San Rafael de Cahuita

by CariBeans
Info Details
Country Costa Rica   
Type Dark   (72%; Lot #008-0001)
Strain Criollo   (in a hybrid germplasm)
Source Costa Rica   
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style Rustic      
Another stripped-down bar from CariBeans that packs like a vagabond for a trip abroad, carrying only the most necessary, the most presentable, the lightest, & most compact: cocoa & sugar (albeit raw cane).

Very easy going, conversational chocolate with high chill factor; simple to grasp / understand.

For all those "pairing experts" out there, this goes well with Sonny Rollins' Biji live from Montreux.
Appearance   3.7 / 5
Color: a silver-gray shade to this brown
Surface: imperfect
Temper: nicely glazed
Snap: good shot
Aroma   7.5 / 10
perspiration -- the construction crew smoking & sweating it out over tar, gravel, dirt next to a roadside stand of fruit (moraberry)
Mouthfeel   11.8 / 15
Texture: dry splinter
Melt: spry
Flavor   44.3 / 50
light fruit recedes into wafers 'n cream, then graham crackers dunked in café -> cinnamon bun (outstanding) -> bitter bark (Gliricidia sepium = madre de cacao / madre negro aka blackwood) -> top soil & minerals with a seam of paradise cream (aka monkey pot)
Quality   15.9 / 20
A very welcome, if simple, flavor complex.

Grown at 500 to 600 feet altitude along sloping terrain on a single property of, evidently, solid traits. The estate dates back for generations.

This bar's flavor suggests some identifiable Criollo germplasm, possible descendants of old-time cacáo. A ferment cycle of up to 6 days however suggests otherwise. Whatever their DNA, these trees, set in an agro-forested hillside, are special for another reason: they reportedly never suffered from Moniliasis -- a deadly pathogen that afflicts Theobroma cacáo trees throughout Central America. Depending on a definitive genetic analysis, they may give pause to theories about Criollo's supposed fragility. Which would re-confirm historical accounts that Criollo thrived in the wild but once forced onto monoculture plantations it buckled under the onslaught of diseases.

As for the taste here, the cinnamon points are winsome & even the back bitter comes good, replete with Earth qualities.

Arguably CariBeans most accomplished bar to date.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed February 21, 2013


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