We make ours Artisanal rustic Cacao Paste using Specialty Cacaos from Single-Estates & Cooperatives of El Salvador, Guatemala & Costa Rica
"An incredible whole food with an intense, chocolatey, fruity aroma and taste"
· 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.
Our Cacao is the product of a collaboration of intentions
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.
1. * Mesoamerica map, Source: UNAM, Mexico
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.