The old powerhouse is back. It has generally gained the reputation as an immensely complex cocoa bean with a huge potential. On the other hand, if you do not prep it correctly (which I fully plan to help you do, prep it correctly that is) the finished chocolate has a tendency to simply rip the tongue out of your mouth, beat you around the head and shoulders with it, turn around and walk out of the room. Did I mention powerhouse? Now, if I have not scared you away (which of course is never my intent), then you will find this year is another great year for Madagascar.
This year instead of raspberry, it is virtually exploding with cherry and raisin. As you know, both of those fruits can have a real zing, but they also have depth. I find actually a better balance than I have some years. The chocolate level is up, astringency has dropped and there are some delicate fruit blossom aromas. If you have stayed clear of this origin in the past, than I urge you to give it a try. It could well surprise you.
On the other hand, feel free to take this very light. Tart lemonade, cherry sour kriek and NW IPA all mixed together.
This is a fine flavor grade of cocoa Trinatario from Madagascar, Sambirano Valley. It is a Single Estate Cacao from the Northern Ambanja region and is Certified Organic. We briefly carried this origin a couple years ago, but sold out very quickly. This time I think I have enough of a supply locked in that it will be around a while.
The preparation on this bean is very clean and nice, and has an interesting red tone to the bean as is pretty common with this origin.
I really like how wide of a roasting profile you can give this bean. As I mentioned, if you go light you are going to experience your own unique acid trip. Medium, and it will give you lovely depth of fruit and chocolate and should you go heavy, that too is fine. You will find raisin abounds.
There will be LOTS of volatile acids produced when you roast so watch out. Those alone can knock you on your @$$. But they are also a good roast indicator. When those start to decrease (15-20 minutes at 300-310) you can stop the roast. Don't wait for the chocolate aroma on this one. It is there, but by the time you smell it the volatiles will be long gone and some of the great potential complexity will be gone too.
On the Behmor, (always with 2-2.5 lbs) 14 minutes will be light, 22 heavy and 18 the goldilocks’ zone. As for bean temperatures in the oven, 240 F, 255 F and 265 respectively.