BROWNIE • EARTH • CHOCOLATE
SOURCED WITH OUR PARTNER
These rich, earthy beans from the Alto Beni region of Bolivia have an almost brownie-like quality to them that many find intoxicating. They come from Nelson and Jorge Valverde, who started the Alto Beni Cacao Company in 2010 to improve farmer livelihoods, and they’ve transformed the local economy. The Valverde brothers have built a demonstration farm and offer open-house trainings for the 305 farmers (including 89 female farmers) they work with.
Most cacao farms cultivate trees in rows, but in Bolivia, cacao grows wild along the Alto Beni River in its natural habitat. People travel along the river in boats, stopping every once in a while to collect fresh pods from the trees! That’s why you’ll often see Bolivian beans referred to as wild cacao.
After the farmers harvest pods, they sell the wet beans to the brothers for premium farmgate prices; then Nelson and Jorge ferment and dry the beans at a central fermentary. Uncommon then finds a home for these beans with chocolate makers looking to pay higher prices for higher-quality beans.
Rare cacao gathered in the wild forests of Itenez, Bolivia after being fermented and dried, and is finally dried again and sorted at the renowned Hacienda Tranquilidad. This bar is pleasantly complex with an earthy and bright, yet chocolate-centric flavor profile.