Location: El Cibao Region, Duarte Province, Dominican Republic
Tasting Notes: Mango, Honey, Red grapes
Varieties: Trinitario, Criollo, Nacional
Fermentation Style: 5-6 days in 4 tiers of wooden boxes
Drying Style: Solar drying beds
Elevation: 200-350 meters
Harvest Season: March to July
Öko Caribe is a fermentary founded in 2006 by Gualberto Torrejon and Adriano Rodriguez, two cacao professionals with extensive experience in cacao production throughout Latin America. Since its inception, Öko Caribe has been purchasing wet beans from smallholder farmers and fermenting and drying them at their centralized processing location in the Duarte Province of the Dominican Republic. Öko Caribe currently works with 165 farmers who are formed into regional base organizations which receive training and funding. All pods are pre-selected prior to opening as a part of Öko Caribe’s quality protocol. Öko Caribe ensures that all of the wet beans it purchases arrive to the fermentation center in less than 6 hours. They are all fermented in a cascading 4-box tier system. Fermentation lasts for 5-6 days, and can be tailored to customer's speciﬁcations. Given the humid, tropical climate with frequent rains, Öko Caribe uses solar tunnel drying houses to dry their beans to 7% moisture.
Cacao in the Dominican Republic
Cocoa cultivation presently covers around 10% of Dominican Republic’s land area. The large majority of it is grown by small- to medium- sized farms--large commercial plantations are rare. The Dominican Republic represents the majority of organically cultivated cacao in the world. There are two grades of cacao in the Dominican Republic: Sanchez, which refers to unfermented cacao sold to commodity markets, and Hispaniola, which refers to cacao that has been treated to controlled fermentation. The varieties found on the island are today are Venezuelan Criollo, Trinitario, Nacional of Ecuador and hybrids with a high presence of Trinitarios and Nacional of Ecuador.