Cacao (Theobroma cacao) (Mayan: kakaw, Nahuatl: Cacahuatl), or the cocoa plant, is a small (4â€“8 m or 15â€“26 ft tall) evergreen tree in the family Sterculiaceae (alternatively Malvaceae), native to the deep tropical region of the Americas. Its seeds are used to make cocoa and chocolate. Only 10% of chocolate is made from Criollo, which is less bitter and more aromatic than any other bean. The cacao bean in 80% of chocolate is made using beans of the Forastero Group. Forastero trees are significantly hardier than Criollo trees, resulting in cheaper cacao beans.