Origin: India, Idukki Hills
Type: Forastero and Trinatario
Harvest Year: 2019
This is the second time I’ve offered a bean from India and interestingly, mostly as I don’t like to stereotype entire diverse countries, it is remarkably similar to that first bean.
The aroma starts off with clean loam, distinct cocoa (dutched cocoa?), round cashew and hints of red fruit. On first pass one might be tempted to call it boring but I found myself coming back to it and rather indulging in its elegance. There is a slightly tangy note that is not at all sharp or harsh. It beautifully offsets notes of creamy butterscotch and sweet caramel. The nut flavor is more hazelnut than the cashew aroma and has hints of allspice and clove. I really enjoy the minerally crispness that puts me in mind of a lovely round English Bitter ale.
I’m left with an interesting seeming contradiction of sweetness and refreshing effervescence. As I talk about in the roasting section, this bean has a very remarkable lack of inherent astringency that allows the roasts to be kept very light as there is no raw astringency to roast out.
This bean is missing the classic green banana astringency present in most cocoa beans when raw. Because of this you are both able and want to keep the roast light. If you take it too deep you run the risk of turning the nut flavors excessively bitter.
I found both very light to medium roasts to work fine for this bean. That means 14-17 minutes on any of the Behmor profiles. That translates to 235-250 F surface temperature. Much beyond that and you run the risk of making this mild bean even milder with an offset of making the nut flavors go bitter.
So where this does not make for the most dynamic of chocolates, it is makes an absolutely wonderful brewing cocoa. It has a deep chocolate aroma and flavor, a huge (for brewing cocoa) mouth feel and balance.
Standard Brewing cocoa information.
If ordering Brewing cocoa - it has been roasted and ground, with the husk, for the purposes of making a hot brewed chocolate drink, and is not suitable for making chocolate.
Your tastes may vary but I recommend starting with the following proportions and times:
4 T per 8 oz boiling water
Steep 5 minutes Press (assuming you are using a press pot - drip works ok too)
Enjoy straight, with milk (or cream) and/or sugar.