Costa Esmeraldas 73% – 2017 Harvest
Single estate. Less than 10 miles inland from the town of Muisne in the Esmeraldas province. Cacao orchards were established six years ago on former cattle pasture with very steep terrain. Establishment of cacao, timber, and other fruit trees has reduced erosion on the farm site. Esmeraldas has an unusual climate, with little variation in average temperatures. The region has a relatively short wet season from January to May each year, but during the dry season, the weather is almost always overcast with light drizzling rain.
In Esmeraldas, on typical years, the Nacional hybrid trees bear fruit from June to February with peak harvest July through September. All cacao fruits are harvested, broken, and placed into fermentation boxes on the same day.
Our approach to creating our chocolate is very similar to the process of making wine. We only use natural ingredients with no fillers (such as cacao butter, artificial flavors, synthetic emulsifiers, etc) to let each variety show its unique character. Single origin chocolate is chocolate that’s made from one variety of cacao harvested in one region. Why does this matter? Cacao is a plant. Like other plants, its beans take on the characteristics of the region where it’s grown—its terroir. Many terms used to describe single origin chocolate will be familiar to wine lovers—earthy, floral, herbal and berry, to name a few. When cacao is blended, the effect of terroir is lost just like wines. This variety is harvested in fall 2017. Limited release in December 2018.
We taste a strong base of chocolate, roasted nuts, light fruit, and floral notes. Low acidity, bitterness and astringency. All of our single-origin tasting discs are made with just 2 ingredients: cacao beans and organic sugar. No added cacao butter, lecithin, or vanilla.