Cacao Boliviano with Volker Lehmann | #PodSaveChocolate

Cacao Boliviano with Volker Lehmann | #PodSaveChocolate

Episode 20 of #PodSaveChocolate features an update to my discussions of Bolivian cacao in a new interview with friend and colleague Volker Lehmann.

When and Where to Watch

This episode airs live from 09h00 PST / 10h00 MST / 12h00 EST / 17h00 GMT on Friday, February 16th, 2024. Updated to include additional resource links mentioned in the episode.
Cacao Boliviano with Volker Lehmann | #PodSaveChocolate
Episode 20 OverviewThis episode of #PodSaveChocolate features an interview with Volker Lehmann, a German-born and trained tropical agronomist who’s been work…

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Link to watch and comment from my LinkedIn profile.
Link to watch and comment on TheChocolateLife page on Facebook.

As mentioned in the episode, Volker and I are planning a trip to Bolivia for early-mid January 2025. There will be a strict limit of 10 guests on this trip. Starting in La Paz, we will head to Palos Blancos, the center of farmed cacao activities in the Alto Beni. From there we will head to Hacienda Tranquilidad for a deep dive in the wild cacao Beniano. If you would like to be kept updated about the progress on this trip, email ChocolateLife Member Support.

Episode 20 Overview

This episode of #PodSaveChocolate features an interview with Volker Lehmann, a German-born and trained tropical agronomist who’s been working in Bolivia for over two decades. Volker is best known in the cocoa and chocolate communities as the person who first introduced the wild cacao of the Bolivian Beni, harvested on his chocolatale, the Hacienda Tranquilidad, into the market in 2006 by convincing Felchlin to take on his beans – a non-trivial task.

Since then, Volker has been a champion of Bolivian cacao grown throughout Bolivia, not just in the area of the Beni department that surrounds the Hacienda Tranquilidad, but also in Alto Beni, where farmed cacao, mainly organic, has been produced since the 1970s. There he owns a harvest center “Flor de Cacao” in the town of Palos Blancos, where Heirloom Cacao Preservation (HCP) #1 was produced in 2013.

HCP #1
Alto Beni, Bolivia Provided by Volker Lehmann, Frontier Ventures Bolivia ​ ​Designated 2014 ​Bursary Sponsor: Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli

The very first HCP designee

We will be discussing Volker’s current and future activities of cocoa in Bolivia, climate change issues, and his voluntary carbon credit initiative.

Photo Galleries plus Maps from my visits to Bolivia in 2010


Our Heirloom Farmers
The HCP is delighted to announce the designated Heirloom chocolate farmers of quality and flavor cacao beans at origin.

All HCP designees

Cacao Forest Renovation
The ancient “Chocolatales” of the Itenez province are man-made agroforests. The development and application of man directed natural renovation could safeguard the Chocolatales and assure in situ conservation of the endemic Beniano cacao variety.

Background and Resources

TheChocolateLifeLIVE – Bolivian Cacao w/ Volker Lehmann
Episode 110 of #TheChocolateLifeLIVE streams from 09:00 MST/12:00 EDT on Fri, May 12th from the new HQ of TheChocolateLife: Prescott, AZ (and from somewhere in the Eastern Iténez region of the Bolivian Beni).

Episode 110 of TheChocolateLifeLIVE

Wild Chocolate | Wild Chocolate from the amazon
Grown in Bolivia – Caputo’s Market & Deli

All Bolivian cacao bars at Caputo’s.

Caputo’s Wild Tranquilidad 75% Bar by Ritual Chocolate – Caputo’s Market & Deli
Join our fight to preserve wild cacao. Bright citrus with overtones of spice mellow to a woody, tannic cocoa for a pleasantly familiar finish. A collaboration nine years in the making - a labor of love, sweat, and tears. Preserving the wild Bolivian rainforest and its treasures, including rare cacao. Genetically unique wild Beniano cacao from Hacienda Tranquilidad in Bolivia is the star of this new, rare, and wild jewel of the jungle. Master artisans from Ritual Chocolate have lent their talents to the discerning palates at Caputo’s to set a new standard for what wild chocolate can and should be. By paying far above fair-trade for the cacao and donating an additional $1 for each bar sold directly back to Tranquilidad, Caputo’s is ensuring that Volker Lehman, the agronomist who discovered Beniano and proprietor of Hacienda Tranquilidad, can continue to preserve this rare and special cacao for years to come. TASTING: citrus, spice, dried fruits, tobacco, resin, wood, cocoa PAIRINGS: old fashioned, woody scotch, tropical cocktails, hot toddies REGION: Baures, Bolivia Also featured in our blog: Caputo’s + Ritual: Fighting for Wild Tranquilidad Hear Volker take James Beard award winning author and journalist Rowan Jacobsen into the rainforest, and learn about our mission around wild cacao (including Caputo’s Wild Juruá bar by Luisa Abram) in the iHeart Radio podcast OBSESSIONS: Wild Chocolate!

A collab between Caputos and Ritual using Tranquilidad cacao.

Caputo’s Chocolate Festival 2023 - Cacao Growing in the Wild of Bolivia w/ Volker Lehmann
For the last eleven years, chocolate experts and lovers alike have rallied around the protection and promotion of heirloom varietals, those who help them gro…

Matt Caputo talking about the above collab bar.

Heirloom Cacao Preservation on Instagram: “We said we had BIG NEWS...The moment has finally arrived to share it with you 🤩 For our very first heirloom designee, we came out strong with a unique selection of beans from the Alto Beni region of Bolivia, which was virtually unknown at the time. In celebration of our tenth anniversary, we are auctioning off a once-in-a-lifetime lot of beans from the farm of Felix Paredes, the Grand Cru of Alto Beni beans 🥇 Click on the link in our bio for the full details! Don’t forget to save the auction on our eBay profile (separate link in bio) to be ready for the bidding to open on February 29th at 12:00pm PST 🗓️ #altobeniauction #cacaoauction #auction #nonprofit #finecacao #fineflavor #heirloom #heirloomcacao #fineflavorchocolate #makeminefine”
35 likes, 2 comments - heirloomcacao on February 15, 2024: “We said we had BIG NEWS...The moment has finally arrived to share it with you 🤩 For our very f...”
Theobroma Foundation Project, organized by Volker Lehmann
Theobroma Foundation Project is a creation of Volker Lehmann, with the aim to tackle the m… Volker Lehmann needs your support for Theobroma Foundation Project

Episode Hashtags

#WildCacao #CacaoSilvestre
#Bolivia #CacaoBoliviano #CacaoBeniano #AltoBeni
#HaciendaTranquilidad #VolkerLehmann
#cocoa #cacao #cacau
#chocolate #chocolat
#PodSaveChocolate #PodSaveChoc #PSC
#LaVidaCocoa #TheChocolateLife

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