Origin: Tanzania -
Certifications: Direct Trade Kokoa Kamili Cooperative, Organic
Harvest Year: 2022
The aroma is a clear, deep, resonating raisin and chocolate. There are additional base notes of burnt sugar and tight dark fruit.
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.
Profile Drum Roasting: Feel free to take the kid gloves off here. This bean benefits from a strong firm hand. There is so much depth of flavor here that you can and shoudl roast fast. I've found slower roasts fail to develop the flavor and you end up with astringency that otherwise would not be there. Really, words are not the best medium for conveying how to roast. The profile I used for this is 11:30/13:30/18:00 @ 264 F
You can certainly roast this to a lower temperature but you want to keep the Finishing phase around 5 minutes for full, deep heat penetration and astringency mitigation.
Behmor: Due to the cold start of the the Behmor, you can just set it on the 1 lb setting with 2.5 lb of cocoa and go. When you begin getting aromatic notes, somewhere around 4 minutes left (14 minutes elapsed of the 18 minute start) drop the power to P4 (75% power) and continue roasting for about another 6-8 minutes, waiting for the aroma to either decrease or get sharp. This is all of course if you don't have a thermocouple in the beans (Modifying your Behmor) If you have that you can follow the profiles above.
Oven Roasting: You will need an IR thermometer. Roast 2 lb of beans. Preheat your over to 325 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 265 + ~15 = 280 and continue to roast, stirring every 5 minutes until approximately 260-265 F. Again, there will be variation but the beauty of this method is having turned the oven down it is difficult to over roast. The important part here is to get good momentum going in a hot oven and then basically coasting to finish. You may not get much chocolate or brownie aroma with this one.