Venezuelan Sur del Lago - 2016

 Origin: Venezuela

Type: Criollo/Trinatario

Certifications: Ethically and Sustainably Traded

Year: 2016

    Flavor Notes:

I have found this to result in a cocoa that is a chocolate lover's cocoa.  It is a complex, well-rounded cocoa that can make a luscious chocolate bursting with flavor accented by bold red berry fruit, dry cashew, toffee,  malt,  caramel  and most important, chocolate.  The aroma is dark raisin and fruit blossoms.



Sur del Lago is one of the oldest and most interesting cacao growing regions in the world.  It is located in the tropical lowlands south and west of Lake Maracaibo in northwestern Venezuela, Sur del Lago offers cacao growers ideal conditions for growing high quality cacao - tall shade trees, tropical heat and ample water.  Over the span of a multitude of years, many different varieties of cacao trees have been brought to this region and flourished. As a result the Criollo and Trinitario of Sur del Lago represents a genuine melting pot of natural, genetic crosses of cacao tree types with beautifully rounded chocolate flavors.

I've roasted this a few times, and so far, I have yet to have an outcome that I did not like.  I've taken it very light and the nuttiness is more evident.  A medium roast gives a balanced, delicious chocolate. Roasted heavy, the chocolate is there without the often negative bitterness and astringency.

 I like this at a solid medium roast.  260 F bean temperture.  P1 for 20 minutes in the Behmor.

For oven roasting, Pre-heat your oven to 375 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 325 and roast another 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the beans set/roast for a final 10 minutes in the cooling oven. Remove them and let them cool.