The Cacao Lab Journal

A hand reaching toward a Cacao pod on a tree

Reducing Our Impact: Four Ways to Consume Cacao Responsibly

If you’re a member of the Cacao Lab community, or have even found this article through a related internet search, you’re probably a fan of Cacao products. These products encompass the wellness-focused whole-Cacao movement, of which Cacao Lab is a part, as well as European-style chocolate, which we also love. But for all the happiness Cacao can provide, there is a price we must acknowledge: mass chocolate production has come with a steep environmental price. As is the story throughout much of the agricultural industry, short-sighted growth models and profit-maximization schemes have created a product that’s ecological impact makes its...

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Brittany Anderson
The Origins of Permaculture

The Origins of Permaculture

 If you’ve ever attended a festival, a yoga retreat, or done research on sustainability, chances are, you’ve heard of permaculture. As a matter of fact, permaculture has been a buzzword for a few years now. The word permaculture comes from combining the words permanent culture or permanent agriculture. It was developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the mid-1970s. Bill Mollison was an Australian ecologist and professor at the time, and Holmgren an Australian environmental designer, ecological educator, and writer. Their co-creation has earned them esteem and awards throughout their lifetimes. The practice itself is defined “as the growth of...

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eric fridman
Arriba Nacional Cacao: The Pride of Ecuador

Arriba Nacional Cacao: The Pride of Ecuador

Arriba Nacional is one of the most beloved types of Cacao, favored by chocolate makers and Cacao enthusiasts alike. It is endemic to Ecuador and is a source of pride for Ecuadorian farmers. Here we get to know this delicate strain of Cacao through its history and cultural context. The origins of Arriba Nacional Cacao Urban legend surrounding the origin of the Ecuadorian Cacao known as Arriba Nacional has its roots in the early days of Cacao trade. When producers were asked where their Cacao was from, the answer was always, "Cacao de arriba," which translates to "from up the...

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Jason Proffitt
Ceremonial Cacao: the Process from Tree to Nib

Ceremonial Cacao: the Process from Tree to Nib

The story of ceremonial Cacao starts with the land. Cacao trees of certain strains must be grown in certain soils and only between certain latitudes. The delicacy of heirloom Cacao trees makes not only for their magnificent flavor and healing power but also for their exceeding rarity.  But does this delicate process end when the pods are pulled from the tree? The Cacao farmers would tell you: it’s only just begun. Fermentation of Ceremonial Cacao When the pods are harvested from the Cacao trees, they are split and the fruit inside is harvested. The seeds of Cacao, popularly known as...

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