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Cacao

The Rainforest Flavor

Our Promise:

We only sell premium and Organic products. We firmly believe in the practice of Fair Trade. With this in mind, we vet and inspect all of our farms ourselves. Each product is tested, tasted and prepared ourselves before anything is shipped to make sure they meet our high standards.

  • Hand Picked Beans
    Hand Picked Beans
    To make sure only the highest quality Arriba beans make it to the drying process, we insist on hand picking. This results in unparalleled flavor and aroma. Commercial producers can’t take the time to do this, so all the beans are processed, no matter the quality.
  • Premium Variety
    Premium Variety
    Only 5% of the world’s cacao is Fine Aroma Cacao. From that 5%, 70% is produced in Ecuador. Fine aroma cacao is used in the finest chocolates made in the world. Commercial chocolates are 98% generic cacao, and 2% or, even less, fine aroma.
  • 100% USDA Organic
    100% USDA Organic
    Every step from the farm to the processing is 100% USDA Organic Certified. Organic doesn't just mean it’s a healthy product. Organic cacao is much more full flavored because the cacao pods are smaller, which results in a more concentrated bean.
  • Fine Aroma
    Fine Aroma
    Intense body with plenty of sweet, caramelly notes and subtle fruity hints. Arriba is great for bars and tablets, yet can also be used in a wide variety of applications. An extremely sought-after type of cacao, yielding an exceptionally intense cacao taste with complex aromas.
best cocoa powder, butter, nibs, paste

Organic Arriba Variety

Aroma

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Organic Farms

Single Origin

Every step of production, from planting, to picking to processing is 100% Certified Organic. By certifying our cacao as Organic, we ensure that we are not only able to provide a superior tasting product, but it also fosters an ecological balance in our forests by conserving biodiversity. All of our products are free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes.

Ecuadorian Fine aroma:

Organic Cacao

More than

1000

customers

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For Chocolatiers

Homemade chocolate like a pro

Much like wine, the terroir of Ecuador is reflected in the chocolate prized by the world’s top chocolatiers. They are drawn to the fruity, nutty and floral qualities only found in the premium Arriba Fine Aroma cacao beans. In chocolate competitions held around the world, it is no surprise to see the that the winning chefs are using hand picked and sun dried Arriba beans from Ecuador!

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From Cacao to Chocolate

Criollo (Arriba Variety) Cacao Pods
Cacao Pods

Since we only use premium beans, our cacao pods must be hand picked. Our experts recognize which pods are exactly ripe. The pods don’t all ripen at the same time, so it takes a discerning eye to make sure they are picked on time.

Cacao Beans
Unfermented

The next step in our quality control process is to open the pods and separate the beans. This is a crucial stage as it must be inspected to be eligible to be considered fine. Overripe, underripe and spoiled beans must be separated.

Fermenting Boxes
Fermentation

Like wine, coffee or beer, this is one of the most important steps in cacao production. It’s the chemical processes during fermentation that creates the chocolate flavor. There is no chocolate without fermentation.

Fermented Cacao Beans

After 6 days or so the fermentation is complete. What we are left with is raw, fermented beans. These beans are less bitter and many of the tannins have been removed.

Sun Drying Cacao Beans
Sun Drying

This is the stage where the chemical processes started during fermentation are allowed to finish. Sun drying not only evaporates the water in the bean which concentrates the flavor, it also reduces any bitterness. Allowing the beans to dry slowly in the sun is a crucial step in determining the quality of the cacao beans.

Roasting Cacao Beans
Roasting

Once the beans are sun dried, it is time to roast them. This serves a practical purpose as well as a means to develop flavor. The husks are more easily removed when the beans are roasted, the beans are sterilized from bacteria and mold and the vinegar smell is removed. It is this step that concentrates the flavors in the bean and gives them their distinctive, rich chocolate flavor.

cacao nibs
Cacao Nibs

Nibs are the fermented, dried and roasted beans that have had the husks removed. They are the pure form of chocolate. They can be eaten as is or incorporated into other dishes. Since they are unprocessed, the retain many key nutrients. Cacao nibs are an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, iron and magnesium.

cacao butter / cocoa butter
Cacao Butter

It’s the cacao butter which is eventually made into chocolate. After the drying and roasting process, about 54% of the cacao nibs are cacao butter, a vegetable fat. This is what gives chocolate its silky, melt in your mouth quality.

cacao powder benefits
Cacao Powder

After the cacao butter is removed from the nibs, they are ground into a powder. As a powder it can be used in anything from baking cakes, to making smoothies. Cacao powder is an excellent antioxidant, among the strongest of any foods. The flavonoid content gives a mighty boost to the immune system in addition to being delicious!

Cacao Paste

After the cacao beans are fermented, dried and, finally, roasted, they are removed from the hull and ground. At this point, the mix is about 55% cacao butter which would then be separated. This paste, also called chocolate liquor, is 100% pure, raw chocolate. Also called chocolate liquor as it liquefies once it is ground, at room temperature it becomes solid again. This cacao paste is prized by chocolatiers and home chocolate makers alike for it’s amazing characteristics and pure chocolate taste. This pure expression of chocolate has some interesting health benefits, such as an ability to lower blood pressure and as an anti-inflammatory. There are many ways to prepare cacao paste. Add some sugar or other sweetener and enjoy the silky smooth texture. Break it into chips and add to your favorite trail mix, in brownies or even to make a uniquely rich fudge.

Chocolate

This is the final form from the humble pods all the way to the decadent chocolate bars. It is chocolate that has taken the world by storm. The world’s finest chocolatiers make masterpieces thanks to the quality of our entire process. Quality is job one through every step until you take that first bite of heaven!

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