We start visiting our orchard (right next to the lecture room – almost no walking), to see the cocoa trees, its flowers and fruits. We will review the tree natural history and its cultural importance for Tortuguero and Costa Rica.
Inside the Caribbean style house and around our working table, we explain the artisanal process of harvesting, fermenting and drying the cocoa beans. It is a trip back in time to the ancient cultures of the Mayas, Aztecs and other Central American people, where cocoa was used as a ceremonial drink and as currency. It is a tour full of Colonial and Caribbean pirate stories, aromas and degustation of the “food of the gods” bean-to-cup and bean-to-bar. You will be “hands on” tasting the cocoa fruit, roasting the beans, separating the husk, grinding the beans on the table stone the indigenous way, and enjoying the indigenous and colonial chocolate beverage. We will talk about the industrial process; the cocoa butter; the dark, milk & white chocolate; the artisanal craft chocolate factories. By the end you will grind your own artisanal chocolate on the table stone.