Based in Boulder, Colorado, and established in 2013, Moksha Chocolate has its roots in an isolated valley on the Rio Mayo in northeastern Peru near Shanao.Meaning “New You,” Shanao and its adjacent farms are surrounded by the rare Alto Mayo Cloud Forest and Cordillera Escalera Regional Conservation Area of upper Amazonia.

In 2014, Moksha Chocolate formed a cooperative with the local cacao growers and producers to retain wealth within the indigenous community, raise the quality of cacao and implement organic, biodynamic, and sustainable farming practices. We then revised and standardized on-site fermentation and processing during 2016-17, and our first pilot project of four tons of single-origin cacao arrived in the U.S. November 2017.
Criollo is one of the most highly prized beans because of its high quality, variation in flavor and aroma, and lack of bitterness. It is used in artisan chocolate and represents only around 3% of the world’s cacao production and cultivated mostly on small estates in Latin America.  Our valley’s original cacao is quite rare, with a taste that is described as “delicate yet complex,” with a subtle chocolate flavor “rich in secondary notes.” Native Criollo pods are typically yellow. Our Criollo was planted by the original inhabitants of Shanao 50 years ago.
Legend has it that Necifero floated down the Rio Mayo 50 years ago with Criollo seeds and staked his claim on a rich promontory overlooking the town of Shanao. He planted the original variety of Criollo which is basis of the genealogy of the Criollo in the Shanao Valley.