Ecuador has been the centre of one of the hottest debates in chocolate production in recent years - the use of a forced hybrid cocoa called CCN-51. In short, this cocoa is uses a great deal of water from the local environment and drains the nutrients out of the soil at a very fast rate, but does produce a high yield. The main alternative crop in the nation is called Arriba Nacional which is a descendant of the much-maligned Forastero cocoa. The Arriba, as it is often called, is typified by blackcurrant, floral and spice notes.

The main cocoa growing areas to look out for a re Guayaquil (intense, heavy - much blackberry), Los Rios (figs, liquorice, wood, citrus) Manabi (typically fruity and floral) and Esmeraldas (strawberry).