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Region and Country
Guayas District, Ecuador
Cultivation of cocoa beans in Ecuador dates to more than 5000 years. The exports of cocoa beans, however, began
around 1830, when wealthy families bought acres of land to produce cocoa beans. It was the first product ever
exported from Ecuador. A classification of Ecuadorean cacao was developed to indicate quality in terms of degree of fermentation, size and weight of the beans as well as the percentage of defects. The abbreviation A.S.S. is one of these categories and stands for: Arriba Superior Selecto.
Arriba refers to the area in which the beans are grown: in the upriver areas of the Guayas river, in the lowland provinces of Ecuador: Guayas, Bolívar, Cotopaxi and Los Ríos. According to legend, the name was minted in the 19th century by a Swiss chocolate maker who encountered locals with freshly harvested cacao while navigating along the Guayas River. When asked where their cacao came from, they answered “de río arriba” or upriver.
This cocoa is collected from smallholder farmers who individually ferment and dry their beans.
March – June (Main) October – February (Mid-crop)
A mix of Nacional and CCN-51
Post Harvesting Process
Cacao is fermented in wooden boxes in a period of 5 to 7 days and put to dry on cement patios or wooden tables.
Strong chocolate base with fruity notes and slight floral.