Does size really matter?

David and Goliath?

Me and Mini-Me?

Bigger is better?

The tiny powerhouse?

Frankenstein vs….damn can’t think of a small monster.

Well, I really wanted a good one-liner there, but inspiration eludes me.  So I’m just jump into what I want to talk about.  Cocoa bean sizes.  As is the definition of ‘average’, most cocoa beans you will find and buy are of average size.  This generally means they are 90-110 beans/100 grams – industry convention and standard.  What I have for you today are two great examples of the two far ends of the bell curve.

size1.JPG compare.JPG

What you have here is a tiny wild harvested Bolivian Organic Criollo at a bean count of 160 beans/100 g and a huge Guatemalan Trinatario at 50-55 beans/100 grams.  Below is 100 grams of each:


What does this mean?  Well, many things…and not much.  Huh?  Let me explain.

Neither will be inherently better or worse first off.  The small one isn’t inferior, nor is it packed with flavor because it is small.  Likewise, the large one isn’t large and tasteless, but neither is it better because of it’s size.  Both are simply notable.

In this case, the Guatemalan has a nice rustic flavor, kind of nutty and carries a unique bitterness, but also some great savory notes.  The wild Bolivian…well, in a word, just makes me happy.  It’s pretty mild, being Criollo, but has great flavors.  Toffee, very soft fruits, butter and blueberries.  And it melds all together seamlessly…and makes me smile.  Plus it’s so damn cute.

OK, from a practical standpoint, you may find the Guatemalan’s may not feed as well in the Crankandstein, whereas the Bolivia will feed great, but both will crack just fine in the Champion.  After that, you will find they both basically winnow the same.  You might expect that because the Bolivian is so small, there ratio of husk to nib would be high, giving you less nib than normal…but thankfully that is not the case since it is a Criollo and one with a particularly light thin husk.  Both turn out to give right around 80% nib.

Finally, I should make a note that both of these are of a limited nature.  When they are gone, they may well be gone for good.

I really hope you try them, enjoy them and that they make you happy.

And as a reminder, Refurbished Behmor 1600s are now readily available.

One Response to “Does size really matter?”

  1. What a fun and interesting read! Ive always wondered if bean size affects flavors, and now I think I have a little insight! 🙂

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