Do you know that for dozens of centuries that preceded the creation of the chocolate bar, cacao and chocolate were consumed as a drink made from cacao beans ground to a paste and mixed with water? Drinking cacao based on cacao paste can be made in a myriad of ways. Let me share the one that I like and use the most 🙂
You will need:
- cacao paste, e.g. Keith’s Cacao
- water or your favourite plant-based drink
- you may add something for flavour — see below
Kitchen scale or tablespoon to measure portions; kettle to boil water; chopping board and knife to grind cacao; bowl, pot and blender or whisk to combine ingredients (a cup blender, shaker or jar will also work).
How to prepare cacao beverage from the cacao paste (1 serving for an adult person)
- Use a kitchen scale to measure a cacao dose appropriate for you, e.g. 15–30 g (1 heaped spoon is about 10 g).
- Crush the cacao — with a knife on a chopping board, a grater, a blender.
- Boil water (1/2 to 1 cup depending on the texture you like — less water results in more dense chocolate, more water will give you a thinner beverage). Wait for a while until the water temperature is around 40–80°C. Do not use boiling water, and do not boil cacao.
- Stir cacao in water until dissolved (use a whisk, blender, or shaker). If you give your cacao some thorough mixing with a blender, your beverage will have a uniform texture and rainbow foam 😉
If you feel like experimenting, go for natural ingredients, i.e. plan-based drinks (oat, rice, coconut, almond), coconut water, natural sweeteners such as honey, date, maple or agave syrup, spices such as chili, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, a pinch of salt. It is not recommended to combine cacao with cow’s milk.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Keith’s Cacao
If you drink ceremonial cacao for the first time or you want to feel its full effect, try making yourself a private cacao ceremony:
- take care of adequate space (no distractions, so that you can focus on the experience for at least 1 hour)
- try not to eat for at least 2 hrs. before cacao drinking
- give yourself some time 🙂
Let me invite you to a meeting over a cacao cup if you want more tips on how to organize your cacao practice.
Start with 15–20 g and don’t exceed 42 g of cacao per serving. Pay attention to the effects it has on you and take the time to find the right amount. Over time, as you feel how it affects you, you may need less to feel the effect. Listen to what your body tells you.
These post-cacao-consuming sensations last for several hours, depending on the consumed amount. A large dose of cacao (30 g +) can work up to six hours.
You should also adjust the amount to your body size 🙂 e.g. children need less cacao than a fully grown adult. Smaller doses of 5-10g are good for daily consumption, also for children. It helps us to calm down and concentrate. Larger doses of up to 30-35g provide great support for our daily tasks, creative work and practice. A dose of 42 is a so-called ceremonial dose – you will feel this amount of cacao working for several hours and it is best consumed during a cacao ceremony.
Cacao paste can be consumed as a drink. It is also suitable for consumption without preparation and can be used in shakes, cocktails, or simply as a snack. You can have cacao daily in an individually selected dose (no more than 30–40 g at a time) or occasionally in a ceremonial dose.
- Make sure you have no health contraindications for consuming 100% cacao paste: High-dose cacao is not recommended for people with heart and circulatory system problems, kidney problems (stones), taking psychotropic drugs and high-dose antidepressants, as well as for people allergic to cacao.
- Cacao will slightly raise your heart rate. If increasing your heart rate may cause a health problem, drink smaller portions or consult your doctor about the dose.
- Too large cacao dose at once can cause nausea and headache. Do not use more than 42 g of cacao for one beverage, and drink plenty of water after consuming it.
- Do not mix cacao with alcohol or other consciousness-altering substances.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women: it is recommended to use smaller amounts of cacao depending on individual needs and well-being. You should watch how your body reacts and select a particular dose. Usually, up to 25-30 g in the first two trimesters and 15-20 g in the last trimester work well.
- If you breastfeed, start with 15–20 g and see how your baby reacts to it.
- Children: Use smaller doses depending on the child’s weight (5–10 g). Try giving your children cacao tailored to their taste preferences, e.g. a warm plant-based beverage and a natural sweetener.
- Animals: Theobromine in cacao is highly poisonous to pets (dogs, cats, parrots and horses). Keep cacao out of their reach
For more answers to frequently asked questions about cacao paste, see the post Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Keith’s Cacao.
Cacao pastes made in different parts of the world have different flavors and characteristics :). I recommend starting with those having subtle and chocolate-rich flavor e.g. from Guatemala, Peru, Colombia or Venezuela.
Cheers – Let’s drink to your good health 🙂