Philippines - Davao de Oro Organic 2023

 Origin:  Philippines

 Region: Davao de Oro

 Crop: 2023

 Type:  Local Trinatario

 Certs: Organic and Direct Trade

 Flavor Notes:

It is a real pleasure to have the opportunity to offer a new origin.  I've sampled beans from the Philippines in the past and were mostly whelmed.  This offering on the other hand fills me with joy.

The aroma is sweet and tangy like dried red fruit.  The flavor starts off full and deep, with a moderate chocolate level and that distinct savory umami flavor that only seems to come around once in a while.  I find a hint of peated smoke and slight minerality that puts me in mind of a young whisky.  The beans were not actually dried over smoke but I find that impression.  Under that there is a hint of fresh guava, a soft nuttiness and well cured tobacco.   Bitterness is very restrained and acidity and astringency are quite low.

I very much enjoy this chocolate and it is pretty different from many we carry (mainly due to availability).  Passing this chocolate around, the take on it is pretty solidly in one camp or another.  One set loves that boldness and ever so slight....dare I say funk...and others find they like super bright, clean and vibrantly fruity chocolate, of which this is not and are therefore put off by it.  It is your call of course.  If you are looking for something a touch different, give this a try.

From David Do of H+G Chocolate. 

These beans are sourced from a few farmers in Davao de Oro province who did not originally have organic certification. They noted they simply could not afford the process, so the team at H+G Chocolate dug in and helped them to get certifications in place. 

Before securing this load, they met with over 70 farmers in one meeting. They told us that they did not farm as much as they could simply because they lacked a good fermentation and drying facility and that they could not afford to truck them to the east side of the island to do so even if they figured something out.

Thus, we are setting up a facility in Davao de Oro to help.

They also struggled with being able to afford the organic fertilizers and again we are providing that upfront to assist and they have agreed to deduct at purchase time. They expressed a lot of frustrations having supply agreements with the large firms, only to have them lower the price by telling them it was not worth as much by criticizing the load each time. Like agreeing to pay X/kilo and telling them that the quality wasn’t great and offer them 20% of the price.

My hope this is the start of a great new origin.  With your support we can do that and help a lot of people in the process.

This bean has a really wonder dynamic range taking well to both a light and heavy hand with little fear of damaging it.  Roast it with a sure, strong hand, but keep an nose out for sharp aromas (initial acidity of vinegar aside) and only dial back the power if you note those sharp aromas.  So, yes, you should treat this a little more gentle but that is not the same as roasting it gently.  Get the difference?  That all said, it does tend to like the center to middle upper end of roast temperature, in the upper 250s or lower 260s.  The main thing to keep in mind is the lower you go, the longer you need to go to rid the bean of raw astringency and the more the cured tobacco will be green tobacco.

Drum Roasting

The roast profile for my evaluation was 13:30/16:20/20:10 @ 260 F.  The EOR was just a little lower than some taking into account its moderate to low over flavor and chocolate levels.  Also, I kept the EOR and ramps a little lower so that nut does not go bitter but it is not a delicate snowflake.  If you want to really lean into the delicate and nuanced flavors try X/3.0/6.0 @ 248-250 F.

Behmor 2000AB

If you are using a Behmor with Manual mode, P1 to start with 2 lb will be just fine.  Be ready though to turn the power down as you start to note sharp aromas, probably pretty early on, say 12-14 minutes.   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 (the C button for Continue, will reset your timer to 3:10) waiting for the turn of aroma.

Oven Roasting

I've been experimenting a lot recently with a less fussy way to oven roast and I find this procedure works pretty well.  It is moderately predictable, repeatable and although not as dynamic and controllable as a drum roaster, does a good job. You will need an IR thermometer.  Roast 2 lb of beans.  Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Place your cocoa beans in a single layer on a baking sheet and into the oven. Stir the beans at 5 minutes and check the temperature.  Continue roasting until the surface temperature reads 205-215 F (it may well vary across the beans).  At that point, turn your oven down 10-15 F above your target EOR, in this case 255 + ~15 = 270 and continue to roast, stirring every 5 minutes until approximately 255 F.  Again, there will be variation but the beauty of this method is having turned the oven down it is difficult to over roast.  If you do find your roast is progressing too fast, adjust accordingly, starting at 325 F and/or changing your target to 260 F.  Overall you may well roast 30-40 minutes.  The important part here is to get good momentum going in a hot oven and then basically coasting to finish.