straight from the source

AROUND 60% OF THE QUALITY OF THE FINAL
PRODUCT IS DETERMINED BY THE WORK DONE
BEFORE THE ROASTING OF THE DRIED BEAN

Our cacao trees are the descendants from the first cacao plants to arrive in Africa 1819.

Until the 1800's cacao was only produced in Latin America. In the early years of the 1800's Portugal realized that soon was going to loose Brasil, its colony. King Dom Joao VI then ordered that the famous cacao plants of the Bahia region be introduced to Portugal's most serene colony, São Tomé and Príncipe.


And, in 1819 the first trees arrived on the island of Principe. By 1900 Sao Tome and Principe was the world's biggest cacao producer. However, more recently the old varieties of trees were replaced by more productive modern hybrids. Luckily, tiny Principe was overlooked and forgotten.

*

>
The descendants of these first trees are now the mainstay of the cacao production on the Terreiro Velho plantation. When we first came to the plantation of Terreiro Velho, the cacao plants were dispersed in the invading forest. Through years of hard work, the rainforest ground was cleared and the shade trees were replanted. By giving the cacao plants air and just the right amount of light they gained new vigor, producing healthy and abundant fruit. The perfume of their pulp was intense and fresh, as if thanking us for their refound live.
With absolute care the trees are tended in order to produce the best quality beans possible.
*
   - "Corallo is a perfectionist, a man obsessed with taste and result."
        DER SPIEGEL, GERMANY 2008
*
 
 
>
  - "The forest has been my greatest teacher. A plantation can develop over time only if it is in perfect harmony with the enviroment that hosts it, and the people living and working in it. In other words, a plantation must not be a cancer of nature but be a harmonious part of it." - Claudio Corallo
 
FINANCIAL TIMES | January 22, 2020
*
© Inês Gonçalves 
 

Discovering terroir in the world of chocolate.
"The company that best approximates the role of vigneron is Claudio Corallo, a family-own, plan-to-bar producer on the two-island country of Sao Tome and Principe off the coast of West Africa. The excitement and energy such small-scale, artisanal producers bring to the chocolaste industry will lukely showcase terroir even more."
*
GASTRONOMICA, USA 2010
University of California, Berkeley
*
© Inês Gonçalves 
<
- . . there is nothing like this CHOCOLATE. You don't know chocolate if you haven't taste the chocolate of Claudio Corallo, made in Sao Tome. It is difficult to judge it "the best chocolate in the world"; It is simply a class of its own."
L'EXPRESS 2015 | FRANCE

AIR is the word we get more used to hear Claudio saying. The breeze of the oceanic air must circulate in complete freedom; even in the most hidden parts of the plantation, so as to cleanse and purify the trees.
*
 
>
 
- The cocoa woods were another thing. They were like the woods of fairy tales, dark shadowed and cool. The cocoa-pods, hanging by thick short stems, were like wax fruit in brilliant green and yellow and red crimson and purple."  - V.S. Naipul
*
Every step of the process is scrupulously controlled. This way he transforms the cocoa beans into the purest form of chocolate.

After several years of trials and testings we finaly developed a natural fermentation process by which the cacao does not lose its perfume. Conclusion: The purest form of our chocolate is the BEAN, a NOT bitter BEAN.

 

 

- The epitome of Claudio's perfectionism is probably the next step: As workers break the beans into nibs by hand, they take out the germ - a small pencil-lead looking piece. Claudio is the only one in the industry who does that. The germ is hard (nibs are soft), and not chocolate-y tasting [...] We can see why Claudio would want to remove it, but it certainly adds to the work - they are tiny!

With all the hand labor involved in his process, it should be noted that Claudio’s chocolate is all Fair Trade. 

Also, while his chocolate is not raw, it’s minimally processed. After grinding the nibs in small batches, local sugar is added (no vanilla, no soy lecithin, nothing else) and the chocolate is spread out to finish. He does not conch his chocolate, a process that mellows strong flavors and increases the smoothness of the chocolate. As a result, Claudio’s chocolate is bold with a bit of texture."    © Peter Ribton
http://chocolatebythebay.com/magazine/local-chocolatiers/from-tree-to-bar/