The journey to this amazing cacao started with a friendship. In the spring of 2014, I explored the ancient cacao land and rainforests of Tabasco and Chiapas in Southern Mexico with my good friend Hugo. We visited the homes and farms of Zoque and Tzotzil families in the Selva Zoque rainforest and we soon realized that if harvested, fermented and dried with craft, the local ancient cacao with its rich terroir could become an authentic original bean. Over mole and tacos in the local food markets, we soon developed a vision for a unique conservation-cacao project designed to help the indigenous cacao farmers grow exquisite cacao in harmony with the rainforest that they call their home. And what an amazing journey it has been since then!
Today we are at the fermentadora, where the fermentation, drying and quality control of the fresh cacao beans takes place. We pour the freshly harvested cacao beans into the fermentation boxes and taste the cacao juice that is squeezed from the fruit-pulp that encases the cacao beans and that runs through the holes in the fermentation boxes. The cacao juice will start fermenting immediately in this heat, but we enjoy it while it’s fresh and sweet.