I was joined on this visit by Zelia Frangioni of Chocolatras Online – a leading chocolate blog in Brazil – as well as by Juliana and Tuta Aquino, owners of Fazenda Santa Rita. A video crew was there to record the visit.
Fazenda Sagarana is a beautiful farm with some majestic views of the cabruca where the cacao is grown and pristine Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Rainforest, also known as the Chocolate Forest) on the hills behind.
At Fazenda Sagarana they still practice the tradition of dancing on the cacao on the barcaça (the drying pad) – a technique that reduces the amount of pulp sticking to the beans after fermentation. Almeida believes that this dance is an important step in delivering the quality that his cocoa is known for. As you can see from the drone footage in the video, the dance is mesmerizing and the patterns created in the cacao quite beautiful.