Making fresh chocolate directly from Cocoa beans in Costa Rica

Share this post Brujo, San Jose, Costa Rica

During my MBA at Ryerson University, 9 fellow classmates and I went on week-long trip to Costa Rica during one of our reading breaks. It was a perfect opportunity to escape from Toronto’s cold weather and spend a week in the tropical rainforests.

We started our journey from San Jose and drove through San Isadro to a small town called of Brujo. Our shuttle dropped us off to a point where there was no other option but to continue on foot to travel further. Our next destination, Eco Lodge, was one river and a 3 hour hike away deep inside the tropical rain forest. We used cable car that only carried two people at a time to cross the river and began our hike.

As we went deeper and deeper in the woods, we were going further and further away from the civilization. There were no other houses or hotels within 3-4 hour hiking distance from the Eco Lodge. After getting to the lodge, we realized that everything and everyone we knew was a river and a 3 hour hike away. It felt great to be completely isolated from the rest of the world. It was time to get lost in the tropical heaven. As I lived near Dundas Square in downtown Toronto at that time which is most probably one of the busiest place in the heart of the city, going to a place where there was no urban chaos, felt simply blissful.

Besides doing a number of outdoor adventures such as zip lining, rappelling, white water rafting and surfing at the Eco Lodge, we also learned how to make chocolates straight from Cocoa beans. After all, we had all the fresh ingredients right in our backyard. I saw the Cocoa bean tree and the raw Cocoa beans for the first time in my life. To make fresh chocolate, we first peeled and crushed the Cocoa beans. We then heated the paste of crushed beans and added some sugar in it. And ta-da! Surprisingly, that was all there was to making fresh chocolate. It was definitely the best chocolate I had in my life.

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