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Chocolates of Ecuador -- Arriba, Nacional, CCN51

There is debate about the Arriba bean and whether indeed there is any such thing any longer. Some say that Arriba is one bean in a category they would like to call Nacional, and others say it synonymous with that term. Many chocolate makers using cacao from Ecuador slap this fashionable Arriba label on their packages since this carries with it the status of the fine and flavor beans.

And so opening up a general discussion on Arriba, Nacional and Ecuador chocolate, and a place to gather links and references for further reading.

And also specifically attempting to get to the bottom of which companies are using CCN51, and which are using "Arriba" or Nacional beans that are distinguished from that clone. What I have been told so far is that of the companies producing the chocolate in Ecuador, that Plantations uses "mainly the CCN51 clone," and that Republica del Cacao uses "100% pure Nacional beans." And if that is the case, what precisely can 100% pure Nacional mean nowadays? And the other companies who are making the chocolate at source such as Pacari, Caoni, and Kallari, what is the cacao? And what about couverture Arriba from Felchlin and Callebaut? And what is the source of cacao for companies such as Dagoba, Hachez, and Chocolove, some of which do not make their own chocolate from the bean, but who use the word Arriba?

Tags: arriba, ccn51, ecuador, nacional

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I do know personally of two farms where Nacional is grafted onto CCN51 rootstock, not the other way around. Perhaps this is an anomaly.

Point taken about coops.

Definitely, your last point on marketing is true...the terms have been so abused, especially Arriba, as to have become meaningless.
Quite interesting. There are some people that say that CCN-51 root system is better in conditions of water scarcity/irrigation , so I wonder if that is the case for drafting Nacional in CCN-51. Do you know if your acquittance have his or her farm in a dry area and depend on irrigation? (I also wonder if they have a lot of problems with mal de machete, because CCN is more sensible to this specific disease than Nacional...).
and the pods will be Nacional!!! :)

About the second part (spotting CNN), they are probably plants in which the scion died and the stock growth.
Never mind, the cool thing about grafting is that it allows you to keep the genetic material you want without change (and without high tech). So I think that guy has a treasure of genotypes. He can probably get them tested. I hope he or she keeps track of the plants... I bet that person knows about a few outstanding plants that he or she could use for scions... maybe a plant with yield as good as CCN???
I just found that that farm genotypes were in fact tested (back in 1995). That person has the first collection of Ecuadorian flavor cocoa!!!!

Check this link

There are more pages like this one, and several papers that used material from this farm.

Hello Friend,

Our our upcoming Cacao trip to Ecuador (January 7th - 17th) we'll spend two days with Samuel Von Rutte, a farmer near Quevedo, who is working hard to isolate and propogate the purest <and highest quality> strains of Nacional. We still have space available on the trip if you (or someone you know) would like to join us:


The GoBe concept is quite interesting so all the best luck. For many years I've been promoting (privately) purposeful ecotourism as a model for assisting communities and individuals. There's a great example at Cotton Tree Lodge in Belize and their collaboration with farmer Eladio Pop, Sustainable Harvest International, and other resources.

Let me know how TheChocolateLife community can help.

:: Clay

It's quite right that proper fermentation, soil nutrition and other factors can help the CCN51 taste much better than a poorly grown and processed bean. The Arriba accomplish this much easier. 

The San Jacinto plantation was founded and is run by a very stringent biologist who has experimented quite a bit and produced some fantastic beans. I made up some samples of it in Guayaquil and they taste exquisite. I brought them to a client for a blind taste test and they picked them out of a choice of other CCN51 and Arriba of equivalent formulas.

Generally speaking if you really want richness, you are best off using Arriba beans for the cocoa liquor, and Arriba for the cocoa butter, making sure there is some verification they are Arriba, and whoever is processing them does it right. 

Hello Max have you been at my farm? What year?


Sorry I just got on this site for the first time the other day so I am not aware of who is who. I have not been to your farm as far as I know.



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