REGION AND COUNTRY
Copán region, close to the border with Guatemala, Honduras
Over 3,000 years ago, the Maya peoples in Mesoamerica perfected cacao cultivation techniques and used cocoa to prepare a sacred ceremonial beverage and as a form of currency. Copán, in Honduras, was one of the centres of Mayan pre-Hispanic culture. In this area a few remaining ‘’Criollo Antiguo’’ varieties can still be found. In 2006, Mayan Red was found growing on three small neighbouring farms in the jungle of Northern Honduras. The owner, Doña Felipa, was helped by Xoco to re-establish her farm, with pruning and nutrition, so that they could be used for reproduction. The farmers grow the Mayan Red cacao on farms in the highland, at an average of 600 meters above sea level. The typical farm has 1,500 trees and two hectares. Upon planting, the farmer spaces the trees 3 x 3 meters, to ensure that the trees can live off the nutrients found in the ground with no need to apply additional fertilizers. Most farmers grow their cacao without the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Used side crop are coffee, banana, bean and precious trees.
November – December (main crop)
Mayan Red is genetically a unique Honduran Trinitario in the group of “exotic varieties” and a part of the Mesoamerican cacao heritage.
POST HARVESTING PROCESS
In wooden fermentation boxes, for around 5 days, two turns. After fermentation the beans are laid out on odourless wooden trays, in a solar tunnel. The beans are turned by hand to ensure even drying. The drying takes about seven days in the dry period and eight in the rainy season.
Medium body, high citrus acidity. Jumpstarts with a peak of tropical fruit, followed by creamy notes of hazelnuts and soft caramel and a last burst of citrus.