The Chocolate Life

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Hello fellow chocolate heads... I'm looking for some cacao beans. Just small quantities (500g-1kg) of beans to buy - fermented and unfermented, all unshelled ('unpeeled'), to experiment with for making old-school drinking chocolate. And ideally all from Central America, eg Tabasco, Guatemala - because I'm trying to replicate pre-Colombian cacao-based drinks. I'm writing a book on it, and I'm doing a little talk in February at which I'd like to supply audience members with samples of said drinks, with ingredients all sourced (if poss) from the places of origin of the recipes. But I can't afford to fly to central America to buy ingredients right now, and I'm almost tearing my hair out trying to find suppliers on the web.. It's all 'raw, peeled' or from Africa... I'll settle for cacao from anywhere if I have to, but I wondered if any of you folks might know a supplier? Many thanks in advance - and happy 2010.

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Comment by Nancy Nadel on January 20, 2010 at 8:21pm
I have Jamaican beans for sale in small quantities. They are on my website at They are Trinitario. Of the two sacks I have processed since September, they are mostly floral on first taste changing to nutty. The roasting aroma is like brownies. Some batches have been more chocolatey.
Comment by Mark J Sciscenti on January 6, 2010 at 11:25pm
Hi Marcos, Contact Shawn Askinosie - he can sell you the nibs from Soconusco. they are not beans but if you really want Mexican beans from one of the most important historic sources then he is the one to contact. The other place to go to is - John supplies unroasted beans from around the world in small quantities.

By the way, I am chocolate historian (for 10 years) and recreated many of the Mesoamerican drinking chocolate, serving them for about 8 years along with lectures around the country. I started a chocolate shop in 2005 serving these historic drinking chocolates where I live but left that shop under duress last year. Will be getting my new website up soon. I am in process of writing a book about my experiences as well. Good luck with the beans.
Comment by Duffy Sheardown on January 4, 2010 at 7:42am
Hi Marcos, I have some Guatemalan pressed chocolate/sugar discs too that show what they drink over there these days.
Comment by Duffy Sheardown on January 3, 2010 at 2:00pm
Hi Marcos,
I'm in the UK and have beans from Ecuador, the Ivory Coast and Madagascar at the moment and could let you have small quantities no problem. I also have liquor from Panama and Peru if that might work.
Comment by Marcos Patchett on January 1, 2010 at 6:43pm
Thanks for the superfast response Robbie! I'll call them. Not sure they're what I'm after but I'll give them a go. Cheers

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