What is Cacao?
Cacao is a tropical tree, native to Central and South America, which is best known for the beans that it produces. These beans are the source of cocoa and chocolate and have been used for centuries by the indigenous people of the region. The tree produces fruit in the form of pods, which contain around 30-50 seeds each. These seeds are the source of cacao and are either dried and roasted or processed into cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and other products. Cacao is an incredibly versatile ingredient and is used in a wide range of products, from sweet treats to savory dishes. It is not only delicious but also provides a range of health benefits, including improved cognitive function and a boost to the immune system.
Different types of Cacao
Cacao comes in three main varieties: criollo, forastero, and trinitario.
Criollo is the rarest and most expensive type of cacao. It is notable for its sweet and complex flavor, as well as its thin shell. It is grown mainly in Mexico, Central America, and Venezuela.
Forastero is the most commonly produced variety of cacao, making up over 80% of the world’s production. It has a slightly bitter flavor, and its shell is thicker than that of criollo beans. It is usually grown in West Africa and Central and South America.
Trinitario is a hybrid of criollo and forastero beans. It has a complex flavor profile, with notes of sweet and bitter, and a thick shell. It is usually grown in the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia.
How is Ceremonial Cacao Prepared?
The preparation of cacao for these ceremonies is a sacred process that involves treating the substance with respect and reverence. Before the ceremony, the cacao beans are carefully roasted over a fire and ground into a fine powder. This powder is then mixed with hot water, along with other ingredients such as spices, honey, or vanilla. The mixture is stirred until it becomes a thick, creamy paste. During the ceremony, this paste is consumed as a way to honor the spirit of the cacao and connect with the divine. The effects of consuming cacao in this way can be powerful and transformative, and it is an important and cherished part of many spiritual practices and ceremonies.
For our Cacao Ceremonies, we use organic Trinitario paste blended with organic coconut water. This is slowly heated and stirred continuously until the cacao melts. We blend all organic coconut sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, maca root powder, and a touch of cayenne. The Ceremonial Cacao drink is slightly bitter with a little heat on the tongue as an aftertaste.
What are the benefits of consuming Ceremonial Cacao??
Consuming ceremonial cacao can help to improve physical and mental well-being, as it contains high levels of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, improve mood, and promote relaxation. On a spiritual level, ceremonial cacao can help to open the heart, allowing us to connect more deeply with our emotions and intuition. It can also help to open the mind, aiding in meditation and self-reflection. In addition, ceremonial cacao can help to connect us with the Divine and open us up to spiritual insights and revelations.
Cacao is a natural antidepressant and is contraindicated with SSRI-based antidepressants, which are ‘selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors’ making our cells more able to receive serotonin. We do not recommend cacao if you are taking these types of medications. Many people have been in this situation and have taken a smaller serving with no ill effects so the choice is yours. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should stick with a lower dose