Origin: Tanzania -
Certifications: Direct Trade Kokoa Kamili Cooperative, Organic
Harvest Year: 2021
There is a clean earthiness and up front chocolate aroma. There are deep base fruits, dried prune and damson plum in the nose.
The chocolate has dark flavors of brown sugar, toffee, coffee and a fully balanced citrus (lemon?) acidity. Soft cashew, raisin and a silkiness are the overall impression. There is a lingering high note in the finish of bittering spice and baked raisin. In many ways it puts me in mind of an English pudding. There is no astringency or bitterness to speak of.
The preparation of these reddish beans is spectacular. These could be the poster child for even and beautiful preparation. You and I both know that a great appearance does not necessitate a great flavor, but it does lend credence to an eye toward quality and makes the beans a joy to roast and winnow.
Kokoa Kamili currently works with approximately 1,500 small shareholder farmers, most of whom farm between 0.5-2 acres of cocoa. Kokoa Kamili pays a premium--well above the market rate--to farmers for their ‘wet’ cocoa, and conducts its own fermentation and drying. By taking over the fermentation and drying process, Kokoa Kamili can produce more consistently higher quality cocoa beans. This method gives farmers a reduced workload, along with greater compensation, and the farmers are paid immediately after the cooperative receives its wet beans. The cocoa is fully box fermented in locally sourced and constructed eucalyptus three tier boxes. The typical fermentation length is 6 days with turns on days three and five. The beans are 100% sun-dried on raised drying tables.
The catchment area borders the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, an area known for its abundance of bird and mammal wildlife. It is most famous for the eleven different primate species, bird life, and is one of three remaining sites that support Savannah Elephants in a mountainous environment. Current estimates of 2,000 elephants reside in and around the Udzungwa area.
Prior to Kokoa Kamili’s Cooperative a single buyer dominated the area – the local arm of one of the world’s largest soft commodity trading houses. A sole buyer meant it had the power to set the price for cocoa, and farmers had little alternatives. Historically, farmers in the Kilombero Valley received some of the lowest prices for cocoa in the country. In Kokoa Kamili’s first year alone Kilombero farmers received the highest prices in Tanzania for their cocoa.
If you oven roast, I suggest the following. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Put a pound of beans into a heavy corning ware type container, about an inch deep. Put them in for 10 minutes, stirring at 5 minutes (and every 5 minutes after this). At 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 320 and roast another 10 minutes. Pull out a handful of beans for comparison. Turn off the oven and let the remaining beans set/roast for a final 10 minutes in the cooling oven. Remove them and let them cool. This should give you a nice light delicate roasted bean.
For the Behmor 1600, load 2 lbs on P1 or P2 (1 lb setting) for 17-19 minutes. That should also give you a nice roast. If at a point it starts to smell sharp, you most likely are done or roasting too hot (if it's early in the roast).
If you are fortunate enough to have a drum roaster with bean probe, I like this taken to a surface bean temperature of 265-275 F, although if you extend it a bit to 280 F some of the fruit notes will drop and nut and sugars will be high lighted.