Coca River

by Crío Brü
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Nibs   (pulverized)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Ecuador   
Flavor Earthen   (coffee)
Style Old School      
The following pertains to beverage cocoa, the 3rd rail in the chocolate delivery system after bars & bombones. Drafts, after all, are the original way to take chocolate, dating back to at least some 5,000 years ago.


By its very name & format, Crío Brü draws parallels to coffee while simultaneously hoping everyone will switch, if not altogether ditch, their café habit.

As discussed in 2012 with Millcreek Cacao Roasters' Ecuadorian 70% (utilizing cocoa that would become designated Heirloom III in 2014), cocoa gurus point to the COE (Cup of Excellence) as a model for cacáo to escape its dirt-poor commodity status.

Chocolate however differs from coffee in many significant aspects. show more »
Appearance   3.1 / 5
Color: mottled from pale to sand & rust
Surface: coarse meal with husks included
Temper: n/a (though flat)
Snap: n/a
Aroma   9.3 / 10
archetypal Ecuador… ya know, the "green forest meadow" but with a huge cocoa head & sweeter (s'posedly no sugar added), intensely sweet in fact, plus that fabled marshmallow drifting in from neighboring Colombia
intriguing to state the least
Mouthfeel   11.1 / 15
Texture: medium-mouth
Melt: n/a
Flavor   39.9 / 50
coffee -> cocoa -> dried leaf to herbal mocha -> pecan & hickory -> that cocoa head in the Aroma forms a cocoa back on the tongue -> faint after-ghosting of blackberry in the deep recesses
Quality   14.6 / 20
Pretty convincing substitute for the morning rite. Jolting both in flavor (rather stern yet forgiving) & effect (a lift minus the jitters). Though no replacement for the gold standard of chocolate: the bar. This draft delivers mere traces & trails of the fuller article.

Notwithstanding the other perfumes, make no mistake, coffee predominates.

As for the much promised "green banana & blackberry"? One euphemistically fills in for astringency, while the other mainly appears as borrowed from textbook descriptors for Ecuadorian Nac'l. Neither impact the profile to any significant degree.

Crío Brü includes the shells -- smart… no need to winnow, the bane of every barsmith -- which instead of waste, as is most often the case, can be re-purposed for bio-fuel, potpourri, a tea in its own right or, in this instance, some added fiber to make the cup whole with the complete bean.

Definitely worth the experience. Doubtful, however, it will it alter consumption patterns unless maybe sugar (none added but highly recommended in the preparation) someday gets labeled a Schedule 1 substance as a toxic poison. Hey, with NSA, FDA, & DEA sharing databases, & cigarette bans enforced in public while cannabis regulations are relaxed, anything & everything is under consideration to control the populous these days.

Fashion shutterbug Bill Cunningham (yep, the pre-Shelfie Generation still uses antique cameras): Money is the cheapest thing. Freedom & liberty are the most expensive.


Reviewed March 11, 2014


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