The three main varieties of cocoa plant are Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario. The first is the most widely used, comprising 80-90% of the world production of cocoa. Cocoa beans of the Criollo variety are rarer and considered a delicacy
The Maya domesticated this variety of Theobroma cacao, Criollo, about 3,000 years ago in Central America, and it is one of the oldest domesticated tree crops. Today, many growers prefer to grow hybrid cacao trees that produce chocolate of lower quality but are more resistant to disease.
Raw Cacao Beans - Ecuadorian, Arriba Nacional, 100% Organic. These beans are the acclaimed Arriba Nacional variety. They are a 0-1 day ferment. This low fermentation maximizes the naturally occuring antioxidents in the cacao beans.
Theobroma cacao trees grow in the so-called “Cocoa Belt” or “Chocolate Belt”, a band extending up to 20 degrees north or south of the equator. The following list, while not exhaustive, should provide a good idea of the regions where cocoa trees, and therefore cocoa beans, come from: Brazil. Cameroon