Kickapoo Coffee x Ritual Chocolate
The limited release XO Box pairs two unique and exceedingly rare single origin varieties of coffee and chocolate from Peru for your tasting pleasure. With rich stories and dynamic flavor profiles, this is one pairing that won't disappoint.
- 12 oz. bag Limited Release Peru Marcelino Chinguel
- 2.12 oz. 75% bar of Peru Marañón chocolate from Ritual
Delivered in a crisp box with the Kickapoo Coffee leaf hand-stamped on the top, the XO Tasting Box will only be available for a limited time.
Ethiopia Landrace Variety
Dry Fermented, Washed, Raised Bed Dried
July - October 2018
La Coipa, San Ignacio
About the XO Box
Every good match comes with a little lore; the tale told and retold of that first glance across the room, that first spark, that moment of discovery. And this pairing does not disappoint. The story of how Peru Marcelino Chinguel and Peru Marañón came to be is the stuff of legends.
Revered for their complex and unique flavor profiles, these heritage varieties trace back generations and were both thought to be lost only to be rediscovered to much acclaim.
In the late 1970s, an 11-year-old Marcelino Chinguel Morales walked into a coffee nursery during a school field trip to visit a collection of coffee varieties being researched at UNAS, the agrarian University in Tingo Maria, Peru. This collection had come from Ethiopia a decade earlier as part of a collection of 490 different Ethiopian coffee varieties that were split amongst different research universities throughout Latin America and studied for disease resistance, yields and quality. Among the original 490 unnamed varieties, there was the seedstock that eventually became known as Gesha, though many remain unnamed to this day.
Marcelino's assignment after the field trip was to tend to two small saplings given to him from the collection. He planted them on his family's farm in La Coipa. For the next 35-40 years, harvest after harvest, these plants grew into maturity alongside him. For years, they blended in with the rest of the plants on the farm, with the exception of a slightly more upward slant to their spindly branches. But in 2012, after a fungus called “La Roya” devastated many of the coffee trees in the area, Marcelino noticed these two trees remained healthy and productive. They were resistant to the deadly fungus that impacted farmers all over Latin America. And to top it off, the quality and flavors proved to be incredible: Elegant, soft fruit notes of pear and green melon, intense, honey-like sweetness and a structured and sweet finish reminiscent of a good German Riesling. This coffee is a wink and a nod to its Ethiopian Heritage, while entirely unique.
In the years that followed, Marcelino planted an entire plot of this variety on his Romerillo farm in Laurel, La Coipa where he lives and serves as a community leader. Kickapoo Coffee's co-owner, Caleb Nicholes, encountered this coffee on an annual sourcing trip to Peru, through a new and exciting partnership with Origin Coffee Lab. It became clear from his first sip that we would be buying all of the coffee that was grown this year--beginning a partnership we hope to continue for years to come.
In the 1800s, Nacional was considered by many of Europe’s chocolatiers to be the world’s most prized chocolate variety. Widely grown in Ecuador, the white cacao was known for its intensity and aromatics, renowned for its delicate florality and incredible richness. Qualities of the bean’s unique flavor could be traced back to its unusual hue. Unlike the purple tones of most cacao, the rare, white beans of Nacional have fewer bitter anthocyanins, resulting in a more mellow, inviting chocolate and an understated acidity. But in 1917, an outbreak of Witch’s Broom disease decimated the variety and the bean was thought to have been lost forever.
And so in 2007, the chocolate world was shocked when a grove of pure Nacional cacao trees were found in the hidden mountain valley of the Marañón River in Peru. Since it’s rediscovery, the bean has been widely sought after, finding its way into some of the most celebrated and expensive chocolate bars of the last century.
When Ritual Chocolate owners, Robbie Stout and Anna Davies, first tasted Marañón cacao in 2010, they were taken aback: it was bar none, the best chocolate they had ever tasted. Delicate yet strong, fruity yet nutty––the absurdly good oxymoronic tasting profile seemed to create a pairing unto itself. Made with pure Nacional cacao direct from the remote Marañón River Valley, Ritual’s award-winning Peru Marañón 75% bar offers the opportunity to taste what has entranced so many chocolate lovers over the centuries.
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