FLAVOR PROFILE: natural, faint caramel underneath smoked-leather tones, complemented by subtle citrus – a combination that cuts incredibly well with Milk Chocolate
CHARACTERISTICS: light body / heavy flavor; due to cloudy/wet climate, beans are mechanically dried over wood fire, coconut shells, or propane rather than sun-dried, imparting that smoked flavor; cosmetic bonus: famously light color, even after roasting, yet another factor in making ideal Milk Chocolate match
2 trees; 1 survivor
In the latter half of the 17th century, a Spanish galleon transported pure Mesoamerican Criollo across the Pacific to the Philippines. From there, offshoots moved westward to Indonesia where around 1778 it took root on the islands, & soon became esteemed for purity & consistent quality. Then in 1888, 2 trees voyaged to Java from, speculatively, then-Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). One perished. The lone tree survivor traced distant roots all the way back to Venezuelan Trinitarios & interbred with the already existing Criollos on the Djati Roenggo Estate in Central Java where in 1912 a breeding program began under the direction of Dr. C.J. van Hall. The initial clones of this program – DR 1 & DR2 – are still in use along with the popular DRC16. Their progeny evolved into today’s Java ‘A’ – a genetic trail with strong Criollo germplasm. A survey of the island by Toxopeus & Geisberger in 1983 indicated continued high Criollo presence, including a ‘Java Porcelaine’ (suspected, however, to be Amazon) – a variety introduced on the island after a volcanic eruption devastated many plantations.