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Cusco

Source: Co-operative and directly with farmers

Region: Southern Peru – Andes/Amazon

Department: Cusco

Elevation: 400-1200m

Yearly Rainfall: ~2200mm (87 inches)

Genetics: ~60% Native Chunchos mixed with ~15% VRAEs and other Criollos and Trinitarios

Harvest Season: Mar - Jul

Tasting Notes: Pronounced fruity/tropical fruit flavours; some red fruit and floral notes, with low tannins.

Fermentation Style: 4-5 days in wooden boxes; daily bean rotation after the first 2 days.

Drying Style: 2-4 days in mounds while drying, then dispersed over tarped floor or drying shelves for 3-4 days.

Bursting with tropical citric and red fruit flavour notes (and some floral profiles), this origin made up of roughly 65% Chunchos, 15% VRAEs, and some Criollos and Trinitarios is derived from the subtropical highlands of the department of Cusco and harvested at 400-1200 meters above sea level. 

On average, this origin’s beans are smaller than typical. And so are their yellow, green, and rose coloured pods. Like the Chuncho bean, this cacao undergoes a very well-controlled box fermentation, usually four to five days in duration with a bean rotation done every day after the second day. The cacao then gets piled into mounds to dry for two to four days with sporadic stirring. From there, the mounds are dispersed onto covered tarps or mesh drying shelves. The total drying time is typically around seven days, depending on weather and sun exposure. From there, after our quality requirements are met, they are transported to our plant on the coast where they undergo an additional QA process, manual selection, and are prepared for exporting.

We’ve been working with the co-operatives, like Alto Urubamba, in this area for several years now and it has been very rewarding. The co-ops have great relationships with their farmers, some of which are pushing in a chocolate-making direction, which we’ve been able to assist with by providing DCM Premier Refiners and free chocolate-making workshops. A great direction to push in, in our opinion, because it’s not only providing farmers with another revenue stream, but helping them better understand the role their cacao plays in the end product, which in turn allows them to refine their cacao harvesting, fermenting, and drying processes.

There are now several cacao producers in Cusco that have their own chocolate brand and a  few with brick-and-mortar stores, one of which is just off the main Plaza de Armas in Cusco city! And this cacao origin, along with Chuncho, are at the heart of it.

 

 

5kg boxes available in our shop. For any other volumes please contact us.

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