Raw Seeds

by Tava/Journée
Info Details
Country Australia   
Type Beans   
Strain Amelonado   
Source Vanuatu   (Santo Island; Olboe)
Flavor Naked   
Style Old School      
Thunder from Down Under.

It's easy to spot in LA a lot of dirty Looney Tune Tasmanian dust-devils on the seedy underside of the city of angels... basically hungry for every bevy of botox’d & silicon’d '10' pulling up to stop for red lights at virtually any corner on Sunset Blvd. They come for a week or two at the beach then stay a lifetime, all headed up to the stars above the Hollywood Hills, invested with a sense of that deep-set purpose: controlling their tabloid headlines.

This one shows different. Buff as a baby’s bare bottom; does an innocent lap dance on the unadulterated raw senses.

As Ida Maria says, ‘I like you so much better when you’re naked’.
Appearance   4.5 / 5
Color: multi-brown from dirty mud to golden bronze; cotyledons themselves true dark chocolate brown of surprisingly little differentiation – a sure sign of consistent / thorough fermentation
Surface: good vascular striations; only minor crusting / mold; no moth webs detected
Temper: n/a except psychologically: playful w/ a shred of rancor
Snap: FHOOSH - lighting a match
Aroma   7.2 / 10
a fermentary pile: light balsam / acetic acid punctuates paper & almond skins -> underlying celery root, then olive leaf & bay laurel -> once undressed (re: hand-winnowing)... balsam - though present it's subservient to akebia pulp (incl its melon component)
Mouthfeel   13.9 / 15
Texture: crunch w/ maximum tactile feedback
Melt: bumps & clatters down to a gruel
Flavor   48.1 / 50
cocoa thru & true -> sweet tobacco leaf holds much of its strength throughout as well -> soils down into woods-ear mushrooms -> almond to faint hazelnut underscored in citric zing (green mango to diluted akebia) -> 1st true bitter compound, alas, & also the last but very tolerable, doubly so for raw... think radicchio & dandelion -> gentle Modena balsamic the aft-trick along w/ more pronounced filbert + soiled substrate
Quality   19.3 / 20
Very kind, winsome bean straddling the cusp of innocent / wild. Simple as can be, yet nicely trim with respect to the Big 3: bitterness, acidity, & astringency. Top notes are rich in ripe & real cocoa that stands up well for an undying backbone & never entirely crouches even as it yields to other precursors & flavor flags.

Demos exceptionally clean drying (only minor residual distractions) & sound ferment.

the C-spot™ almost took a vested interest in this venture based upon sample testing the batch – it was & is that good.

Shaping these beans into a bar would seem rather superfluous; an overstatement for sure, but one with a measure of truth. The knock on the bean -- especially projecting it into chocolate -- might be whether it has enough of those precursors to survive the processing chain without slackening into a flat nosedive. On its own terms, however - as a raw, fermented, dried & unadulterated seed left unroasted or otherwise refined - it surpasses the competition by lapping the field.

If Grenada Chocolate is the little bean that could then this, from Vanuatu... huh?... you mean you never heard of Vanuatu? (perfect for high school geography students who can barely locate North America on a map let alone Australia... they’ll have real fun finding it) ... yes, this from Vanuatu is the bean that shouldn’t & has no business even being in it... but it does.

ING: cacáo seeds

Reviewed Summer 2009


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