Nahua applies a rigorous post-harvest fermentation process that allows the cacao bean to achieve consistent high-quality fine-flavor standards.
The process begins when Nahua’s field team transports freshly harvested cacao beans directly to a purpose-built fermentation center in Upala, Costa Rica. The fermentation process is comprised of a fully controlled stacked wooden box system, each 60 cm high, 120 cm wide and 80cm deep. Each box can hold up to 600 kilograms of fresh cacao beans.
The ascending boxes are aligned on three separate levels and allow the team to apply a “triple revolution” process, in-line with international best practices for cacao fermentation. This process transfers the cacao beans from one box to the next, approximately every two days, resulting in a fermentation process that lasts five to six days.
Nahua’s greenhouse applies a solar drying technique that relies on tropical climates and is specially designed to ensure temperatures average 60°C/140°F. The fermented cacao beans are placed on extended surfaces that allow for appropriate airflow, complemented by consistent agitation and quality reviews. After a 10 day period, our cacao beans typically reach the desired 7% moisture level and are considered ready for final packaging and shipment.