Region: Tabasco, Chontalpa
Type: Almendra Blanca (White Almond)
Certifications: Direct Trade
Harvest Year: 2022
I'm so glad we have been able to bring this in again, the last time being 2018. It is reasonably delicate in nature and oddly, can be rather polarizing with it being right up your alley or not. The chocolate turns out a light brown, hence the White Almond description. I guess saying this bean is unique would be on point.
The aroma starts off with lovely light chocolate, nut, and blossom notes. They put me in mind of various yellow fruits like plum (Japanese style) and gooseberry. The chocolate is tangy and sweet yet again like a fresh berry. It is a very soft flavor, and lingers but there is very much a tart, bright note that either calls to you or doesn't. I've yet to find someone that is on the fence about it. The bitterness present (combined with the acidity) rather puts me in mind of a lightly roasted 3rd wave cup of unsweetened coffee. I describe it that way as it really isn't mocha which I think of as heavier with more body.
I was going to say the nut flavor is cashew but upon contemplation the flavor that remains in my mouth (don't laugh now) is that of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. There is a little malty sweetness that you even get from certain white breads. Again, that round, soft mouth feel plays over and over. I personally find it devilishly approachable and also refreshingly satiating.
Almendra Blanca is a Mexican variety of cocoa, coming from the Chontalpa region in Tabasco Mexico. They come from around 30 farmers supported by Maxiterra’s Cocoa Program, based on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Sustainability and Fairtrade thru FAO’s Farmers Field Schools model (FFS).
Cocoa beans are fermented during 3-4 days (1+1+2) in wooden and slowly sun dried to obtain 6.5%-7.5% moisture content.
Every production batch or lot number is set on the daily income of raw cocoa coming from plantations, which contains details on farmer’s name and location, volume purchased and price paid, and general data on technical assistance, training and agricultural practices executed on every farm.
With the really light bitterness and astringency, plus the nut component, you are not going to want to take this to a really high end of roast temperature or you are likely to make the nut bitter. Low to Mid 250s are fine and high 240s are ok. That does NOT mean you have to roast it super delicate though. 2.25-3.0 minutes in the development phase will do great. Just pull the roast when it starts to get sharp and expect it a little earlier than some beans.
In the Behmor 1600 2-2.5 lbs for 18-19 minutes is fine. Just watch for the sharp ending.