St. Andrés
Kokoa Kamili
La Red Guaconejo

by Letterpress
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (70% cacáo-content; + 72% cacáo-content)
Strain Blend   (+ Nacional; + La Red)
Source Costa Rica   (+ Peru; + Tanzania; + The Dominican Republic)
Flavor Crossover   (in dark hues)
Style Old School      (Flavor rather than Style)
H. L. Mencken saw an idealist as one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes it also makes better soup.

The odor of these bars also belie their treasures within, to throw sniffing choco-hounds off their trail... then ultimately drawn back on it because, hey, it's chocolate &, more importantly, the end flavor (particularly La Red Guaconejo).
Appearance   4.2 / 5
Color: gorgeous vermillions, magentas, mauve, & crimson
Surface: splotches & blotches
Temper: high intensity
Snap: cracks it
Aroma   6.9 / 10
alive mix
kerosene & rubber (a combustible combo) -> dog hair / horse tail… scent incompatible with this canyon cacáo until more customary sticky drupes relieve the airways
drifts off herbal tobac

Kokoa Kamili
as though direct from the Tanzanian countryside, the flora & fauna encapsulated herein, in a bar… the leather, the dried herbs / spices & grasses, dirt & earth… all there

St. Andrés
gaseous & camphoreous instead of any cocoa forest
ham with the skin on, now parched toward leather tannins -> diffuses balmy eucalyptus -> settles into more expected Costa Rica picholine & tobacco

La Red Guaconejo
more overfermented sausage -> fruit underlay (mango-tangerine) along with palm frond
Mouthfeel   12.2 / 15
Texture: recalcitrant (Marañón) to...
Melt: ... smooth (La Red Guaconejo)
Flavor   43 / 50
archetypal drupe fruits backed in black raisin & amber treacle -> a rather rare grapefruit for this cultivar -> soap bubbles & flowers centered about geranium -> puckering finish -> chicory root in the deep aftermath

Kokoa Kamili
translates faithfully from the Aroma with pops in an early fruit tang (tamarind, including a mild detergent of the self-same character as Marañón [above]… hmmm) -> settles on dried sap & resin shadowed by the anise-like Pinus patula -> late lychee (real nice) -> bitter nut (call it marula kernel)

St. Andrés
black attack (loganberry -> molasses -> licorice) -> bitter black olive -> blackwood (Gliricidia septum) cut lightly by rambutan -> faint soap wash -> resolves to a plantain / coffee cross

La Red Guaconejo
grand entrance: a complex of chocolate / fruit (sapote) / wood (immortelle) -- exceptional -- encompassed in a beautiful musk -> hits on a sweeter fruit spot (dried apricot) -> some blackstrapping in the back -> thickens into a turgid tamarind-caramel -> heavy palm sugar ending
Quality   16.3 / 20
Peru (Marañón Canyon); Nacional; 2013 Harvest; 70% cacáo-content; Batch 7

Knowing this varietal, the color reflects a hearty mix of pale & purple seeds.
Once the raisin vanishes, the bar slips way upstream, practically untethered into the fruits & florals (+ possible solvent) with no balance to bring it back save for the chicory aftermath.
Generally correct prep & process (excepting that soap bubbling -- a rinse issue with the moulds?).

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Kokoa Kamili
Tanzania (Kilombero Valley, Morogoro); Varietal Blend; 70% cacáo-content; Batch 17

With so few Kamili bars on the market, the parameters of this regional cacáo are still to be fixed but already the early general curve shapes up: opening fruit pop, nut close, & moderate cocoa base. This here less ornate than Palette de Bine, falls more in line with Middlebury. The 3 together, along with Kokoa Kamili's own sample, shows that Letterpress reads these seeds accurately & crafts accordingly.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

St. Andrés
Costa Rica (Limón Province; San Andrés); Blend (Matina; Scavina; +); 2014 Harvest; 70% cacáo-content; Batch 29

Steadfast... little-to-no evolution. Very basic Central American cocoa seen in an earlier guise from French Broad (that contains with more in-depth info on its provenance).

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

La Red Guaconejo
Dominican Republic (Los Pajones, María Trinidad Sánchez Province); La Red cultivar; 2014 Harvest; 72% cacáo-content; Batch 26

Near classic rendering of the now-defunct La Red co-op introduced to the premium scene by Mast Bros in their early heyday (strange how that went) &, with this strong closeout by Letterpress, the 2 bars bookend bold, noble flavors that contributed to putting the D.R. on the cocoa map.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Capsule Summary
Fairly true to type... the origins / the cultivars... exhibits a respect for the elements in generalized dark tones that transmute core chocolate tags into deeper hues & saps.

Reviewed December 15, 2015


Pin It on Pinterest