ChoCoaque Cacao Collective
Fine Heirloom Single-Origin
Criollo Nacional Fino de Aroma Cacao
Our search for Criollo Nacional Fino de Aroma Cacao began in Manabi,
on the coast of Ecuador.
There were rumors of abandoned old growth Cacao forests in the hills, and we asked
until we were shown the way.
From Jama, where relics of the Jama-Coaque civilization from over 2000 years ago can still be found,
we took the River Valley road
and began climbing into the mountains
first by truck, then by donkey, then on foot,
until we reached the Finca farmhouse.
Above us the ridge was covered with Cacao trees,
many planted at least 100 years ago.
The Grandfathers, a group of brothers, had cultivated
Criollo Nacional Cacao trees
on these remote family farms, we were told,
and no chemicals were ever used here.
The Cacao is still shade grown in fruiting cloud forests,
the beans traditionally fermented, and sun-dried.
We knew we had found what we were looking for.
Only 5% of Cacao beans on the worldwide market are heirloom
Criollo Nacional Fino de Aroma,
and Ecuador grows the finest.