The Drink of Gods (Theobroma Cacao)
The origin of the phrase comes from Linnaeus (Linne) a Swedish botanist, its meaning
comes from the Greek words Theo (God) and Broma (drink). The Cacao tree is a
tropical tree which originates in Central America. This tree grows in forest, living in
symbiosis with other species of trees. Each Cacao tree produces Cacao pods which
contain 20-50 cacao beans each.
Types of Cacao
The main varieties are Criollo and Fortastero trees. The highest quality beans come
from the Criollo tree which only produces 1% of all cacao beans.
The Forastero is the most common cacao tree in the world, mainly found in South America
Amazon region and Central Africa. The third species is Ariba, which grows in Ecuador.
The fourth species of Cacao is the Trinitario tree, which is a hybrid of the Criollo and
Forastero trees usually found growing in the Caribbean region.
The Cacao belt
The Cacao trees only grow in tropical environments +/- 20 degrees along the equatorial
Growing and Harvest
The cacao trees are continuously producing cacao pods throughout the year. However, H
arvesting only occurs in the spring and fall. Following the harvest of the pods, the pods
must be opened and the beans (20-100) removed for processing. The cacao beans are
then put through a fermenting process which takes about 5-20 days, this changes the
structure of the cacao beans. After fermentation the beans are dried, the top quality
beans being naturally sun dried. The beans are then ready to be shipped globally