Ecuador, a Cocoa Country
Ecuador: The country of the Arriba Cocoa.
Not all cocoa was created equal. As it happens with wine, there are special types of cocoa and its species varies depending on the region it was grown. The cocoa beans from Ecuador are very famous for their fine aroma and are considered a worldwide class on their own: Arriba Cocoa.
Cocoa plays a very important role in Ecuador’s history and economy. Ecuador produces only 4% of the world’s cocoa; however, from the fine upper-class cocoa, the country is responsible for 70% of the world production. Cocoa (or cacao as it is commonly known) is a symbol product of Ecuador since it has been part of our history since the 1800’s. Plus, it combines history, culture, conservation, and financial gain for small farmers on the coast and in the Amazon. We want to take you to the communities where it all begins – the origin of the cocoa!
The cocoa of Ecuador is called Arriba or Nacional because it grows only in Ecuador. Cacao has been declared by the Ecuadorian government as a “symbol product” for Ecuador. Why? Because Ecuador’s cocoa it is truly unique and has plenty of characteristics that give the cocoa an added value and consumers appreciate it. Besides the flavor-smell factors of Ecuador’s cocoa, there are social and cultural aspects that give an extraordinary edge to our cocoa.
In our tours, we take you to small indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon and Coast, to discover cocoa plants from the farms themselves and how these cocoa beans have played an important role in the farmers’ lives. Growing cocoa beans has allowed them to continue preserving the environment while simultaneously improving their living conditions. Be prepared to put on your boots, go to the field, open a cocoa plant, and taste the juicy cocoa almonds right in the field. We will follow the beans to collection centers operated by the associations to learn firsthand the process of fermentation and drying of the almonds, so the quality of the chocolate will be just perfect! Finally, we will learn and observe the process of transforming the fermented, dried cocoa almonds into fine chocolate bars.
Read about our delicious Chocolate Tours here!