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Finca Experimental Cata

Cata Chocolate grows and sources it’s cacao in the fertile Bijagua valley, shaded by the Miravalles and Tenorio volcanoes & close to Rio Celeste.  We hand-harvest, ferment and dry our Cacao beans with meticulous care and attention.  Our beans are Trinitario varieties and are considered as some of the highest quality fine flavor beans available. As a tree to bar maker of fine chocolate, we practice sustainable agriculture practices on our farm. With significant success, as we received 2 stars from the Bandera Azul program.

Cacao fruit at Finca Experimental Cata Chocolate in Bijagua, alajuela

The Farm process

It all starts at the cacao tree.  We use almost exclusivly great tasting, high quality trinitario cacao. The ripe cacao pods are removed by hand from the trunk and heavier branches of the tree.  The pods are then opened carefully with a machete, and the seeds and pulp are removed. The extracted seeds and pulp, called baba, are placed in specially made wooden boxes and covered with banana leaves.  This starts the crucial fermentation process, which takes 8 days to complete.  Fermentation removes some of the natural bitterness of the cacao seed, and in a great part, develops the chocolate flavor.  It takes another 8-15 days to dry the cacao seeds, or beans, after fermentation is complete.  Drying also helps remove more acidity through evaporation.

Location

Finca Experimental

Cata Chocolate
6, Alajuela Province, Bijagua de Upala

On the slopes of Mt Tenorio, across Mt Miravalles

Weather

Day: 24 to 30C
Night: 17 to 23C

(Day: 75 to 86F)
(Night: 63 to 73F) 

Humidity: 60 to 86%

Height

± 400 up to 600 meters
(1300 to 1970 feet)

Size

10 Hectares
(25 acres)

Sustainability

No chemicals used

Experimental farm; trying out new ways to grow cacao while respecting & protecting nature

2 stars from Bandera Azul.

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