Costa Rica offers ideal conditions for the sensitive cacao plant: the right latitude, a warm and humid climate, mild night temperatures, and indigenous trees that can be used to provide shade and give protection from the wind. We grow around 50 hectares of Trinitario cacao which thrives in this warm and humid climate and yields a rich harvest.

Our beans

Chocolate lovers know: cacao has many different and rich aromas with countless nuances. As with wine, there are many different kinds of cacao trees, all of which have their own distinct aroma.

At Finca La Amistad, we grow varieties that are indigenous to Central America: Trinitario and Trinitario clones obtained from Faral Catie (Turrialba, Costa Rica). Trinitario is a cross between Forastero and Criollo and combines some of the best features of the two original varieties. Trinitario cacao has a strong taste, expressive aromas and slight acidity. Although Criollo is regarded as the best kind of cacao, we do not grow this variety as there is no local disease-resistant Criollo strain in Costa Rica.

Climate and soil have a strong impact on the quality and aroma of the beans. The rich biodiversity of the Finca and the moist and carefully cultivated soil improve the diversity of aromas contained in the beans.

Our harvests

We harvest throughout the year with two main harvests between December and February and June and July (dry periods). The goal is to harvest at least 650 kg of fruit pulp a day so that we can fill one fermentation container. We currently harvest 30 tonnes of fermented and dried cacao beans per year. The younger trees will start bearing soon, which will increase production. We expect that we will be able to increase the harvest by at least 20 tonnes.

Finca La Amistad uses traditional harvesting methods: our employees harvest the ripe fruit by hand and carry them to collection points where the pods are split and the beans covered in pulp are collected for the fermentation process. On our farm, fermentation starts on the day of the harvest. We use wooden crates stacked in levels according to the Madagascar principle. Depending on various factors such as the average temperature or the level of humidity in the wooden crates, the fermentation process takes five to six days.

We use our own experience as well as advice obtained from experts to constantly improve the fermentation process. In this way, we make sure that the aromas of our beans reflect the beauty and richness of the surrounding landscape.

Our customers

It is important to us that we only enter into trusting relationships with partners who share our understanding of quality and sustainability. We are delighted to have found partners in Felchlin and Rausch, with whose help we can improve the process of turning the beans into chocolate.