Jamaica First Grade Polished
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Region and Country
St. Mary, Clarendon, Hanover and West Kingston, Jamaica
Jamaica’s cocoa history stretches back over 350 years. The Spaniards introduced early Mesoamerican cacao to the island. In 1655 the island was taken over by the British, and Jamaica soon became their main supplier of cacao. The British are credited for having democratized cacao in Europe by opening chocolate houses and coffee shops were Jamaican cocoa brews would be served along with coffee, drinks and smokes. From that moment on, cacao was no longer an exclusive drink for the French and Spanish nobility.
These beans are produced by organized farmers from three different parishes. Each parish has its own centralized post harvesting facility.
December – March (main crop) April – November (mid-crop)
Old genetics on the island are a mixture of Amazonian varietals brought from Martinique in the 1800’s as well as Venezuelan and Trinitarian genetic stocks. Nowadays the cocoa plants supplied to Jamaican farmers are crosses between PA 150 with ICS 1 or PA 150 crossed with ICS 60.
Post Harvesting Process
The cacao is collected fresh and is centrally fermented and dried. During drying the beans are polished to improve their appearance. The beans are polished at a stage where they are hard but not brittle, in a rotary type dryer or a special polishing machine similar to a grain mixer. Polishing improves external appearance of the beans and it is suggested that polishing protects the beans from fungal infestation during storage.
Dark profile; heavy chocolate base with slight biscuit and dark fruit notes followed by spicy, earthy, green and oak wood notes.