With winter fast approaching are you jonesing for some hot cocoa, but don’t want all the sugar? If so, you might enjoy a cup of cacao tea instead. If you’re trying to eat healthier and cut back on sweets like hot cocoa you’re in luck!
Cacao (pronounced “Ka-Kow”) refers to the beans of cacao trees before they have been processed. The term cacao is differentiated from cocoa or chocolate, which refer to a finished product made from the cacao beans. Cacao tea is a tasty, “chocolatey”, healthy alternative to hot cocoa. It’s all-natural, and tastes like chocolate tea!
Cacao tea is made from the husks of cacao beans. But let’s take a step back first. The Cacao tree is one of the strangest trees. Cacao pods grow directly out of the trunk, not at the ends of branches like most fruits. The football-shaped Cacao pods are usually green to yellow-orange in color, and can grow almost as large as a football too. But it’s what is inside the pods that’s the real treat.
Cacao vs. Cocoa, What’s the Difference?
Each cacao pod contains about 30 to 50 cacao beans. And it takes approximately 400 cacao beans to produce one pound of chocolate, which means around 10 cacao pods to make one pound of chocolate. Here’s a great article on more differences between cacao and cocoa along with some beautiful photos of the cacao pods and beans.
Because of the way the pods grow on the trees, cacao pods must be hand-harvested. That has lead to much child-labor around the globe. So please be sure any cacao/cocoa products you purchase are certified fair-trade, which ensures no child labor.
During the chocolate making process cacao beans are harvested, fermented, sun-dried and then roasted. Each cacao bean has a thin, papery husk covering it, similar to a peanut husk. Once the roasting process is complete, the cacao husks are removed from the cacao beans in a process known as “winnowing”. This separates the cacao husks from the cacao nibs, which are used to make chocolate. It’s these cacao husks that are turned into cacao tea.
Health Benefits of Cacao Tea
Cacao tea has a natural sweetness, a heavenly chocolate taste and aroma, and a delicate stimulating effect, making it the perfect healthy alternative to coffee. It is high in antioxidants and is completely sugar-free, caffeine-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. Although cocoa and chocolate contain caffeine the cacao husks that make cacao tea are naturally caffeine-free.
Studies have shown that cacao is packed with health benefits. In fact, cacao is naturally rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and the phytonutrient theobromine. Theobromine provides a gentle energy boost while relaxing the body, decreasing blood pressure, improving brain function, and supporting healthy digestion, circulation and respiration. Cacao is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper and zinc. If you find yourself craving chocolate, it could be a sign that you’re low in magnesium.
I first discovered cacao tea in Mexico several years ago. Since I’ve never acquired a taste for drinking coffee, but I am a chocolate lover, I love drinking cacao tea. It has a delicious chocolatey flavor but with zero calories. And while you can use a tea ball for the husks, I actually like eating them from the bottom of my tea mug, so I put them into my mug lose!
As a wellness influencer/blogger, I’m often sent products to try out and rarely do I find any that meet my discerning standards. However, recently I was sent a bag of organic cacao tea from the Cacao Tea Co., and I’ve gotta say, I LOVE it!
Not only do I love their organic cacao tea, but I also love they they are a very sustainable, ethical company. That goes a long way in my book. They actually donate 15% of their profits to help provide healthy meals to malnourished families in impoverished communities in developing countries. As a result, your purchase of their cacao tea helps to create a significant positive impact in some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.
How to Make Cacao Tea “Hot Cocoa”
Try cacao tea as you would any other herbal tea. Or you can make “hot cocoa” with your cacao tea by adding in some coconut milk, a teaspoon of honey, and a dash of cinnamon. YUMM! You can also add cacao tea to smoothies, or salads for a delicious cocoa flavor.
As you know, I always personally vet anything I recommend, and I’m happy to say that Cacao Tea Co’s cacao tea is fantastic! I don’t make any commission off of this product. I just want to share it with you because I think it’s a great one, and I enjoy drinking it myself! They’ve even offered my readers a special discount to try their tea through Dec. 4th, 2019. Use discount code HAPPYWELLLIFESTYLE15 when you check out. Enjoy their good cacao karma and save 15% today!
Please leave a comment to let us know how you like the cacao tea if you try it, and share this article with your chocolate-loving friends and family too.