The Upriver Legend // Río Arriba


Much like wine or coffee, really good chocolate, or in our case cold brew cacao, hinges around the quality of the cacao bean used to make it.

Barely 5% of the cacao produced in the world is given the prestigious label of ‘fino de aroma,’ or fine aroma cacao. The best cacao. And Ecuador produces nearly 63% of the total fino de aroma cacao production worldwide.

What makes Ecuadorian cacao so special?  “The quality of Ecuador’s chocolate is due to the country’s diversity in terrain and equatorial location. Making fine chocolates is considered an art with a long tradition in countries including Switzerland, France and Belgium and it is no surprise that buyers from these places frequent Ecuador in search of the finest beans.” (

In the world of chocolate, the word 'Arriba' is synonymous with high quality and fine aroma cacao. Arriba derives its name from a 19th century legend about a Swiss chocolatier. While navigating up the Guayas River along the Ecuadorian coast, our explorer was struck by a strong aromatic scent which prompted him to ask some nearby natives, who were in the process of unloading the cacao from their canoes, where they had found it? They responded, “río arriba” which means “upriver”. From that day forward, this variety of cacao has been christened “Arriba”. Chocolate tasters say the aroma of Ecuador’s cacao is more complex because Arriba beans vary hugely in taste and size according to the area in which they are grown.

Every batch of our cold brew cacao provides a taste of the upriver legend and the ability to transport you to a different time and place. Each bottle embodies a mindset of curiosity and discovery and passion and love for cacao. Salud!  

Upriver Cacao