Bolivia - Wild Harvest Tranquilidad Direct Trade 2024

Origin:  Bolivia

Region: Wild Harvest

Crop: 2024

Type: Heirloom Tranquilidad

Certs: Direct Trade

Flavor Notes:

As is pretty common for wild collected beans, these beans are tiny.  The average cocoa bean is 90-110 beans/100 grams.  These average 145-155 beans/100 grams.  What comes with that is a distinct density and concentration of flavor. 

The aroma bold chocolate and sweet, dark, vibrant fruits that start my mouth watering. 

The flavor of the chocolate is also bold and has that density of flavor I have come to associate with so many wild harvested beans, regardless of origin.  The very first thing that comes to mind when I tasted this was grape twizzler sticks.  Crazy I know, but I taste what I taste.  Grape, sweet, acidic but it just makes you want more. Being a grape flavor, there is also dried grape or raisin with again a clear and deep sweetness and the soft but solid acidity.   Once you start to savor the chocolate and roll it around in your mouth you will note a moderate backbone of bitterness and a virtually perfectly balanced astringency. 

The finish is long and has layers of dark juicy fruits, light loam, lightly cured leaf tobacco and a hint of roasted pine nut. Compared to 2022 crop, it is both very similar (check out our Archive) and possibly even more bolder flavored.


 PRODUCER / COLLECTORS: Tranquilidad Natural Forest Estate of around 600 hectares is owned by Volker Lehmann and his family, as private enterprise. In over 15 years Volker Lehmann increased the Wild Harvest activities all over the Beni department on areas of the size of Germany, involving hundreds of mainly indigenous families and dozens of organizations. Since 2014, after receiving the HCP recognition for Tranquilidad, production is concentrated in Tranquilidad and neighboring collection areas between the villages of Huacaraje and Baures. All cacao is fermented and sundried at Tranquilidad fermentation and drying facility.


Harvest time in Tranquilidad is once a year between mid December to mid February. It could vary regarding the appearance of the rainy season starting in October and ending around end of May. The amount to harvest per tree varies also from year to year. In general the amount per tree is small as well as the pods and the beans, which are half the size of cultivated cacaos varieties. The cacao trees grow tall in its natural habitat and can reach 8 – 10 meters. People harvest the lower trunk by hand and use long sticks with a wire sling to get to the fruits in the upper parts. Sometimes they climb into the tree when there are many fruits, or they get eaten by monkeys and birds.

The people like to come early in the morning, when mosquitoes are still less active, to collect in small groups or by family and make piles of pods. After 2-3 hours they sit at the piles and open the pods placing the fresh beans in bags. Once full the bags hang on poles to collect the dripping juice that people love to drink right there and to sell some in the villages. After that, between noon and early afternoon, they bring the bags by foot or on bikes to the harvest center, where they  are weighed and payed directly by weight and quality. The price is generally agreed at the start of the harvest and varies if there are more or less to pick. People are free to sell to the best offer or take home.

The beans go then straight into special designed wooden fermentation boxes. The post harvest protocol was developed in 2003 and is mainly adapted to the size of the beans including slow sun drying.


The first thing you should do is read my Ask the Alchemist 239 where I discuss roasting smaller beans. 

Drum Roasting

The drum roasting profile I used for the evaluation sample was 16:00/18:10/22:10 @ 256 F.  After that, you can treat this bean pretty aggressively as there is tons of chocolate and fruit.  That means 0/8/6  F/min is just fine.  You want to pay attention to the aroma and reduce your ramps if you smell it trying to be acrid.  You will also stop the roast a little sooner than you might normally since the bean is smaller.  EOR 252-258 F seems to work well where a normal sized bean of this character would be 258-264 F.

Behmor Roaster

Roast 2 lb and use P1 on the one pound setting, for 19-20 minutes or until you hear a pop or two.  Then take it longer.  2-3 minutes.  It is virtually impossible to over roast in the Behmor with 2 lb in there.  If you are using the current model with Manual control, turning down the power to P4 (75% power) when it starts to become aromatic (or smells sharp) is a nice way to keep the EOR tempering in check.

Oven Roasting

Pre-heat your oven to 325 F. Put 1-2 lb of beans onto a tray single layer deep.  Check the temperature every 5 minutes, stirring at that time.  When the beans are in the 205-215 range, reduce the oven temperature to about 10-15 F above your target EOR, so if you are going for 255 F, set it to 270 F.   When the beans reach your desired temperature and/or are smelling sharp, another 15-30 minutes, remove them and let them cool. This should give you a nice fully developed roasted bean that is in little danger of being over roasted.