Costa Rica Nahua Maleku


Prices upon request

Product description

Costa Rica, as well as other Mesoamerican nations, has a cultural and historical heritage which is linked to cacao. Grown and consumed by its ancestral groups, traded in colonial times and for many decades afterwards, cacao suffered a blow in the 80’s when disease struck plantations in the North and Caribbean regions of the country. Gradually, cacao has been making a comeback. Social enterprise Nahua has been active for over a decade, proudly representing some of the Costa Rican cacao flavours through its cocoa exports and its own chocolate production.

Net weight 50 kg
Weight N/A

Central America & The Caribbean


Costa Rica


San Carlos Plain


500gr Sample, 50kg Bags

Production Model


Fermentation Process

Centrally Fermented

Flavour Profile

Cacao, Caramel/Panela, Fresh Fruit

Region and Country

San Carlos Plain, Northern Region of Costa Rica


Maleku cacao is named after the indigenous people who still inhabit the area. Maleku folkore tells tales of the Caracche, small, one-meter high beings who inhabit the forest and who stand on top of one another to reach fruits from the trees, including cacao pods. Nahua sources cocoa beans from select smallholder farmers in communities throughout the region. Through its Cacao Renovation Program, the company provides access to financing, technical training and social development programs to the participating farmers. The Program also focuses on preserving the environment by promoting sustainable farming practices, reforestation and the conservation of natural ecosystems.


Main Crop: July - February; Mid-crop: March – June


Some of the farmers grow Trinitario hybrids that have been passed on for generations. Other farmers have introduced new Trinitarios hybrids and CATIE clones.

Post Harvesting Process

The beans are collected fresh and are centrally fermented and dried. Fermentation takes place in tiered wooden boxes and moved every two days from one box to another. The process lasts a total of 5 to 6 days, depending on the weather conditions and on the proportion of clones in the mix. Drying takes place on wooden beds inside solar tunnels.


Maleku cocoa beans are characterized by a multi-layerd character, with medium bitterness and acidity. Notes of caramel and yellow fruit accompanied by subtler earthy and coffee notes.

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