Over the last year Uganda seems to be coming up in the world of quality cocoa. I've tasted nothing but good samples and this one has become available.
Although this one is from a co-op, it does not have fair trade status simply because they decided not to apply for it. Basically, the incentive is often price and they have the price they desire. So there was little point. On the other hand it is Certified Organic.
The aroma of the beans are tannic blackberry and raspberry with hints of dried fig.
There is an undeniable roundness to the flavor profile this year. Very base and solid chocolate. I find an inherent sweetness that contributes to the perception of a full flavor. At first taste I was ready to discount the bitterness...but it lacked the flabbiness (yeah, double negative) I associate with no bitterness. Reconsidering, I found it to be in near perfect balance with the bold chocolate flavor. The bitter like tannins carry through to the chocolate. There is also dried fruit notes, toasted coconut and a tiny zing of the blackberry. There is astringency, but it’s not that raw or really mouth drying type. It’s more like the skin of a walnut. Or a nice red wine. There and accentuating the other flavors by contrast.
My lasting impression with this chocolate (as a dark chocolate at 75%) is “I’ve just eaten a very nice dark chocolate and I am satisfied”. It’s chocolate. The hint of dark ‘bite’. Round fruity notes dancing around in my mouth. Tannins lingering but not puckering. As a milk chocolate the chocolate flavor shows through and the tannins are tamed. The blackberry compliments the milk and had me thinking of a fruit smoothie with a splash of yoghurt and cream thrown in.
I am finding this bean to very dynamic, forgiving and accepting of a wide roast profile…but not too wide. If you really under roast it the chocolate flavor does not develop, and if you really over roast it, then it goes bitter. But I am talking full extremes here. Not just a couple minutes either way. More like 5, 10 or 15 minutes either way.
On the Behmor, feel free to take it well over 20 minutes. Or even 22 minutes on any of the profiles. Alternatively it is lively enough to go as short as 14 minutes if you want more of that raspberry zing.