Cocoa Varieties


Infographic explaining the 4 main types of cocoa varietiesIn our last blog we talked about whether chocolate is actually a fruit….. check it out if you didn’t get a chance to read it.

In this post we will explore the 4 main cocoa varieties – Forastero; Criollo; Trinitario; and Nacional.


Forastero cocoa is dominant in the world’s chocolate production. It produces high yields of cocoa, making it an easy choice for growers. Forastero is mainly grown in West Africa and is sometimes known as bulk cocoa. This cocoa has an earthy and more simple flavour profile.


Trinitario cocoa spread from the Caribbean islands to South America in the 19th and 20th centuries. It makes up less than 10% of total cocoa production. Trinitario has a wider range of tastes and flavour profiles than any other variety.


Criollo makes up only 1-5% of total cocoa crop production worldwide. This is due to its fragile state, susceptibility to disease, and low yields. It has unique and complex flavours and criollo beans are regarded as ‘super fine’. Many heirloom varieties are sought after by craft chocolate makers.


The least known, and rarest cacao variety is Nacional. This cocoa variety was only recently rediscovered in Peru in 2011. Chocolate made with Nacional beans are rich, creamy, and display little bitterness.

To experience some amazing flavour profiles, compare our Colombian and Madagascan Single Origin chocolate. These are made with Criollo and Trinitario beans.

So, how many cocoa varieties have you tried?

Neil Robson 2021-10-04T11:09:41+00:00 2021-10-05T09:27:11+00:00

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