What is the difference between bulk cacao and fine flavor cacao?

The Three Varieties of Fine Flavour Cacao

There are only three varieties of cacao that officially qualify as “fine flavour”, according to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO). This includes:

1. “Nacional” (primarily from Ecuador, as well as one part of northern Peru)

2. “Criollo” (primarily from Venezuela, and as well as a few pockets of Central America)

3. “Trinitario” (originally from Trinidad and Tobago, although now grown in other locations as well). Technically, “Trinitario” is a family of cultivars, rather than a true variety.

Where Does Fine Flavour Cacao Come From?

Only 5% of the global cacao supply is designated as “fine flavour” (aka “fine flavor” or “fino y de aroma”), the majority of which comes from only one country: Ecuador. The remaining 95% of the global cacao supply is designed as “bulk” cacao, which primary includes varieties like “Amelonado” (heavily planted in West Africa) and high-yield cultivars like CCN-51, which is known for its poor flavor profile.

What Does To'ak Use?

To’ak exclusively uses “Nacional” cacao from Ecuador.

You can learn about the differences between Nacional and Criollo cacao here, and you can take a deep dive into the different grades of Ecuadorian cacao here.

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