Cocoa Varieties

Cocoa trees grow in tropical regions where a warm and humid climate can support their growth.

The three main varieties of cocoa are Criollo, Trinitario and Forastero.

Forasteros are the most widely used and account for the majority of the world's cocoa production. Criollos are much rarer and considered a delicacy because of their unique flavor profiles in chocolate, but require expert growers and perfect conditions to flower. Trinitarios are hybrids of criollo and forastero varieties.

Cocoa Varieties

Criollo Cocoa

The most successful farmers of criollo cocoa can be found in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Colombia and Mexico. Criollos yield the lowest number of cocoa beans per pod and are susceptible to a number of crop killing diseases. Criollo cocoa is regarded a delicacy because of its aromatic profiles, lack of bitterness, and lasting secondary notes in chocolate.

Cocoa Varieties

Trinitario Cocoa

Trinitario cocoa is a hybrid variety of criollo and forastero varieties, offering more robust properties than criollos, but with unique flavor profiles not present in forastero cocoa. The largest producers of trinitario varieties are found in Trinidad, Venezuela and Colombia.

Cocoa Varieties

Forastero Cocoa

Spanish for 'stranger' or 'outsider', forastero cocoa represents over 85% of the global cocoa trade and is the most robust variety, yielding the highest number of cocoa beans per pod. Forastero cocoa produces chocolate profiles with deep chocolatey flavors, but lack any secondary notes. The largest producers of forastero cocoa are Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria.

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