Last night I attended a terrific chocolate tasting hosted by my dear friend Steve. Steve obtained eleven different origins of cocoa bean, serially roasted them, then presented either his favorite roast or two roasts which he thinks bracketed the sweet-spot. Each bean was then winnowed and ground in a coffee grinder with sugar. The purpose was to create blends with which to create confections from the finished, tempered chocolate. My notes on the individual roasts are below, I didn’t take notes on the blending, that’ll just have to be a surprise.
DRC 15 minute roast (Dom. Republic): Clover hay, raspberry, toasted chashew, sasparilla, creosote
DRC 20 minute roast: deeper, plum, brandy, molasses, water chesnuts, actually less creosote than the 15 minute.
DRC 25 minute roast: the flavor is more complete and integrated, though a little duller. Nut shells, carmelied damsons and walnuts.
DRC 30 minute roast: Lots of tar, heavy creosote, rather dead.
PC (Peru) 15 minute roast: pistachios, apricots, bourbon, rosemary, and a light savory note. High-toned and estery, difficult to blend with.
EC 25 minute roast (Ecuador): olive oil, whole wheat bread, lightly floral, and a juicy coconut oil note.
PNG 20 minute roast (Papua New Guinea): Black cherries, more sharply acidic but still with some fiberous green woody notes.
PNG 30 minute roast: MUCH more acidic, too loud and heavy handed, big notes of popcorn and current juice.
Gha 25 minute roast (Ghana): nothing bright happening but a good good broad mud notes and dried grass
Gha 30 minute roast: Dry black dirt, white flowers, freshly inked newspaper
Hon 20 minute roast (Honduras): fatty coconut, dulce de lece, light bacon note
Hon 25 minute roast: The same but with a rich baking spice overlay. very fun.
Bct 20 minute roast (Bolivia): clean and richly honeyed, a lovely top-dresser
BCT 25 minute roast: more deeply fruited on dates soaked in honey with broader coffee notes
Vcs 20 minute roast (Venezuala): bright and floral on geranium tea, yunan black tea and a light grapiness.
Vcs: 25 minute roast: over roasted
Gua 20 minute roast (Guatamala): nose is muted, palate is very green and woody with a fruity, candy quality
Gua 25 minute roast: heavy cream, cinnamon hearts, and nutmeg.
Drr 20 minute roast (Dom. Republic again): molasses, chesnuts, but a light estery broad floral note.
Vsl 25 minute roast (venezuala): precise and fruity on sugar plums, papaya, and a bit of lime.
Vsl 30 minute roast: pushed a little too far. Maybe 27 minutes would give it the complexity without burning?