The cocoa tree – Theobroma Cacao – is growing in the warm and humid area within 20°N and 20°S of Equator. It is grown in the tropical rainforests in Asia, Africa and South America.
There are three types of cocoa trees:
Criolla – also known as the prince of cocoa trees. The fruit has a thin shell, is fragile and gives small crops. The cocoa is pale with a unique and refined aroma.
Forastero – is a stronger tree that is easier to cultivate and gives larger crops. The fruit is more rugged and has a stronger aroma. The cocoa from this plant is often called bulk cocoa since it gives the chocolate a well known aroma.
Trinitario – is a cross between Criollo and Forastero and contains characteristics from them both. It has a strong and refined aroma and is easy to grow.
The cocoa tree bloom every sixth months and the cocoa beans are ready to harvest six month after blooming. Today Africa stands for 70 % of the world’s production and the largest producers are the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia. From the cocoa bean you can produce cocoa butter, cocoa liquor or cocoa powder, which is the ingredient in dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.