Cocoa/Cacao Tea is a rich, warm and slightly bitter chocolate morning drink that is nothing like the sugar-filled cup of hot cocoa with the tiny and completely artificial marshmallows that you had when you where a child.
It’s made traditionally on chocolate producing islands like St. Lucia and Dominica, in the Caribbean islands.
You can think of cacao tea as similar to your morning cup of coffee, except instead of roasted coffee beans, it’s brewed with roasted cacao nibs. Is Your Mind blown yet?
Cacao tea is healthy for you, a Mayan super drink Rich in anti-oxidants without all of that unnecessary sugar, cacao tea has all the good things about chocolate with out all the bad stuff in it.
St. Lucia and Dominica have the perfect environment for growing cacao trees and thanks to these beautiful tropical island environments the people of these Caribbean islands have been drinking cacao tea for centuries.
You can find ripe cacao pods all over the islands and the locals take those pods, that contain cacao beans and harvest, dry, ferment and roast the beans. Once the beans are roasted and out of their shells, they are then called cacao nibs, that are then ground up and combined with spices like cinnamon which I use in this recipe or with nutmeg, they are then rolled into tube-like cacao sticks.
If you had one of these yummy cacao sticks you would grate off a little bit and add it to hot water or milk (the locals prefer milk) and you’ve got yourself a glass of cacao tea.
But since you most likely don’t have any cacao sticks laying around unless you’ve just got back from the Caribbean, you lucky lucky person you.
You probably don’t have cacao trees growing in your back yard. But your going to need to make this chocolate drink some how and in a hurry!
This SIGH worthy chocolate drink can be made from straight cacao nibs which is what the cacao sticks are made from and which is basically chocolate without the sugar.
The combination of the roasting of the cacao nibs and the caffeine that is naturally occurring in chocolate gives this drink a real coffee likeness. Also it has around the same amount of caffeine as coffee so you can switch out your morning coffee for a morning chocolate.
The aroma of this ancient drink is an overwhelmingly strong pure chocolate smell!
It’s what I would image standing in the middle of a chocolate roasting plant would smell like and each sip is like a creamy pure chocolate dream!
(The ancient Olmec, Mayan and Aztec civilizations considered drinking cacao to be invigorating, mood enhancing and even an aphrodisiac, which they believed gave Cacao magical and spiritual qualities.
The Mayans also worshiped a god of cacao and the priests and nobles used it at sacred ceremonies.
The delicious cacao drink was considered a food of the gods and was reserved for kings and warriors.)
Roasting & Brewing Cacao Nibs
1 cup Cacao Nibs (I like this brand of cacao nibs) (cacao nibs can be purchased at most health food stores)
Water for your coffee or espresso machine
Cacao Tea Black
1 cup or coffee mug of cacao tea
1 tsp honey to sweeten (more if desired)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
splash coconut milk (optional)
Cacao Tea Latte
1 shot cacao tea (about an 1/8 cup)
1/4 cup coconut milk or coconut creamer (I like the so delicious brand french vanilla flavor)
1 /4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp honey (if your using milk instead of creamer)
Roasting & Brewing Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Line a sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper, pour the cacao nibs on the pan and spread out evenly.
Bake for 10-12 mins depending on how roasted you would like them.
I was happy with 10 mins. but for a darker roast leave them in for a bit longer.
Once there roasted to your desired darkness take them out and let them cool, about 10 mins.
Once they’ve cooled place 3 Tbsp of the roasted cacao nibs in a coffee grinder or food processor.
Process until they look like regular coffee grounds.
Now you have cacao grounds that smell like your growing and roasting your own cacao beans in your backyard!
If you don’t have a espresso machine no worries you can use a regular coffee machine and brew according to your machines instructions. (just like regular coffee)
Cacao Tea Directions:
Simply pour your delicious cacao tea from your coffee maker in a cup (as much as you want) add honey for sweetness if you like and a dash of cinnamon and milk if desired. TADA! the drink of the Mayan kings right in your cup!
Cacao Tea Latte Directions:
Brew your cacao tea shot according to your espresso machines directions or use some of your cacao tea brewed from your coffee maker.
Pour your cacao tea shot (about 1/8 cup) in your espresso cup and add the 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the creamer/milk in a separate cup.
If using an espresso machine follow the machines directions to froth the coconut milk or creamer.
If you don’t have a espresso machine to froth your milk or creamer heat it in a sauce pan on the stove top and then place in a blender and blend until foamy.
Using a large spoon hold the foam back while pouring the creamer/milk into the cup with your cacao tea, than spoon the foam on top.
Add a dash more of cinnamon to the top as garnish and voila! Creamy Chocolate Cacao Tea Latte!