Explore Cacao Cultivation, Post-Harvest processing and Artisanal Chocolate Making in Costa Rica with local experts and your host, Julio Fernández Amón, founder of Sibö Chocolate. Visit cacao plantations, collection facilities and clonal gardens; and follow the tree-to-bar process firsthand from harvesting and fermentation to drying, roasting, winnowing and conching with both artisanal and industrial equipment. Your chocolate making will benefit from a deeper understanding of cacao cultivation and processing, and how this impacts bean flavor and quality.
Our Ecole Chocolat Graduate Programs only accommodate a limited number of students and are usually full, with a waiting list. As the programs involve a travel component, we need to contact those on the waiting list in enough time so they can make travel arrangements. If you have to cancel, we'll do everything in our power to find a replacement but can't guarantee that we'll be successful. No refunds will be given after 45 days prior to the program start date. Make sure you're totally committed to the program before paying your registration fee. We also suggest that you take out travel insurance when booking your travel to and from the program country, in case of an emergency.
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Julio Fernández Amón of Sibö Chocolate is eager to share local insight on his country’s past and present with signature humor and sincerity.
For Julio and his partner George Soriano, starting a chocolate business that features only organically grown cacao from Costa Rica became his way of helping protect the natural world, as well as a way to spark new interest in a growing industry for his home country. He also hopes his business will highlight the importance of cacao to Mesoamerican cultures throughout the ages.
Today, Sibú Chocolate has two artisan nib-to-bar chocolate workshops with attached retail stores, as well as a restaurant and chocolate tasting tour. In 2017 Sibú Chocolate was honored by the International Chocolate Awards with a silver medal in the America's division and multiple medals in the regional division. That year Sibú Chocolate also received honors from the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) for its contribution to the industry as a chocolatier.
Costarica cacao farmer.
Julio and EC Grads in the orchard.
Comparison of ripeness in harvested cacao pods.
Close up view of fermenting cacao beans.
Feeling the heat of cacao bean fermentation.
Cocoa bean cut test to check for good fermentation.
In Sibo's chocolate factory.
Selecting cocoa beans.
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