 'chocolate' chocolate if you will. But unlike some chocolates that get that description, this one doesn't have a muddy or indistinct flavor profile. If anything I was struck by the clarity of the flavors. There is raw cane sugar and vanilla present (not literally, please). It has a tight low level acidity and a minor amount of astringency, both of which seem a little higher than you might think a first, but only because it is in comparison to the restrained flavor of the rest of the profile.
If you are careful you can probably detect a touch of green tobacco in the aftertaste and the brightness of lychee in the flavor and aroma.
Finca Chimelb is a magnificent private farm in Lanquín, Alta Verapaz. Its scale is unparalleled in the region: the farm spans 4,500 hectares, 2,298 of which are natural and planted forest protected by the farm. Chimelb is the largest cacao farm in Alta Verapaz, at 250 hectares of cacao cultivation, and also grows specialty coffee, rubber, eucalyptus, and pine. Finca Chimelb employs approximately 400 workers across all crops on average, reaching more than 2,000 workers during peak harvest of coffee, and pays 40% above Guatemala’s minimum wage, as well as social security for all employees. Finca Chimelb has an exceptionally diverse clonal garden to evaluate both heirloom and new clones, monitor tree productivity and compatibility, and use data to increase yields.
The farm espouses environmentally friendly cultivation, planting cover crops like rubber trees to control soil erosion control and analyziing micro-organisms in the most fertile areas of the farm to reproduce and introduce them into less fertile areas. Finca Chimelb has hosted multiple trainings for local smallholder farmers in collaboration with Cacao Verapaz, and takes its social responsibility seriously in contributing to the Guatemalan cacao industry through a combination of trainings, employment, clonal development, and research into best practices for the local climate.
Due to the reasonably restrained nature of this bean I would urge you to not roast it too heavily. Now, that does not mean roast it lightly. In a word, just roast it fully.
In the Behmor, P1-P3 for 18-20 minutes is going to be just fine.
For drum roasting where you can measure the bean temperature, a 250-260 F ending temperature in 15-18 minutes is grand. The specific profile I used was 12:30/15:15/19:45 @ 258 F