Where can fermentation be seen in Western Costa Rica?
updated by @frank-shinneman: 04/12/15 09:24:14AM
Frank, consider visiting La Iguana Chocolate in Mastatal, Costa Rica. It is a 4 hour bus ride from Quepos. Also, if possible, you should try and get to Puerto Viejo on the East Coast to visit Carribeans. The owner, Paul, will be more than happy to show you his process. Just make sure you contact him before hand, as he mostly only does tours once or twice a week. Of course, Puerto Viejo is only a couple of hours away if you drive. By bus it took me 8-10 hours to get from Quepos to San Jose to Puerto Viejo.
Other than that, there is a not too much in the Quepos region for the chocolate interested. I was there in December and searched all over. Eventually I decided I had to travel to the Caribbean coast. You may get more information on where to view fermentation hands-on from Sibu Chocolate, or Samaritan Chocolate (very small operation; they don't ferment their beans themselves, but the owner is super friendly).
Contact Jorge Salazar for La Iguana Chocolate:http://www.laiguanachocolate.com
You can contact Paul at Carribeans through his company's websitehttp://caribeanscr.com/chocolate.html
Hope that helps! Good luck!
Thank you Daniela.
We fly into San Jose then drive to Dominical for a two week stay. On the way back we plan to see the volcanos atBajos de Toro Amarillo,Sarchi for a day or two. During the trip I would very much like to spend a day seeing some of the processing I have read so much about. If Nahua's cocoa fermentation/drying is anywhere near our route, I would appreciate your introduction.
Hello Frank, this is Juan, I work with Daniela at Nahua Cacao & Chocolate. Our farm is not located near the areas that you are going to visit. The farm is in "Bijagua de Upala", between the Tenorio and Miravalles Volcanoes. More or less 4 hours drive from San Jos or Dominical. Google Maps:10.74503,-85.000105
Thanks for your comment.
I'm in the learning phase of bean-bar with hopes of getting my hands chocolaty in the near future. Fermentation seems to be one of the most uncontrolled process and so am trying to get first hand knowledge of at least one producers process. La Iguana seems to be the closest possibility so I'll schedule a visit sometime in the first half of April.
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