Ecuador - Cayapas River 2020 Organic

Origin: Ecuador

Region: Cayapas River

Type: Forastero/Trinatario

Year: 2020

Certificates: Sustainably Sourced, Organic


Flavor Notes:

The chocolate starts off smelling of cinnamon, cooked apple and damson plums. I'm not sure I have tasted a chocolate with more clear chocolate flavor. This is the flavor you grew up with (but better!).

The overall impression is super sweet toffee, cinnamon and baked fruits. Fruitcake even. There is a clean bitterness of browned (not brown) sugar that offsets the sweetness with near perfection. The acidity is a middle level malic, soft yet present. Astringency is muted, giving just enough body to round out the flavor.  It lingers at the end but not in anything resembling an unpleasant way. And speaking of flavors, the first time I sampled this there was the unmistakable flavor roasted peanuts (no, not real peanuts). The aftertaste was like a Resse's cup. This time is it a little lighter in the nut but it is still there.

A few years ago I brought in a small lot of Nigerian beans that blew me away with their fruitcake punch.  In a blind tasting I'm not sure I could tell them apart.  I've put up both spider charts for comparison.  Needless to say they are really similar.  And with that, these are not the prettiest beans but DO NOT SORT THEM.  I've learned over the years that some of the ugly beans are exactly what give the chocolate such incredible depth of flavor.  Sorting ends up cleaning up the flavor to the point of boring.

The Chachis people are an ethnic group who live in the rainforest area of northwestern Esmeraldas on the northern coast of Ecuador. They live by the Cayapas River in the Centro El Encanto, bordering the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve.

To reach this community you must take a boat in Puerto Borbor (Esmeraldas) and travel for approximately 2.5 hours. 

Cayapas River cacao is a blend from 300 smallholder farmers, many of whom are part of the Chachis tribe.



You can take this probably as heavy or light as you want. The huge chocolate flavor will benefit from a fast, hot roast but will still develop (to a lesser degree) with a more gentle roast. You will get those toffee flavors and dried fruits as the EOR pushes into the 260s. Light will just moderate those flavors. Given how well this bean is fermented I think you could easily take it pretty light and still have a wonderful chocolate.

In the mean time, 2.5 lbs for 20 minutes in the Behmor on P1 does a great job.

In a drum roaster that is going to correspond to a bean temperature of 265-270 F over 20 minutes or so.

In the over, follow my standard roasting profiles but add on 25 F to each of the temperatures feel free to draw out the end. You are going to be hard pressed to over roast this in a home oven if you follow the basics.

The profile that I used for my test batch was 10:30/12:45/17:30 @ 265 F.