Cocoa beans have different flavors in different places, and the main origins are concentrated in Central and South America, West Africa and Southeast Asia. So how many types of cocoa beans are there? Most people consider cocoa beans to be divided into three main varieties: Criollo, Forastero, and Trinitario.
Criollo is the best cocoa, with a strong aroma, slightly bitter taste, and its pods are red in color when ripe. However, compared with other varieties, it has weak resistance to pests and diseases and is difficult to cultivate, so its output is scarce, accounting for only 5% of global output. Criollo cocoa beans are of high quality and unique aroma, making them the first choice of leading chocolatiers.
Mainly grown in Venezuela, the Caribbean, Madagascar, Java and other places.
Forastero has a spicy, bitter and sour smell, and its pods turn yellow as they mature. Forastero is equivalent to Robusta in coffee beans, and is mainly used to produce ordinary popular chocolate; it has strong resistance to pests and diseases and has the highest yield, accounting for about 80% of global production.
The origin of Forastero is in the Amazon, and it is currently cultivated in large quantities in West Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and other places. This cocoa nib requires vigorous roasting to make up for the lack of flavor, which is what gives most dark chocolate a burnt aroma.
Trinitario is a hybrid of the two, and its pods are intermediate in color when ripe, and it is named after it was developed on the island of Trinidad. Trinitario, which combines the strengths of the first two cocoa beans, is used to produce high-quality chocolate. Because only these two beans can provide the acidity, balance and complexity of high-quality chocolate. Trinitario accounts for about 80% of the world’s production, and the distribution of origin is the same as that of Criollo. Like Criollo, it is regarded as the treasure of cocoa.
African cocoa beans account for about 65% of the world’s total cocoa bean production, most of which are bought out by the United States in the form of futures, but the vast majority of African cocoa beans are Forastero, which can only be used to produce ordinary and popular chocolate; while European high-quality chocolate Producers choose the best beans from high-quality cocoa plantations, and some even have their own farms.