The new stock of Melanger’s are in and available. Last year we had a few with 99 hour timers, but they sold out very quickly. Those are available again, along with the standard on/off switch ones. Should you get one with a timer or just an on/off switch? I get that question a lot. Personally I like the on/off switch. There is less to go wrong, and I have never had a time where a few hours more would make that much difference in a chocolate (i.e. shutting off over night). But they seem very popular, and work just great.
As for something to look forward to, we should have a new crop of Ocumare for 2007, in addition to a little of 2006 left. I just finished taste testing a new bean from the Dominican Republic different from the Conacado. The prep in the sample is a little cleaner, and the flavor profile is a little earthier. And if the samples taste ok (one failed already and I turned it down) I hope to be able to offer some Carenero Superior in the coming months.
Finally, if you are looking for some wholesale quantities (150 lb sacks, thinking of starting local market?) of cocoa beans, I can offer both of the ones from the Dominican Republic (one which you have not tasted yet – see above) at a significant discount (approximately 50%) off retail. Drop me a note and I can tell you more.