You may have perfected your tea-making procedure, but do you know how to brew cacao?
It’s very similar, but we’d like to share a few tips and tricks that may help you make the most of your cup!
Don’t forget, your favourite method might vary a little from our recommendation. Start out with our suggestions but experiment to find what works for you—try using a little more or less cacao, steeping for more or less time, or using different water temperatures.
Use a heaping tablespoon of cacao for one cup (6-8oz) and steep in boiling water for 6-10 minutes using your favourite teapot or steeping device. Yes, that’s a lot more—for both amount and time—than for traditional Camellia sinensis tea. But trust us; your patience will be rewarded with a rich chocolatey cup of heaven!
For an even easier preparation method, try putting the same amount—1T per cup (6-8oz)—in a French press and steeping for 10 minutes. Plunge, pour, and enjoy.
If you happen to make more than one cup of cacao at a time, be sure to stir up the brew between cups. A lot of the tasty stuff in brewed cacao settles to the bottom and needs to be stirred up before pouring again!
Pour-over coffee is having its day—it’s a great way to control the time and temperature you steep. Cacao doesn’t need quite the same lavish treatment, as it actually benefits from a longer steeping time, but there’s nothing quite like pour-over for getting the essence of the brew out.
To make pour-over cacao, you’ll first want to grind the cacao in a standard coffee grinder or food processor. You don’t want to create a fine powder, but you want to aim for a texture somewhere in between coffee grounds and sugar grains.
Put 2T of that ground cacao into a paper filter in your pour-over device of choice (Chemex, Melitta, etc.). Pour over water just off the boil, let filter, and enjoy.
If cold-brewed coffee is good, cold-brewed cacao is great! It takes a little time, but it’s as easy as can be. Just put half a cup of cacao into a bowl, French press pot, or other holding vessel. Pour 1 liter of cold water over top, making sure to completely soak the cacao. Cover and let sit for 24 hours. Uncover and strain, filtering the delicious elixir into a bottle—or straight into your cup.
This is a particularly great brew to drink in summer; pop the bottle into the fridge after you strain and enjoy chilled, either plain or with a splash of milk (we love almond and cashew milk for this).
Don’t toss the spent cacao! It makes a great organic garden fertilizer.