The 100% Arriba Cacao is derived from pure Heirloom Ecuador Arriba Nacional Cacao beans. This cacao is grown in high-elevation volcanic soil that is brought down from the mountainous regions via donkey back. The True Arriba Cacao trees are a minimum of 30 years old, and some have been growing for more than 80 years!
We guarantee the purity of our 100% Arriba cacao by selecting the pods personally by hand and we never acquire product from aggregators. There is therefore no possible blending of beans with the CCN51 or other low quality hydrids that are pervasive in the area. We only harvest the beans when they are fully mature and ripe.
Because we have such a pure quality cacao bean, you will have zero jitters from this product. There is a complete lack of mycotoxins, mold, yeast, and fungus, which are what cause the adrenal response of jitteriness that is similar to caffeine stimulation in many cacao products. Instead, our cacao beans help to create a cosmic conscious connection and cause pineal gland expansion. They have a deep, intense, raw chocolate flavor.
The True Arriba cacao trees are only nourished from rain water or deep mountain spring water. They are never irrigated from potentially contaminated rivers and streams.
The cacao is processed in our own state-of-the-art facility on custom artisan equipment that has never seen any other cacao but our own, so there is no possible integration with lesser quality cacao. The cacao beans are always sun-dried and are never gas dried. The cacao remains 100% raw from start to finish. This is a true from "Pod to Powder" facility!
Varieties of Cacao
The three main varieties of cacao beans used in chocolate are criollo, forastero, and trinitario.
Representing only 5% of all cacao beans grown, criollo is the rarest and most expensive cacao on the market, and is native to Central America, the Caribbean islands and the norther tier of the South American states. Criollos are particularly difficult to grow, as they are vulnerable to a variety of environmental threats and produce low yields of cacao per tree. The flavor of criollo is described as delicate yet complex, low in classic chocolate flavor but rich in "secondary" notes of long duration. Criollo cacao is known as the "King of Chocolate."
The most commonly grown bean is forastero, a large group of wild and cultivated cacaos, mostly likely native to the Amazon basin. The African cacao crop is entirely of the forastero variety. They are significantly hardier and of higher yield than criollo. The source of most chocolate marketed, forastero cacaos are typically strong in classic "chocolate" flavor, but have a short duration and are unsupported by secondary flavors, producing a "quite bland" chocolate.
Trinitario is a natural hybrid of criollo and forastero. Trinitario originated in Trinidad after an introduction of forastero to the local criollo crop. Nearly all cacao produced over the past five decades is of the forastero or lower-grade trinitario varieties.