So you’ve tried it all—you’ve had supermarket teas and premium first-flush offerings from exclusive estates. You can tell the difference between tie guan yin varietals by smell alone. But have you ever brewed…cacao?
Tea Noir is proud to offer a full lineup of brewing cacao for your drinking pleasure. If you like dark chocolate, you’re going to love what we have in store for you.
Cacao is, literally, the food of the gods—the scientific name for the cacao tree, Theobroma, is derived from the Greek “food of the gods.”
Theobroma cacao is the plant that produces the magical treat we call chocolate. The chocolate-making process is fairly complicated, but it all starts with a simple pod from the cacao tree. The fruit pulp on the exterior is peeled away, revealing the seeds within—the cacao beans. These beans are fermented, roasted, cracked, winnowed, ground, blended, and ultimately become that chocolate bar hiding in your desk.
But for more than 4,000 years, the natives of Mesoamerica enjoyed cacao in a very different way—brewed as a rich, aromatic drink with a hint of bitterness. The cacao bean was so important to Maya and Aztec societies that it was used as money! Of course, it also had a few advantages over modern cash in that you could drink it, too! Brewed cacao gave Maya and Aztec nobles quite the buzz with its potent mix of caffeine and theobromine, two related stimulants, and we’re sure they dug the complex flavour, too.
Today, Tea Noir offers a line of cacao “teas” (they’re really tisanes, but who’s counting?) made from part of the cacao bean. Roasted and carefully separated from the interior nibs that become chocolate, our cacao tea offers all the intense flavour of a bar of great 72% chocolate—with none of the sugars, fats, or calories!
That’s right, a cup of pure brewed cacao is calorie-free, fat-free, guilt-free!
Read on for more benefits and info.
Quit worrying about the latest food trend—cacao is a superfood with a millenia-long track record! That’s because brewed cacao contains a host of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Cacao tea is rich in potassium, magnesium, vitamin D, iron, zinc, and substances like phenolic phytochemicals and flavonoids that have been proven to support heart and brain health. In fact, cacao has higher concentrations of antioxidants than other well-known sources like green tea and red wine!
The theobromine in cacao not only helps perk you up, but studies also show it increases serotonin production, giving you a long-lasting mood boost. Other studies indicate that theobromine can help prevent coughs, soothe asthma, and lower blood pressure. For some people, theobromine can help alleviate headaches, since it’s known to dilate blood vessels.
For more on all the many health benefits of cacao, check out this great website.
So what does brewed cacao taste like? Well, it smells like amazingly rich chocolate. But once you sip, you’ll know it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. This is not thick, creamy hot chocolate, sweet hot cocoa, or any other chocolate drink you’ve ever tried (unless you happen to be an ancient Mayan….). Brewed cacao has a mouthfeel much like tea; a dark, robust taste with a hint of sweetness; and a slightly bitter finish—like 72% chocolate with a little extra edge to it.
Don’t dig the super-bold routine? Try adding a hint of sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, monkfruit, and stevia all work well) or a touch of cream, milk, or nut milk.
Some sources say that brewed cacao is caffeine-free. We don’t want to start any arguments, but there is a bit of caffeine in the part of the cacao bean that we use to brew with—up to the amount in a cup of coffee. More importantly, though, brewed cacao is very high in theobromine, a stimulant chemical compound called a xanthine that’s closely related to caffeine. Theobromine is only found in cacao products, like cacao tea and chocolate.
It’s commonly considered a milder stimulant than caffeine, but it remains in your system longer and therefore perks you up for longer.
Theobromine can help wake you up, improve your mood (due to its serotonin-stimulating properties), reduce your blood pressure, and soothe a cough or asthma.
As with any stimulant, theobromine and caffeine affect everyone differently. Try having a cup of brewed cacao in the morning instead of your usual coffee or tea and see how it affects you, then adjust from there! Some people love brewed cacao as a treat after dinner, while others find they can’t drink it after 4pm.
Regardless of when you finish the last drop, we’re sure you’re going to be craving your next cup of chocolatey goodness!
How to Brew
How to Brew
It’s simple! Just steep one heaping tablespoon of Tea Noir Cacao per cup, brewing for 6-10 minutes. Stir and enjoy!
For more on how to brew cacao, check out our handy guide.
Tea Noir Cacao is all-natural and comes from fair trade, organic sources; in fact, our cacao comes from many of the same sources as the best single-origin artisan chocolate in the world.
Right now, we don’t offer single-origin cacao, because we haven’t found one that meets our exacting taste requirements. Instead, we blend our cacao specifically to create a great drink.