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San Martín

Source: Co-operatives

Region: Northern jungle mountains

Department: San Martín

Elevation: 400-1200m

Yearly Rainfall: 2060 mm (81 inches)

Genetics: Local Natives mixed with Criollos and Trinitarios

Harvest Season: Apr - Aug (major); Nov-Dec (minor)

Tasting Notes: Citric to floral; mild red fruits.

Fermentation Style: 6-7 days in Tornillo hardwood boxes; daily bean rotation after first 2 days.

Drying Style: 6-8 days – sun then shade dried. On tarps and mesh drying shelves.

Made up of mostly Local Natives and Trinitarios with some aromatic Criollos, this fine-flavoured cacao bean hails from the northern department of San Martín—a predominantly mountainous terrain that’s difficult to farm, but perfect for producing quality cacao with a citric to floral flavour profile accented by mild red fruit notes.

Aside from its unique flavour profile, what makes this bean origin intriguing is the role it’s played in reshaping this region of the San Martín department. Historically, this has been an area with considerable coca leaf production—a crop with various medicinal functions that’s inextricably linked to the Indigenous way of life which, unfortunately, also happens to be the main ingredient in cocaine. As a way of freeing people from

the oppressive farming conditions and to disrupt the illicit cocaine supply chain, the Peruvian government alongside other international governments have been incentivizing alternative crop growing, like coffee

and cacao.

For over 15 years, this international collaboration has assisted farmers with networking, infrastructure, management, security, and certifications (organic), helping the people of this region achieve more dependable income, more environmentally sustainable farming practices, and a better way of life. 

And it has really begun to show.

Peru is now one of the biggest exporters of organic cacao beans in the world, even though Peru’s total cacao output accounts for only ~3% of the world’s production. The San Martín department now produces over 40% of Peru’s total output. And the co-operative we mainly work with employs 70 part-time and full-time staff

(of which 34 are women) and purchases from ~435 producers (of which 224 of the registered organic producers are women). 

Adding to that, we ourselves have provided our expertise, feedback, and workshops for free to help farmers and co-ops optimize their harvesting, fermenting, and drying processes. And, as is the case with all fine-flavoured cacaos, we encourage them to be very strict about only harvesting ripe pods. This not only allows them to sustain a premium supply that yields premium profit margins, but helps prevent such specialty cacao from slipping into the world of “commodity cacao” used to make industrial chocolate. 

Basically, we love the positive impact this bean has had on the people of this community. We love the cacao they’re producing. And we’re certain you will, too.



5kg boxes available in our shop. For any other volumes please contact us.

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