Canoa first gained fame and popularity because of our incredible beach. We have seventeen uninterrupted kilometers of soft sand and great waves to the south, plus other hidden beaches and caves past the rocky points to the north. For everyone that loves activities in the water or on the sand, that is often all you need. But Canoa has so much more to offer. In this post I’ll tell you why Canoa, Ecuador is the best place to visit to try high-quality, locally produced chocolate and coffee.
Most of us know that cacao was first discovered in the americas, but few are aware that it originated specifically in Ecuador. In the state of Manabí where Canoa is located, they’ve discovered a lineage of ancient cacao dating back over five thousand years. These plants produce a quality of chocolate that you simply can’t find anywhere else in the world. For example, the To’ak chocolate company makes some of the world’s most luxurious and expensive chocolate right here in Manabí.
The reason for this is that typical commercial farmers have practiced genetic modification for generations. They select certain plants for reproduction due to favorable characteristics, like higher yield, resistance to pests, and quality. However, quality is often less important than overall yield in terms of the farmer’s final profit. Over time this can lead to prioritization of yield at the expense of flavor or texture.
But in the areas surrounding Canoa you can still find ancient, unmodified cacao. It produces an incredibly delicious and complex chocolate, suitable for any type of use. There are several cacao farms right near town where you can visit. Some will let you roast your own cacao seeds, grind them by hand, and eat your very own fresh, handmade chocolate.
Coffee originated in the middle east where they first started drinking it in the 15th century. Eventually it made its way to the americas around the 1700’s. The climate here was well suited to commercial production, and today South America produces the majority of the world’s coffee. Most people think of the coffee as growing best at higher elevations, but it turns out that isn’t necessarily the case.
The north coast of Ecuador is a “dry coastal forest”, which means we only receive rain for about half the year. The coffee plant thrives in slightly drier climates such as this. It also grows best when surrounded by other taller plants which provide shade and regulate the acidity of the soil. Just like chocolate, the conditions for coffee cultivation around Canoa are absolutely ideal. The coffee grown in this area has a sweet, almost fruity note to it, depending on how it’s roasted. And it arrives at your table fresh, locally produced, and makes an absolutely divine cup of coffee for you to enjoy.
As a visitor to Canoa, you can visit local coffee farms, or simply buy a bag of to prepare yourself. There are also cafes in town that offer freshly brewed local coffee so you can try different types and brewing methods.
The promised land
So if you’re a person who loves chocolate and coffee (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), you really should come to Canoa, Ecuador. You just might decide to move here permanently so you can enjoy these luxuries every day. After all, what’s the point of life if you’re not enjoying the simple pleasures?