Sirene sources cocoa beans from farms in multiple countries: rich, deep chocolaty Ecuadorean beans, fruity, citrus, raspberry-toned Madagascar beans, cherry and chocolaty toned Tanzanian beans, rich deep fudge Brazilian beans, and fruity biscuit flavoured Guatemalan beans.
In an area near the sea not typically known for growing cacao, lies the single estate Costa Esmeraldas plantation. Entirely owned and managed by the Salazar family, it produces an elegant cacao bean on reclaimed pastures. The plantation is also hard at work reviving traditional varietals almost lost to the oil palm industry.
Not far from the home of 2,000 Savannah Elephants, the creation of the Kokoa Kamili Coop dramatically changed the lives of the area’s small shareholder cocoa farmers. Previously, a single buyer dictated the purchase price of their cacao. The formation of the Coop gave the farmers the power to negotiate a fair price for their product..
With the arrival of the Witches’ Broom disease in 1989, the Carvalho family’s Brazilian cacao business collapsed. After developing grafting techniques to rehabilitate their family’s trees, brothers Arthur and Eduardo Carvalho have taken 20 painstaking years to rehabilitate their farm, section by section.
In the lush, mountainous department of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, generations of knowledge and a heritage tracing back to cacao’s origin in the Mayan civilization, go into the cultivation of these cacao trees. For these farmers, access to a burgeoning, international market allows them and their communities to benefit from a eal economic opportunity while producing a beautiful cacao bean.
In Balao, Ecuador, farmer Vicente Norero treats his cacao beans like fine wine. After carefully nurturing the growth of his indigenous varieties of cacao trees, he harvests the beans and monitors the microbiology of the fermentation process. His exacting control of sugars and acids creates a rich and flavourful bean.
In the Sambirano Valley of Northern Madagascar, the Akesson family harvest a light red bean enriched with volcanic minerals and nutrients. With its strong fruity flavours, including hints of citrus and berry, this cacao is clearly a product of climate, soil and the special way it is fermented by a family who truly cares about chocolate and has for many years.