Purple & White Cacao Beans

These are the typical results of our Mother cacao tree pods. Usually a 2 to 1 ratio between purple (typical Lower Amazon Forastero trait) and white beans (more typical trait of Criollo cultivar). Our Theobroma cacao tree is currently in the process of undergoing DNA testing to determine and confirm its genetic identity.
The "Genus Theobroma has 22 species all of which are restricted to tropical America with greatest densities of species in Colombia and Panama. Theobroma bicolor (pataste) and Theobroma speciosum (cacaui) are sometimes used to make a chocolate of inferior quality and seed pulp is eaten. Also Theobroma grandiflorum (capuassu) is prized for its aromatic seed pulp which is used to prepare soft drinks, preserves and candy." (From, "Cacao - Origin, Ecology and Natural History of a Hot Commodity" by Frank Almeda)

El Trinitario - Best of Both Worlds (Lo Mejor de Dos Mundos)

The information you are about to read is my opinion derived from my research this far. I use what I get from web sites, books and my own experiences with cultivating over 500 cacao (chocolate) plants so far. (Esta informacion es mi opinion despues de amplia investigacion. Uso sitios de web, libros y mi propia experiencia cultivando mas de 500 matas de cacao (chocolate). 
All Pods are from Trinitario Trees / Todas las mazorcas son de matas Trinitario

Favorite Red Trinitario Pod / Favorita mazorca roja Trinitaria
Trinitario is a make up of one Criollo cacao plant crossed with a Forastero cacao plant in order to attain the best traits from both species. The Criollo is valued for tastes/flavor and it is said to have been the original and most common type for some time until the 1950's when the Trinitario mix was created and publicized in Trinidad, thus the title, Trinitario. Just like many other desired fruits of the world, humans have kept their own favorite cacao plants throughout time creating their own crossings in order to get a plant with characteristics of their liking. Whether it was a Family, Small Farmer or Large Businesses they all contributed to the existence of the mixes we have today and there are many mixes.
My favorite cacao tree. / Mi mata favorita de cacao.

Yellow more Criollo shaped Pod / Mazorca amarilla formada mas como las especie Criollo
So much so that many have lost track and in recent years since the early 2000's at least when DNA testing became effectively used we come to find out that the plants/trees that were labeled had been labeled incorrectly. It's almost like starting over, instead now DNA testing and newer technologies are pinpointing more information, more accurately. These though seem to be the most agreed upon facts as far as the most original characteristics of the three (3), some people would say four (4) major cacaos including the Arriba/Nacional from Ecuador. Forasteros in general have thicker pod shells when cut open, more beans/seeds and a more rounder pod much like an Avocado, ovoid instead of elongated like a flat American Football as most original Criollo pods were said to be. The Criollo produces less beans/seeds with less pods on their limbs in comparison to the Forastero and then you add the Criollos susceptibility to most cacao diseases you better believe the taste had a lot to do with its survival. I am sure many folks were concerned with keeping the Criollo in existence after so many other specimens like it were being wiped out across the globe by the deadliest of virus' mainly Witches Broom, Black Pod and Frosty Pod Rot. Most of the Chocolate available in the United States like bulk chocolate and syrups are made from the more abundant Forastero and Trinitario. Many high end chocolates can and have been made from Forasteros including Arriba/Nacional, which is said to come from the Forastero lineage, but you will find that the most expensive chocolates are made wholly or in part with Criollo cacao beans or Trinitarios that have taken on characteristics of their Criollo lineage.
Only had 16 big seeds compared to 20-35 in the others / Nadamas trajo 16 semillas comparado a las 20 a 35 que tuvieron las otras mazorcas Trinitarias

(El Trinitario existe por la mezcla de una mata Criolla con una Forastero para tratar de obtener lo mejor de los dos especie. El Criollo es valuado por su sabor y porque dicen que es el cacao original y mas abundante hasta el año 1950 cuando fue conocido la nueva mezcla como Trinitario, hecho en la isla de Trinidad. Como otras frutas deseadas del mundo los humanos han mantenido sus matas favoritas de cacao con caracteristicas ecojida specificamente para ellos mismos. Sean Familias, pequeñas empresas o aquellas grandes empresas todos han hecho contribucion a las tantas mezclas de cacao que tenemos hoy en dia. Tantas variaciones hay que muchos han perdido cuenta. En primeros años del 2000 cuando los examenes de DNA comenzaron a ser mas efectuoso para distinguir entre tipos de cacao.

