CHOCOLATE TEA / COCOA TEA / CACAO TEA
Cacao tea is made from the shell or husk of the cocoa bean (not the pod). The shell is a byproduct of making chocolate from cacao beans. Historically, it has been viewed as a waste product in the chocolate industry. Today it is viewed as a valuable bio-mass, especially in large cacao producing countries, such as Africa. Closer to home you can also often find it sold as cocoa mulch at nurseries. I should also mention, in the past and even today, it has been used to help cut costs by mixing it with cacao powder or even replacing it entirely.
More recently, retailers have started to market cacao husk towards consumers and is commonly referred to as cacao tea, chocolate tea, cocoa tea, chocolate husk tea, or cacao husk tea. You can now find a plethora of flavors and other teas (rooibos, green, black, yerba mate) mixed with pure cacao tea. Prices range from $2.50-$3.50/oz + based primarily on packaging (metal, glass, flexible packaging).
What are the health benefits of cacao tea?
The health benefits of cacao tea include: antioxidants (phenolic phytochemicals, flavonoids), neurotransmitters (phenylethylamine, anandamide) caffeine, amino acids, micronutrients (magnesium, iron, zinc), cardiovascular health (lowers blood pressure), healthy fats, thermogenic aid, and etc.
How do you make cacao tea?
The traditional way to use cocoa tea is to make it just like a tea. Start with 2 teaspoons per 8 fl oz of water, adjusting as needed. Steep for 5-10 minutes or longer. The flavor is very earthy and dark. If you have a sweet tooth, you can also add natural sweeteners such as raw honey, agave, monk fruit, stevia, and etc. If you are a coffee drinker, the best application is to add it directly to your coffee grounds.
Traditional cacao tea
Research shows that cacao was very important and used in many cultures for ceremonial purposes throughout history. The traditional method uses a larger amount of cacao for a stronger chocolate experience (2-4oz +). Heat with water on the stove, add dried chilies, exotic spices and cook over low heat. Strain and serve. You can add more water and make a few additional batches (we recommend our Guatemalan cacao for ceremonial purposes).
And if you want additional health benefits don’t forget to add healthy fats (grass-fed butter/ghee, coconut, mct oil).
You can find single-origin cacao tea from Bolivia, Guatemala, Tanzania, and the Dominican Republic in our online shop.
We love to hear about your experience with cacao tea. Please, feel free to reach out to us with any questions.