MESOAMERICAN COCOA BEVERAGE
We make ours Artisanal Cacao Paste using Specialty Cacaos from Single-Estates & Cooperatives of El Salvador, Guatemala & Costa Rica
"An incredible wholefood with an intense, chocolatey, fruity aroma and taste"
- Organically, ethically and sustainably grown, made in micro-batches -
Packed in a full Recyclable Paper Packaging
How do we do it?
Ours is a minimally processed cacao paste that we make by hand sorting the cacao beans first, checking that everything it's ok, then, we set a gently roasting. After this crucial step, we do the "cracking" and "winnowing" of the beans, until they become "cacao nibs". At this stage, we pour the nibs inside our stone mill, which transform them into a rough cacao paste.
Our Cacao preparation is inspired by ancient Mesoamerica's beverages; choosing sustainable and traceable premium cacaos from Central America (ancient Mesoamerica), with no added sugar or aromas.
We work directly with specialty cacao beans from our farm Cuyancùa, El Salvador, and from other farms of El Salvador such as Finca S.Fernando (Atehuan), the carrera (Lenca), Parras Lempa (Tlaloc), and cooperatives across Central America such as Fedecovera - Guatemala (Q'eqchi'), Nahua in Costa Rica (nahua).
Each of our cocoa's has its own specific flavor profile, ranging from earthy to spicy, fruity to floral.
We are vertically integrated and buy cocoa directly at the farms in the case of Salvadoran cocoas, and from a selected partner in the case of those cocoas from Guatemala and Costa Rica.
How to prepare the perfect Cocoa Cup?
Once chopped finely, the paste is easy to dissolve in hot water or vegetable "milk", and you can whisk it by hand into a frothy drink or use a blender. You can add from 15 g to 25 g of cacao.
When chopping the cocoa, you will see the white spots of cocoa butter, which naturally make up around half of the bean's paste, and create the creamy rich texture of the drink.
Traditionally the drink was prepared with mesoamerica's spices and corn mostly, but you can add any botanicals you want, like ashwagandha, lucuma, maca, ginseng, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cardamom, natural vanilla or any other spice or herb you like. You can drink it bitter, but some also like to sweeten the drink with honey, dates and also consider to use dried prunes.
Why is Cacao called 'Ceremonial'?
For millennia, in Mesoamerica, what are now the countries of Central America and Southern Mexico, pure cacao paste was used as a natural remedy, and played an integral part in all religious rituals and ceremonies. Cacao beans were, in some civilisations, used also as currency.
Nowadays, for more than a decade, holistic and spiritual practitioners have been re-discovering the use of cacao and although modern "cacao ceremonies or circles" vary greatly in their focus, at the heart of these is the consumption of cacao in its purest form . Some says cacao increases creativity and helps to lower tension and stress.
This is why our organic, minimally-processed and ethically grown cacao is labelled "Ceremonial", meaning that it's form is similar to the traditional mesoamerican "Xocolatl" (nahuatl) or "Kakaw" (Mayan) beverage. We could have also call it just "rustic cacao paste", but wasn't rescuing the full story of it, since we also want to help in the "re-descovering" of ancient mesoamericas drinks, and we really wanted to join the "cacao" movement for meditative purposes and healthy habits, a valid alternative to commercial and low quality powdered cacaos.
Cocoa and the "bliss" molecule
Mood enhancing substances in cacao make it particularly suitable for personal creativity and inner work from an holistic perspective. It could also be a change in our life-style. Whole cocoa contain the "bliss" molecule known as Anandamide, an endocannabinoid. It also contains other pleasure-related neurotransmitters such as dopamines, serotonin and phenylethylamine (PEA), along with the gentle stimulant Theobromin. When we put natural cacao in our body, it makes us feel like we are falling in love; relaxed, mindful, euphoric, nourished and energized.
What is a Cacao Ritual / Gathering / Circle?
Nowadays modern "Cacao circles or ceremonies" are rooted in helping to "rebalance" the energies within us and restore good health and harmony. They call on the Mesoamerican traditions and use the botanical qualities of the cocoa to strengthen connection to the self, to others and to the natural world. Through the "opening of the heart", cacao can help us work through past blocks and traumas and address repressed negative energy. Most of the cocoa circles combine aspects of personal growth and mindfulness with other traditions and practices, including meditation, prayer, breath work, yoga, song, music and dance, and so on. You can find offers online, or you can design your own personal cacao experience.
In our humble opinion, you don't have to be a mayan or aztec descendant in order to guide your own individual or public ritual; you can honour the plant and it's sacredness if you want, but please, make sure to avoid any form of cultural appropriation of the ancient Mayas, Aztecs, and their modern descendants indigenous groups of Central America, by appropriating their words, symbols, altars, beliefs, and culture heritage in general just for a business purpose. Theres no need to do that. There is no evidence of specific cacao ceremonies as they are intended now, but what historians and evidence says, cacao was the drink that Mesoamericans used to have on special occasions and in fact, in ceremonies. A ceremony could have been also a corn or harvest ceremony, a funeral, and engagement, a reward for a battle, etc. What we are seeing these days are a complete new thing and everybody has its own perspective of making it special.
"Can I use Ceremonial Cacao, without the 'Ceremony'?
Absolutely! Our Cacao is increasingly used by individuals as part of a healthy an conscious diet, integrated into their daily routine (often in place of coffee) and to support their own personal practices. It can be enjoyed as a warm beverage, or added to smoothies, muesli or other delicious treats.
The "medicinal" and mood-enhancing effects of natural cacao are proven and more and more people consume cacao for their well-being; to aid concentration, calm the nervous-system and boost their energy and creativity.