Thursday, September 12, 2019

Cacao Tea

I was recently introduced to cacao tea by the Cacao Tea Co. As a lover of chocolate and tea I am surprised it was not previously on my radar, but now that I've discovered it I'm thrilled to share it with my readers!

Cacao tea is also known as chocolate tea or cocoa tea, and it was first discovered thousands of years ago by Mayan and Aztec civilizations. A few years ago I visited a spice plantation in Grenada where I got to see the various steps of the chocolate-making process. During chocolate production, after fermenting and drying the cocoa beans, the husks are typically a waste product. It's enlightening to learn that there are uses for the discarded husks other than throwing them in the trash. Voilà cacao tea!

Cocoa beans drying in the sun at Douglaston Spice Estate on the island of Grenada

The husks yield an intensely chocolate-scented brew which in the case of the cacao tea from Cacao Tea Co. is 100% organic, sugar-free, caffeine-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free, making it a righteous beverage choice day or night. Upon opening the package, the cocoa aroma is exquisite, a precursor to the delights yet to come.

Through my cacao tea education I have learned there are multiple ways to brew the tea, and I decided to try out a couple methods to compare the results. The first method (pictured below on the left) is similar to brewing traditional tea, pouring boiling water over the cacao tea (ideally in a tea infuser) and letting it steep for about 5 minutes before straining/pouring into a cup. The second method (pictured below on the right) is the stove-top method where you add the tea and cold filtered water together, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes before straining into cups. The latter method yields a darker and more intensely flavored result, while the initial method yields a somewhat lighter and clearer liquor and a slightly softer flavor. When comparing the results side-by-side I enjoyed them both, but would likely use the stove-top method in the future for a more potent flavor. I may even try cold-brewing it at some point!

As an aside, I experimented with the cacao tea brewing while visiting my sister, and she immediately fell in love with the cacao tea as I did, and told me she planned to purchase some herself as well. Collectively we enjoyed a lot about the cacao tea including the rich aroma, the subtle chocolate flavor, and the natural sweetness, which makes this a very diet-friendly tea since adding sugar is easily avoidable.

The folks at Cacao Tea Co. have graciously provided a coupon code for my readers who would like to try this lovely cacao tea themselves! The code is MISSIONFOOD15 and is valid for 2 weeks starting today through September 25th! If you try it please leave me a note in the comments to let me know your thoughts :)

*Disclaimer* I received no compensation to write this review other than a free bag of Cacao Tea to sample. My opinions are always my own.


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