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Ceremonial Cocoa

We make ours Artisanal rustic Cacao Paste using Specialty Cacaos from Single-Estates & Cooperatives of El Salvador, Guatemala & Costa Rica

Stone ground

 

Cocoa Paste Cocoa Mass 100% Online Cacao Ceremony

"An incredible whole food with an intense, chocolatey, fruity aroma and taste"

Sustainable Cocoa Sustainable Cocoa

· Organically, ethically and sustainably grown cocoas, made in micro-batches and packed in a full Recyclable Paper Packaging · 

How do we do it?

  • Our Cacao Paste has been made with slow meticulous artisanal methods and extra care and love.
  • Our Ceremonial Cocoa is rustic and minimally processed.  First, we start with the hand sorting of the raw cocoa beans, then we set a gently roasting profile for each cocoa origin, and after these two important steps, we proceed with the "cracking" and "winnowing" of the same cocoa beans, until they become "cacao nibs" (beans without the husk). At this stage, we pour the nibs inside our small stone mill, which transform them into a rustic cocoa pastes. Nothing added, nothing removed.
  • Our "ceremonial" cocoa drink is inspired by traditional Mesoamerica's beverages; choosing sustainable and traceable rare cocoas from Central America, with no added sugar or aromas. 
  • We work directly with specialty cacao beans from our Family farm, Finca Cuyancùa, located in 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 salvadorans cocoas, and from a trusted 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 20 g to 25 g of cocoa.

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.

 

Mesoamerica and cocoa history

Our Cacao is the product of a collaboration of intentions

We only work with farmers who grow the cocoa with profound respect for the cocoa trees and the ecosystem. We ensure to give you the best cocoa experience we could.
We craft the beans ourselves into Ceremonial Cacao with passion, using artisanal methods and feeling love for our craft as we prepare the product. We sing and listen music with high vibration during the preparation and we pray and show gratitude for what we have and what we are doing with our cacao project. We invite you to prepare and savor this rich, healthy and nourishing drink as part of your own daily mindfulness practice, or with others.
 

Why is Cacao called 'Ceremonial'? 

We honestly think that the word "Ceremonial" its a nice form to differentiate this "rustic pure cacao paste and traditional Mesoamerican beverage", from the iIndustrial cocoa mass, cocoa powder or commercial hot chocolate preparations we usually find in supermarkets and pastry shops. Ceremonial Cacao should be made in small scale and with traceable, ethical sustainable cacaos, in order to keep all the nutrients of the cacao itself and to preserve its natural aromas, which are usually lost during high processed industrial processes.

Cacao in its purest form has been re-discovered as a "medicinal plant", a real "super food" rich in minerals, fibers, vitamins, antioxidants and neurotransmitters.

Native civilizations, along all Mesoamerica, considered cacao sacred, and have known pretty well the multiple benefits and properties it has, but many traditions and cultures were sadly lost during the Spanish invasion and the subsequent colonial period.

The interesting part with the ceremonial cacao movement, is that people are discovering this incredible plant and natural drink again, which is very different from commercial treats, appreciating also the bitterness and natural new flavors and textures.

Mesoamerica is a historically and culturally defined geographic area comprising current central and south mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, and border regions of Honduras, western Nicaragua, and northwestern Costa Rica. In this region, for millennia, cocoa was considered sacred and divine. It was consumed as a natural remedy mostly mixed with water and corn, but also was used as a currency. The last Aztec Emperor, Moctezuma II, used to drink 50 cups of cocoa a day. 

The entire Yucatán Peninsula together with the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas, the rest of Guatemala and Belize, as well as the border regions of Honduras and El Salvador, were the home to the Maya civilization, one of the most advanced and highly developed societies in ancient Mesoamerica.

 

mesoamerica map

1. * Mesoamerica map, Source: UNAM, Mexico 

2.* History of Mesoamerican Civilisations  

For more in-depth historical information,
go to this link

 

Cocoa and the "bliss" molecule 

Mood enhancing substances in cocoa 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?

For more than a decade holistic and spiritual practitioners have been re-discovering the use of cocoa and although modern "cacao ceremonies or circles" vary greatly in their focus, at the heart of these is the consumption of cocoa in its purest form. Some says cacao increases creativity and helps to lower tension and stress.

