Most of my time in Ecuador was spent in farms outside of Guayaquil. I knew that Ecuador took their cacao seriously when I saw this plaque in the airport.
I visited some larger farms in Ecuador and sat down for some serious tasting along the way. Note that the sides of the desk are raised so tasters can't be skewed by the answers of their neighbors.
I also learned some new aspects of cacao fermentation. There is always something new to learn about cacao and chocolate. That's one of the things I love about my job. When I return from my bean sourcing trips not only are my bags full of new beans to work with, but my brain is filled with new inspiration, learning, stories and questions.
I met some great cacao farmers in Ecuador too. There are some fantastic beans in Ecuador and I can't wait for you to taste our chocolate made from these beans.