Café en Granos

by Bitácora
Info Details
Country Venezuela   
Type Semi-Dark   (+ Flavored)
Strain Hybrid   (Criollos in the mix)
Source Venezuela   (various locales)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Rustic      
Vegetables, such as onions, can make people cry; fruit makes 'em laugh.

And bittersweet chocolate? Laugh until you cry, naturally.
Appearance   3.6 / 5
Color: on the red end of the spectrum
Surface: backside lunar-like craters
Temper: flash bulbs
Snap: explicit snaptronics
Aroma   8.4 / 10
cacáo verde (very green upfront)
spice (pepper) mixed in with grains
airs cocoa-tabac

dripping sorghum & resins pool into a molasses catch-basin

sapped again & then gives way to trad Venezuela tags (hay, tonka, light nuts, perfumed butter)

caramelized-funk deep in the barnyard -> front nut sack -> comes to, somewhat, on smoked strawberry(!?!?)

Café en Granos
considerate coffee berry -- sharp yet soft, sweet 'n scintillating on a well-integrated platform of buttery leather -> airs out hash brownies
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: slick
Melt: stuck in some occasional fits (overly micronized?)
Flavor   43.8 / 50
77% cacáo-content; Patanemo, Estado Carabobo (Puerto Cabello region); produced in conjunction with Mantuano Chocolate

razzles & dazzles on a fruited caramel -- peach+passion, the latter accumulates strength as the melt progresses, indeed rises to dominate -> stringent cedar -> oaken aftermath

Bitácora supplies ample metrics on the processing (see graphic below). Fermentation at 58% rates medium-low; ditto the 119ºC / 246ºF peak roast temperature over a 25-minute curve. Both could stand some gain in order to quell that lively passionfruit quotient in the flavor.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

70% cacáo-content; Sur del Lago, Mérida State

very much the Aroma (above) accentuated by a brief papaya besotten in malted black strap molasses -> closing sweet cream -> almond-toffee in the post-melt

Strong & heavy; thick 'n dark for the most part. A preponderant flavor, outsized for 70%.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

70% cacáo-content; Blend from Miranda, Aragua & Carabobo

soft citrus-inflected butter tickles the T-buds (T for Taste) -> supple nuts -> sweet spices -> tonka -> bluestone -> carob

Subtle profile all the way around. Fine-grade. Origin non-specific (the definition of a house blend). Raices also means 'roots' in Spanish & this nonetheless retraces that, seemingly, to the taproot.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

70% cacáo-content; Patanemo, Estado Carabobo

opens up pale ale -> supple macadamia -> sugar streak rolls onto candied gingerbread -> almond skins -> malt ball -> granite -> cream back

Compact flavor (relatively narrow range) & so steadfast (from the jump to the last drop). Terrifically kind. Composed. All of which places it at variance from the similarly-sourced Patanemo bar (see above).
Carabobo... the Honey Boo Boo of chocolate.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

Café en Granos
62% cacáo-content; Produced by Bitácora's colleagues at Mantuano Chocolate

fragrant coffee blossoms, heady & benign, steams thru the chambers, dominates a semisweet chocolate without overwhelming it... consider it 'mocha with 2 sugars, please' -> fab black-cherry cordial finale

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, coffee

Quality   15.6 / 20
An exposé on the regional cacáos of one, albeit broad, origin.

Whereas another barsmith -- the great Idilio -- sources exclusively Venezuelan cacáo & then transports the cocoa to Switzerland for processing, this startup stays home & does it all in-country.

The etymology of Bitácora borrows from the nautical binnacle for where the ship's captain stores his/her log & navigational aids. Its logo further depicts a floral seal associated with due north.

Bitácora... tacking the right course & clearly following the lodestar to locate prized cacáos all around them.

Reviewed April 24, 2018


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