Well, to be accurate, I should really say cocoa grown in the USA. I have a small amount of cocoa from Hawaii. Specifically from Waialua estate on Oahu. It's a tiny bean (see below) with a bold chocolate flavor. Big chocolate flavor, dark notes, macadamia nut, soft lemon. Check out the whole review. Also, you won't find it wholesale. If you have an interest (they come in tiny 75 lb bags), drop me a note, and we can talk about individual cases. If there is enough interest, I'll bring more in.
On other fronts, my prototype cracker is working well. I've had to make some minor adjustments in the top feeder. I had to do some minor redesign as it was not working well with certain beans with a moderate preparation (PNG and the Conacado for instance). I know many people are very anxious about both the cracker and the winnower, but design, research and inventing isn't a fast or linear path. Or when it is, it's very expensive. Just to give you a flavor of what I've done when I brought in the first design of the cracker.
Total failure. It would not feed the beans. I made a 30 degree change in articulate to the rollers, and it fed. From hand testing it, I calculated how fast it fed, and worked out the gear ratios needed for optimal feed rate to the winnower when coupled to the Champion. 10 days later I had those gears and it was installed.
It worked great...for some beans. Anything with hint of odd prep would not feed. Days later I had a modification designed for the feeder - the difference of 3/16". 30 days later I had the part in hand. I installed it and yippee, it feed everything...too fast. The previous ratios didn't work I articulated the feed angle 6 degrees - much better. Now nearly everything feeds and at a better rate. But still too fast for the winnow.
New gear ratio calculations were performed. Parts ordered. They are here and I am waiting for time to install. Will that work? Probably. For sure? Who knows. It's an iterative process. I'll be sure to let you know. And although it doesn't show much, here is the current set up in my lab. This week I hope to add a 2nd set of gears.