Updated: Oct 13, 2020
NANO_LOT 70% DARK CHOCOLATE - DOMANTAS UZPALIS, CHOCOLATIER
Ingredients: cacao, cane sugar, pure cacao butter
Pod: Trinitario and Forastero hybrid
Roast: 110 C
Conche: 48 hours
In Domantas words:
Nano_lot cacaos are available on an extremely limited basis and consequently only at specific times of the year, meaning once they are gone, they are gone. Those that I have chosen to feature boast the highest ratings, are of rarest qualities, and provide the most unique tasting experience. I strongly believes that these are the world`s best cacao beans because of the amount of R&D given to them.
Specifically, this nano batch was prepared by the cooperative UPCCO (Union des Producteurs de Cacao du Congo), located in Mambasa, Ituri province, and supported by NGO Rikolto DR Congo. Naive has been lucky to secure the very tiny lot that was prepared by the farmers of the cooperative and then fine-tuned by mad cacao fermentation scientist and sorcerer Zoi Papalexandratou PH.D.
About the Kilimamwenza Congo:
Inspired by the coffee projects of Rikolto who helped several coops to become exporters and penetrate the specialty coffee market through centralized coffee processing in micro-washing stations. The target of the cacao project is to help the cacao cooperative ferment in micro-fermentation centers, standardize and improve quality and get direct access to the fine chocolate market. Although Africa is considered to be the black sheep of cacao, the first trials of this project illustrate that very high quality can be achieved in Central Africa too. Furthermore, this batch delivers unique flavor notes that are not easily found within more famous fine cacao origins.
About the cacao beans, Kilimamwenza cacao contains 8% of lilac beans and the rest is purple. This special batch is 230 kg of total volume and is box fermented as a single lot and the sun-dried under Zoi`s supervision.
Maker`s flavor profile description:
A very clean palate with some pleasant astringency and bitterness. Well rounded flavor with creamy-dairy notes followed by some leathery and spring honey aftertaste. Slim film of chocolate covers the tongue for around 5 minutes.
As always with Naive, the perfect balance between attention to detail, elegance, and quality leaves you speechless.
I would simply like to add a few words on this bar, which is impeccably described by the maker:
smooth and cool mouthfeel;
on the palate, the combination between the pleasurable creamy-dairy taste and leather represents the most compelling part;
spring honey finish rather than aftertaste;
Fraises de Bois undertones;
Once again, this maker showcases "leather" aroma/flavor from a positive point of view and not, as commonly it is believed, a result of bad fermentation. In any case, it requires the utmost attention and thought and, in particular, a clean palate. I do not think it can offer many possibilities in matching with food. It is a work for connoisseurs and versatile minds.
In the words of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity. (The Great Gatsby)