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Tierra Hermosa

Award winner chocolate

London Academy of Chocolate Award Winner 2018, “Tree-to-bar” chocolate, which enhances floral, fruity and caramel nuances of the Arriba Nacional cacao variety. Especially hand-selected cacao beans by a small group of families in Manabí, Ecuador. 

We called it Tierra Hermosa (Beautiful Land), like the first two words of a famous song which we grew up listening to.  This chocolate represents the identity of this region, epitomizing the greenery of the landscape, the generosity of the people, their heritage, provenance and traditions. That is what Tierra Hermosa means to us.

Two of our bars have been award-winning: Tierra Hermosa 72% and Tierra Hermosa 72% with cacao nibs. We have just launched six new bars part of Tierra Hermosa Collection with inclusions such as Ecuadorian roses, single-origin coffee, Andean and tropical fruits, sea salt and sal prieta.

The Tierra Hermosa Collection is presented in a textile, hand-crafted bag by talented craftsmen from Manabí, Ecuador. Special edition on balsa wood boxes are available.

“The result is a rich, complex and flavourful chocolate, that regardless of its bold personality, manages to stay delicate on the palate,” The Chocolate Journalist, Sharon Terenzi (Florence)

“This chocolate has definitely a wow factor”, Chairman of London Academy of Chocolate,  Sara Jayne Stanes 

“Beautifully encapsulates terroir for a live scent / sense of 'tierra'
well above earth worm & snake on the ground,( …) at the level of climbing vines, airborne cocoa dust, a malt top very clean,” The C-Spot, Mark Christian (NYC)

Los Monos 80%

Wild Cacao Cacao Jewel

Precious cacao from the Chocó rainforest in Ecuador.  A beautiful but highly threatened bio-diversity hotspot.  Local growers turned to cacao in order to protect the environment and endangered species such as spider monkeys, jaguars, pumas and macaws.  It’s a bouquet of white floral notes transformed into chocolate; it’s mother nature and fine flavour at its purest. 

At this marvellous landscape with different shades of green on the grassland and mountains, a surface covering 1,200 hectares of primary rainforest, lie some patches of cacao, most wild, others cultivated by small-scale farmers who arrived in this place 30 years ago.  Their forest is their home.  Without knowing they had been living surrounded by cacao jewels.  When we discovered them, it was a pivotal moment that changed their mindsets and their lives.  Because of cacao they stopped logging. Now the motto of the “Tesoro Reserve” is to protect their environment and our goal is to make an extraordinary chocolate while we preserve and empower this local community.

“A deciduous forest meadow, dense & vibrant, ground nuts & mulch all about (cocoa included), well-complexed,” The C-Spot, Mark Christian

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Gigi 80%

Heritage Cacao

Cacao Jewel – Limited Edition

From 1600 to the 20th century, Arriba Nacional cacao from Ecuador graced the tables of archdukes, empresses, kings and kings of Europe. 

Cacao barons founded the most beautiful cacao haciendas during Ecuador’s cacao boom from 1890 to 1920.  One of these barons was Juan Polit from Manabí, Ecuador, the place where, Gigi, my mother was born. 

His precious cacao was transported from the fertile banks of the Chone river to Paris and New York.  Life was good for people of this part of Ecuador until the Witches broom disease decimated most of the cacao plantations in 1920.  People from Manabi, including Gigi’s family lived through the good and the bad times. 

Years later she used to admire those cacao trees that survived the disease without knowing she was going to be the reason why we looked and discovered them.  Now, it’s the moment to bring back the glory of these magnificent 100 year-old cacao trees that still exude aromas, heritage, history and beauty.  We want to preserve these cacao jewels, we want the memory and our loved ones to live forever. 

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About the packaging

Heritage Crafts. Our region is home of the finest toquilla straw hats called Montecristi. We have a history that dates back five hundred years when talented craftsmen from Montecristi and Jipijapa wove the most beautiful hats. We work with talented craftsmen who polish the delicate balsa boxes for the finest Montecristi hats and now make the balsa boxes for our special edition of Cárdenas Chocolate. 

Also, we work along with craftsmen who have made abaca and jute textiles for coffee and cacao sacks since 1960’s until 1980's when plastic arrived. They make our jute bags to dress our Tierra Hermosa Collection.

Our limited edition collection of Heritage and Wild Cacao is presented in a sustainable teak wood box from our family farm hacienda in Ecuador and designed by Guayaquil-based architect, Gabriela Cárdenas. All the boxes are hand-crafted by the talented descendants of the Valdivian people of Santa Elena, a pre-Inca and one of the oldest cultures of the Americas

We are committed to protecting the environment, empowering local communities and keeping this tradition alive.