Las caracteristicas que en general atribuyen al los tres (3) algunos dicen cuatro (4) mayores tipos de cacao si contamos el Arriba/Nacional de Ecuador serian que el Forastero tienen la cascara de la mazorca mas gruesa cuando las abrrimos en mitad, tienen mas semillas/granos y las mazorca del Forastero es mas redonda como mas como un aguacate y menos como los Criollos que en general son mas larga y parecen a una bola desinflada de futbol Americano. El cacao Criollo produce menos semillas/granos en menos mazorcas y son mas propenso a viros como "Escoba de Bruja, Mazorca Negra, Mal Del Machete". Aunque tengan tantas males todavia lo crecian y pinso que tiene mucho que ver con el sabor. Claro que hay muchos que trataron de salvar la especie del Criollo que desaparecia mas y mas dia por dia. La mayoria del chocolate en comercio y en liquido en los Estado Unidos bienen del especie abundante Forastero. Econtraras que aunque la mayoria de chocolates caros son hecho en parte o completamente de granos de cacao Criollo o aquellos Trinitario que han obtenido caracteristicas de su linaje Criollo. Tambien varios chocolates hecho del grano Forastero del Arriba/Nacional cacao de Ecuador cual el muy raro de encontrar aunque sea Forastero.)

Making Dark Chocolate at Home from Donated Cacao Pods

Mother cacao Tree doing very well
Growing right out of the tree  trunk
Slightly more ripe yellow drupes (aka pods)

Fruit of the Gods: Theobroma cacao
This is the mother tree for all of our current chocolate making purposes. This tree is at least 15 years old. Probably a Forastero cultivar or hybrid. We would love to get our hands on a Criollo variety cacao tree, which is known to be one of the original cacao trees offering high quality fruit and beans ultimately leading to a better tasting end product, but it's not all in the genes. Overall tree care, fermentation process, drying and roasting will all significantly affect the taste of your chocolate product.
Gives you an idea of the size pods we received.

Two cacao pods from the same tree. One ripe and one over-ripe

Individual beans after being separated from their womb-like pod

Over-ripe pod with beans germinating inside
The beans in the dark brown pod were useless as far as making chocolate is concerned, but since they had a head start by being germinated already we just planted them in a mix of well draining soil mixed with mushroom derived compost.

The yellow pod gave us fresh beans with sweet and slightly sour pulp. Very similar taste to the limoncillo (aka Melicoccus bijugatus, Spanish Lime/genip/mamoncillo/guinepa). Most of the pulp was left intact since it is necessary for the fermentation process. After being fermented for three days indoors unlike the typical outdoor fermentation where it is placed between Banana leaves or simply stacked amongst each other. After fermentation we completed the drying stage naturally in open air under the sun then roasted the beans in order to separate the outer shell from the nibs and also to complete the drying and get just the right chocolatey, nutty flavor. Then during the processing you can add other ingredients such as vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. This is where we will be experimenting with several pods in order to see what taste profiles we end up with. The first batch came out okay, but the next few batches will get spiced up a bit. Here are some more pictures of the original pod and our end result, which was powder cacao aka cocoa.

Succulent moist pulp

Now that's ripe!

Here are the goodies. Beans are said to start fermenting as soon as they're exposed to oxygen.

Some breathing and drainage holes for disintegrating pulp.

Keeping the beans warm and cozy along with trusty thermometer line
After three days fermenting. Already smells like alcohol.

After drying in the sun for two days. Now it really smells like alcohol.

These are the beans after roasting and removing the shells.
Start with some sugar in a coffee blade grinder. Going for a 70/30 dark chocolate

After adding the cacao beans we get a nice cocoa powder.