Back in 2016, not too long before we started La Cascade du Chocolat, Sam and I (Andy) experienced a house fire. I was home at the time, I fought the fire before the fire trucks got there, and I got the important things out – our dogs and a few other things. When all was said and done, it was essentially a total loss.

Three days later, a package from Meridian Cacao was delivered to the doorstep of the house. In it, were some sample Ecuadorian beans, and 25 lbs of organic cacao sourced from Kokoa Kamili. Our small-batch bean-to-bar equipment was lost in the fire and we were a little distracted, so they went into storage in their vacuum-sealed bags. Until now.

I ordered the beans that January, so that makes them, by my calculations, an April 2015 harvest. I finally roasted them, ground them, and turned them into a 77% single origin Tanzanian dark chocolate in September 2019, and those beans are amazing. This batch of chocolate is one of my favorites so far. Sam and I taste pineapple and cashew notes, with a bit of brown sugar and caramel. Bitterness is negligible (if any) and is astringency – if there is, it’s coming across as citrus flavors. It’s a lovely chocolate and we’re nearly out of it.

Which brings us to this: a 2018 harvest from Kokoa Kamili by way of Meridian. It’s a Criollo/Trinitario hybrid, and the roast, again, is lovely. Coming out of the roaster, there is a lot of brownie with some citrus. The beans are cooling now, and then I’ll have a better idea of the flavors, but I suspect it will be similar (though by smell, I think there might be more raisin). Most likely, we’ll do it again as a mid- to high-70s percentage, but that’s what this first test batch is for – to figure that out.

Stay tuned. We can’t wait to share this one with you.