In Indonesia cacao is farmed all over the country, but 75% of that is in Sulawesi and the bean variety is mostly forastero, with some criollo grown in Java and trinitario in Bali.
A Glimpse of Cacao in Indonesia
The cacao bean, fruit of the cacao tree, acquired economic importance because it forms an essential element for the taste of chocolate, a worldwide popular delicacy. Cacao beans come in three main varieties, namely Forastero, Criollo and a cross between the two called Trinitario.
In Indonesia cacao is farmed all over the country, but 75% of that is in Sulawesi and the bean variety is mostly forastero, with some criollo grown in Java and trinitario in Bali. Cacao has been one of the most important agricultural export products for Indonesia and currently being the third largest cacao producing country after Yvory Coast and Ghana, with approximately 1.5 million hectares of cacao plantations. In the past decades, the Indonesian cacao sector has experienced massive growth, driven by rapid expansion of smallholder farmer participation. Indonesian smallholders contribute – by far – most of the national production, thus outperforming big state plantations and large private estates.
Unfortunately, Indonesian cacao are not regarded as high-quality beans. In fact, they mostly go into what is called “filler chocolate” which goes into industrial chocolate products, and has various other ingredients mixed in to stabilise and mask flavours. Pests and diseases resulting in low yields, labour intensive but low profitability as a result of minimum resources to add value for better profitability, and lack of resources to optimize yields and bean quality are among the big and ongoing challenges that the Indonesian smallholder farmer has to face, and forces them to choose planting high-yield, more disease-resistant, but low quality cacao variety.
We are very excited about Balinese Cacao. It is not just the fact that it grows in one of the most beautiful island in the world, but more to its uniqueness compared to other varieties of cacao in Indonesia. Historically, Balinese cacao has its roots to the “Light Breaking Javas”, which originally came from the fine criollo cacao beans of Soconusco, Mexico.
Dutch planters over a hundred years ago had recognized Bali as a perfect growing climate for the heirloom cacao and tried moving the Light Breaking cacao beans onto Bali soil. However, Balinese wanted no part in the plantation game. So these incredible genetics simply spread across western Bali, casually planted in sustainably managed smallholder plots along with coffee and other crops, and soon became part of the typical tropical landscape. In the absence of commercial plantations, the trees spread informally and evolved into a unique, high quality cacao. In some areas of Bali, it is still possible to find pure strains of Criollo cacao; beautiful porcelain beans that may be some of the closest cousins remaining to the original Soconusco genetics.
Organic Balinese Raw Cacao Beans
We are very passionate to bring the best version of Balinese Cacao. So, we think what can be better than a chocolatey delicious superfood. So yes, we decided to present the unique Balinese Cacao as high nutritious RAW superfoods.
The following are 5 benefits of Organic Raw Cacao:
- 40 Times the Antioxidants of Blueberries
Raw Organic Cacao has over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries and has an amazing ORAC score of 98,000 per 100g, vs blueberries at a mere 2,400. ORAC scores measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals (that come from pollution and toxins in our environment), which cause cell and tissue damage and can lead to diseases such as cancer.
- Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron
For those who are on a plant-based/vegan diet and looking for iron can look no further. Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man, at 7.3mg per 100g. This compares to beef and lamb at 2.5mg, and spinach at 3.6mg. Note the iron in cacao is non-heme (as is all plant-based iron), so to get the maximum benefits, it is better to combine it with some vitamin C.
- Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain
Raw Organic Cacao is also one of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium, the most deficient mineral in the Western world. Magnesium is important for a healthy heart, and helps turn glucose into energy enabling your brain to work with laser-sharp clarity and focus.
- More Calcium Than Cow’s Milk
Raw Organic Cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk, at 160mg per 100g vs only 125mg per 100ml of milk.
- A Natural Mood Elevator and Anti-Depressant
Cacao is a great source of four scientifically proven bliss chemicals – serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine. These neurotransmitters are associated with cosy feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and can even alleviate depression. A natural, healthy, and delicious way to get your mood up.
Our Organic Balinese Raw Cacao Products
Our cacao products are minimally processed with controlled temperature (not exceeding 45 degree Celsius) to ensure that minerals, aminos and enzymes, all sensitive to heat processing, are preserved. The following are our Organic Balinese Raw Cacao Products:
- Organic Balinese Hand-Peeled Raw Cacao Beans
- Organic Balinese Raw Cacao Nibs
- Organic Balinese Coconut Sugar Sweetened Raw Cacao Nibs
- Organic Balinese Raw Cacao Butter
- Organic Balinese Raw Cacao Powder
- Organic Balinese Raw Cacao Liquor/Paste