Posted by Bill Copeland on 9/20/2013 to Heirloom Cacao
Heirloom cacao are the diamonds of cacao -- cacao trees and beans endowed with a combination of historic, cultural, botanical, geographical, and most importantly flavor value. Heirloom beans have terrific overall balance -- complex and intense, long and pleasant -- and unique flavor worthy of preservation, protection, and propagation. 

While no specific flavor characteristics are required, Heirloom beans must be distinctive in their characteristics and present special/unusual but well-balanced flavors produced through the beans’ genetics, terroir, and postharvest processing. Heirloom does not mean the beans are present or preserved in the collections, old, or wild. Antiquity is welcome but not conditional -- just because a bean is from a tree that has been grown for generations does not mean that it tastes good. 

Wild beans not in production are not what the HCP is looking for neither are specific genetics; genetics come after flavor evaluation (for name, profile, and classification… an ID code so to speak) but are not a condition for Heirloom classification.

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