India 2019 Idukki Hills Organic

Origin: India, Idukki Hills

Type: Forastero and Trinatario

Certifications: Organic

Harvest Year: 2019

Flavor Notes:

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.

GoGround Beans & Spices works with 113 micro-farmers across the Idukki Hills in southern India’s Kerala region.
A social enterprise led by Ellen Taerwe and Luca Beltrami, GoGround’s centralized fermentation and drying center in the village of Udumbannoor is operated by a team of local Malayalis. The majestic landscape of the green hills of Idukki, rich in biodiversity, creates exceptional conditions for cocoa cultivation. An abundance of fruits and spices including coconut, papaya, mango, jackfruit, black pepper, nutmeg and cardamom can be found intercropped with the cocoa trees.
While many varieties of Trinitario and Forastero thrive in Kerala, the locally developed “Mankuva” is most commonly found throughout the Idukki Hills. Beans are fermented for approximately 6 days in 3-tiered cascading Wild Jack wood boxes. Following fermentation, they are transferred to covered wooden tables for sun drying.

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.