Fine flavor cacao or bulk cacao
Cacao, which was originally native to the Amazon region, is now grown in tropical areas up to about 20 degrees north and south latitude. In addition, in addition to high temperatures and precipitation, cacao needs enough shade. Cacao cannot develop to the desired extent under direct sunlight. The so-called fine flavor cacao varieties also require special treatment because, for example, they are not as robust and are more susceptible to pests. For this reason, the cultivation of fine flavor cacao varieties accounts for less than 10% of global cacao cultivation.
The cultivated cacao variety Forastero, on the other hand, has established itself in cacao cultivation. Forastero is almost exclusively found in the growing regions of West Africa, as it is high-yielding and hardy. It is estimated that Forastero accounts for between 80 and 90% of consumer cacao worldwide. The word Forastero comes from Spanish and means stranger.
Anyone looking for fine flavor cacao varieties will come across Criollo cacao. This is probably the best-known variety among the Ritual Cacaos. Translated from Spanish, Criollo means something like local.
Broadly speaking, there are four different types of cacao:
Forastero, Criollo, Trinitario (a hybrid of Criollo and Forastero) and Arriba National (Forastero in Ecuador, but which is also considered fine flavor cacao)
Criollo Blanco - The albino cacao
Our Criollo Blanco from Peru is a very rare sub-variety of Criollo cacao.
This strain lay hidden in the mountains of the Piura region for over a century until it was rediscovered in 2008. It is also known as albino or white cacao.
We were very happy when we found this special cacao. Of course, we have tested many cacaos in recent years and noticed that there are big differences. The taste and the effect of the cacao depends on a wide variety of factors such as the growing area, weather conditions, processing, etc. Of course, energy use also plays a role. Especially when you openly consume the cacao in rituals.
Chuncho - the oldest cacao in the world
We recently stumbled upon a new cacao that isn't all that new. It is said to be probably the oldest cacao in the world.
The so-called Chuncho cacao of the Criollo variety grows in Peru in the species-rich Urubamba Valley and definitely has a very nice effect for us.
We love testing new cacao and noticing the small and big differences.
In the future we would definitely like to share more fine flavor cacao varieties with you, but only if we find them just as great as our Criollo Blanco ;-)