Nowadays modern "Cacao circles or ceremonies" are rooted in helping to "rebalance" the energies within us and restore good health and harmony. 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 experience.

In our humble opinion, you don't have to be a Mayan or Mexica descendant in order to guide your own individual or public ritual; you can honor the plant and it's sacredness, but please, make sure to avoid any form of cultural appropriation of the ancient Mayas, Aztecs, among others 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.

Also, 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 in special occasions and in fact, in ceremonies. A ceremony could also have been a corn or harvest ceremony, a funeral, and engagement, 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 intentions is to bring to you new cocoa experiences, flavors, strains, terroirs for a more conscious and pure use of it.

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.  

 
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How we make it

We believe in the charm of cacao ritual and its ancient role in Mesoamerican culture. For this we have created a cocoa paste with a raw texture that we obtain by stone-squeezing the cocoa beans, which can make you discover a new face of this functional food.
 
We work directly with the cocoa from our plantation (Cuyancùa, El Salvador) and from other farms and cooperatives located in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, guaranteeing uniqueness, quality and traceability.
 

What motivated us to promote cocoa as a Ceremonial Holistic and why is it named in this way?

 
In Central America, cocoa is not consumed as in Europe. Being an Italian-Salvadoran supply chain, we also wanted to promote this aspect of cocoa.
With this product we want to spread the culinary and cultural traditions of the Central American region, bring to light the millenary traditions around this sacred plant, to bring it back to the attention of people who are looking for unrefined, wholemeal, artisanal, simple and traceable products that are not exactly "fine" products or highly processed chocolates.
 
It is a "new wave" of awareness of what cocoa is in its purest state. The concept of "Ceremonial Cacao" is still being defined, being a lively movement, which is rediscovering this plant not only for its infinite tastes and flavors, but also for its enormous properties.
 
So: cocoa is not about "European-style hot chocolate", often composed of cocoa powder, sugar, flavorings and thickeners, but "pure cocoa mass", which alone communicates and expresses all its power and uniqueness: including the its natural acidity.
 
For millennia, in what are now the countries of Central America, pure cocoa was used as a natural medicine, and was extremely present in all religious functions and on special occasions such as military, congregational ceremonies, etc. Cocoa arrived in Europe in 1500, and it was in Spain that they began to mix it with sugar, from there it began its use in pastry, and everything we know today about chocolate we owe to years of European history and research.
For more than a decade, holistic movements of people who practice holistic and spiritual disciplines have been discovering the medicinal use of cocoa and re-evaluating its pure essence, without treatments and enhancing its Mesoamerican origins and culture. 
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According to historians, ground cocoa was used during religious ceremonies by the Mesoamerican civilizations, i.e. by the Olmecs, Mayas, Lencas, and a few centuries later by the Aztecs, who took care of selecting the cocoa beans to make nutritious drinks of thick cocoa, or almost always, combined with "sacred" corn. Corn was the gold of the Mesoamerican peoples, and its use was so widespread that cocoa and corn turned out to be an excellent combination: a real meal. 
 
The ancients Maya reserved its consumption only for certain classes of the population: religious leaders, nobles and warriors. In those times the Mayan population consumed a drink prepared with hot water, "molido" cocoa, corn, vanilla, chilli and honey. The enormous medicinal qualities of cocoa were already known to these populations, and a cocoa drink made the warriors pass hunger and fatigue. 
Elisa Vaicacao Ceremonial Cacao Ceremony
 

Bliss chemicals (anandamide, dopamine, serotonin) - Possible answers to the fact that cocoa has positive effects on our mental and physical health. 

Cocoa is a food that contains the "bliss" molecule known as Anandamide, an endocannabinoid. It also contains other important neurotransmitters such as: dopamine, phenithelamine, serotonin and tryptophan, which are used by our brain to regulate our emotions. Tryptophan is mainly contained in meat and fish, and there are few vegetables that contain it (cocoa, mushrooms ..).  
The latter is used to synthesize serotonin in our body, which is then converted into melatonin as it regulates the wake-sleep rhythm.
Consuming it in its pure state can be an excellent solution to coffee in the morning or be an integral part of our daily diet.
 

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