After careful deliberation, Ben and I have decided on the bean for our first real bar. Clearly you all have been hearing about our work with the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, and Hispaniola beans. Each of these beans have their unique qualities, and I am sure we will work with them in the future; however, we needed to make a decision on what we would use for our first real, commercially available bar. We decided to go a route that not many have taken, and we chose a trinitario bean from:
Upala, Costa Rica
Upala is a city, district and canton in northwest Costa Rica. It lies approximately 48 meters above sea level, and is well embedded in the tropical rainforest. As seen by the city crest, Upala is center to several agricultural industries, and the city is widely recognized as a regional market for local fruits, vegetables, and of course, cacao!
As for the bean itself, it is impossible to say what exactly in Upala gives the bean its delicious chocolate flavor, but no doubt the terroir of the region gives it a subtle fruitiness and a distinct sweetness about it that reminds one of toffee or malt. This bean is rather delicate, and our hope is that people will love it from the moment it touches their tongue.
We are looking forward to experimenting with this bean, and producing our first real commercial bar! We are looking to have finished our development stage by early to mid-October in preparation for a possible chocolate event in Washington, D.C. that will feature Meso-American culture and cuisine, which would dovetail nicely with our Costa Rican chocolate. We look forward to your joining us as we explore this wonderful cacao, and Potomac Chocolate’s first real bar!