Varietal: Acriollado Nicaraguan Trinitario
Origin: Waslala, RAAN
Flavor Profile: Fruity flavors with notes of caramel, coffee, and spice
Fermentation: Minimum 80%
Certifications: USDA Organic, UTZ
 
Varietal: Acriollado Nicaraguan Trinitario
Origin: La Dalia, Matagalpa
Tasting Notes: Creamy, chocolately flavors with notes of caramel and hazelnut
Fermentation: Min. 90%
Certifications: N/A
 
Varietal: Acriolloado Nicaraguan Trinitario
Origin: Rancho Grande, Matagalpa
Tasting Notes: Chocolate flavors with sumble earthy notes
Fermentation: Min. 85%
Certifications: USDA & EU Organic, UTZ

We work with groups of small-scale farmers in the central highlands and Caribbean basin of Nicaragua to produce and process the highest quality fine flavor cacao for bean-to-bar chocolate makers. Our beans are carefully selected from the best heirloom tree varieties in the country and meticulously processed over a period of several weeks to bring out the best flavors and aromas. We offer native nicaraguan Trinitario cacao with a wide range of flavor profiles, but generally our beans are characterized by an intense chocolate flavor and nutty and fruity notes. This interplay of aromas and flavors allows chocolatiers the opportunity to create truly exceptional chocolate with unique character that inspires a passionate, dedicated following. 

Today, the ancient roots of cacao in Nicaragua endure through the genetic diversity and authentic flavor profile of its cacao varieties. Recent studies of cacao samples from farms in Rivas and Matagalpa have been found to contain pure Criollo genes, traces of their ancient lineage.  More common are Trinitario varieties, locally referred to as Acriollado, which are a hybrid population of Criollo and lower Amazon Forestero. In recent years, Nicaraguan cacao has been recognized by ICCO and USDA for its heirloom varieties and genetic diversity, officially being designated as a fine flavor origin.

 Food of the Gods

Theobroma Cacao, literally "Food of the Gods", has a long and rich history in Nicaragua.  It was first domesticated in Mesoamerica, for which present-day Nicaragua forms the southern end, as far back as 3000 years ago.  In pre-Colombian times, the Niquirano people cultivated cacao around their capital of Nicaraocali (present day city of Rivas) between Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific coast. Cacao was so highly valued in this period it was used as a form of currency, as well as for food and ceremonial purposes. It was consumed primarily in the form of a cacao-based drink called xocolatl, much in the way that pinolillo and tiste are still traditionally consumed in Nicaragua. 

The Process: From Tree to Chocolatier

We work with groups of small-scale farmers that share our vision for sustainability and the promotion of local heirloom varieties and genetic material.  At harvest, the cacao pods are split and the fresh baba, or unfermented beans, is collected on the farm before being transported to central processing facilities. The beans are then drained of their juice and loaded into large wood boxes to begin fermentation. This is one of the most critical stages of the process, where the beans are constantly monitored, turned and stirred for a period of 4 to 7 days to ensure a full and consistent fermentation.  Done properly, this step removes the bitterness and acidity from the bean, providing a richness to the final product.  Next, the beans are transferred to drying tables and decks, where they are spread under the sun and dried for 7 to 10 days.  Finally, the beans are run through cleaning equipment and sorted by hand before being packed in burlap bags and quality graded. 

Throughout each step of the process, we focus obsessively on quality, consistency, and transparency, providing chocolatiers with an exceptional, fully traceable bean that showcases our unique origin and our shared-value approach.