Mantuano, Venezuela



Source: Coperativa Flor de Mantuano

Region: Carabobo Province

Country: Venezuela

Source Type: Co-operative with centralized fermentation facilities

Beans Source: Grown by cooperative members

Fermentation Style: Linear two-box system, fermented for ~6 days

Drying Style: Sun drying patio, 5-6 days

Cultivation Notes: Pruned for the first time in 2015

Certifications: None

Exporter: Tisano

Importer: Tisano

Tasting Notes: Cinnamon, gingerbread, espresso

Start of working relationship: 2011

Last Visit: Feb 2016 by Karen and Minda

Tonnes Purchased in 2016: 6.0

Purchased TOTAL (lifetime): ~18 MT

Coperativa Flor de Mantuano is a small cooperative in northern Venezuela that was founded in 2008. Back then, a few women from the village of Mantuano organized themselves under a local NGO in order to receive the government funding that would allow them to cultivate cocoa trees in the underutilized land surrounding the village, and to build out the facilities to ferment the beans. Tisano, a company working with many facets of cacao including export from Venezuela, started to work with Coperativa Flor de Mantuano and within a few years, with a relatively small output of around eight tonnes, Mantuano landed on the radar of craft chocolate makers all over the world.

The cooperative has continued to improve their process year to year with the support of Tisano, from refining their pruning methods to building out new fermentation boxes, and they recently accepted their first male members from the village. Coperativa Flor de Mantuano is still run by women, and we’ve been honored to participate in their evolution and growth by providing feedback year after year and visiting when we can. Last year, our production manager Karen Cogan, and our former Flavor Manager Minda Nicolas visited Mantuano with Patrick Pineda, the founder of Tisano, and had the opportunity to meet the women and witness their dedication to producing the highest quality cacao, day in and day out.

Patrick introduced us to Mantuano a handful of years ago. We bought our first lot of beans from the cooperative in 2012, and made the first single origin bar to ever come from that village. We’ve purchased beans from them every year since, and we love the trademark warm spice notes that change with every harvest. Due to the challenges of working in Venezuela, especially in recent years, Tisano has shifted the scope of their operation to Mexico and Colombia. Sadly this means we likely won’t be able to purchase these beans again but we’re excited to continue working with Tisano in the communities they partner with in the future!

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