Cocoa beans, come from the Theobroma cacao tree. The Theobroma cacao tree is a fruit tree, whose name means “food of the gods”. The cacao beans, which are technically seeds, grow inside pods surrounded by a white fleshy pulp known as Baba. The Theobroma cacao tree flourishes in hotter tropical climates (65-90°F) at lower elevations (<2,000ft). It needs a growing area where there is ample rainfall, yet sufficient soil drainage. Because the cacao tree also requires an abundance of shade, it is often planted with other, larger fruit trees (like mangoes) or hardwoods.
Cacao trees are relatively short, only growing to be about 15-25 feet tall. It takes about 5 years (from seed) for a cacao tree to grow mature and start producing cacao pods. The beans grow in football-shaped pods on the trunk of the tree and from larger branches. The average cacao tree produces 30-40 cacao pods a year. These pods are typically harvested two times a year and can be green, yellow, orange, or red, depending on the variety of cacao trees.
Like grapes and wine, cocoa beans can have different flavors depending on the variety of the bean and the location where the bean is grown (commonly known as terroir). The Forastero variety has a smoother, more rounded shape cacao pod with a thicker shell wall and produces cocoa with more classic chocolate flavor characteristics. The Criollo variety has a knobby, more elongated pod shape with a thinner shell wall and produces cocoa with more floral, fruity, and nutty flavors. The Trinitario variety is a hybrid of the Forastero and Criollo.
Cocoa at Komoditas Nusantara
As a natural commodities exporter, we are dedicated to using business as a force for good. For us, this means being committed to sustainability and transparency in our supply chain. Our organic chocolate is made with cocoa grown by farmer co-ops in Bali.
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