Our Curriculum

We offer 2 types of Masterclasses, a 9 day course at origin where cocoa is grown and a 3 day course at destinations closer to home. Both types provide detailed information on similar topics but the masterclasses at origin allow you to see it at work and give you hands-on experience around the sights, smells, and feel of working in cocoa.

Our curriculum is shaped around three learning tracks:

  • Market Perspectives (classroom)
  • Seed Perspectives (classroom)
  • Field Experiences & Guided Research

Each Cocoa Masterclass course starts with History and Botany classes.

Beyond these two core classes, the specific curriculum for any Cocoa Masterclass course is a combination of Market Perspectives and Seed Perspectives classroom learnings, discussion sections, field studies, activities, and guided research. The instructor team decides what to teach based on location, partner, instructor availability, and participants’ professional interests.

Every Cocoa Masterclass course includes a Market Perspectives exam and a Seed Perspectives exam.

Market Perspectives - Sample Classes 

- Certifications
- Cocoa Futures
- Transport & Logistics

Seed Perspectives - Sample Classes

- Conservation
- Harvest & Extraction
- Primary Processing

Sample Field Experiences & Guided Research

- Fermentation & Drying Analysis (Guided Research)
- Farm Visit (Field Experience)
- Price Analysis (Guided Research)
Cocoa Masterclass Footer logo
Copyright © 2024, Cocoa Masterclass Website developed by Sitelab digital
Connect with Us
IMG 2685 scaled

Register Your Interest!

Stay up to date with what's next and book your place with Cocoa Masterclass


To understand “cocoa” as a food, drink, or marketable product of any type, we must first become acquainted with the genus Theobroma, and then with the unique attributes of the species cacao. Our starting point is the fact that this species evolved in a specific environmental context – the Amazon basin. From there, we expand our understanding to the botanical relationships that make up any cocoa growing system, and the specificity of those relationships across geographical contexts.


Studies of cocoa and chocolate history often start with the “firsts”: the first namings or uses of Theobroma cacao; inventions of machines or chocolate types. In the Cocoa Masterclass History class, we also start with a list of firsts: 30+ historical cocoa and chocolate moments that give us food for thought. We are not at all interested in memorizing the list, or discussing every item on it. Even less are we interested in poking holes in the list and having a “fact war” about dates or names. Instead, we spend our time asking why those moments appeared on our list. Why did any particular incident, invention, or innovation matter? Does it deserve to be on a cocoa and chocolate history timeline? Why do we even care about “firsts”? And, while we are at it, who created this list and why?