Theobroma Cacao is the Latin name for the cacao tree. In Latin countries the word cacao is used where as in english speaking countries cocoa is used. We use the word Cacao because our cacao products are minimally processed and have not been through the intense processing that traditional cocoa products have.
Raw cacao beans which have their skins removed and are then crushed into lots of little pieces are called ‘nibs’. Nibs which are ground into a fine paste become ‘cacao liquor’. When the liquor is pressed in a special machine, it’s separated into fat and powder. The fat from within the liquor is the ‘cacao butter’ and the remainder is milled into ‘cacao powder’.
Both varieties have their own distinct idiosyncrasies and identity. Different growers, climate conditions, soil structures and the variety of crops grown in the area give each a unique flavour.
The Peruvian cacao powder has a lower fat content (12%) and higher ORAC score than the Balinese cacao powder which has about 25% fat content. The reason Balinese cacao powder has a higher fat content is because the temperature has been controlled to less than 45ºC in the press, so not as much pressure can be used. With Peruvian cacao powder much more pressure is used, generating heat so the temperature can get up to 65ºC in the press, but due to the increased pressure there is less fat in the finished product and therefore more antioxidants.