In the world of beverage exploration, one intriguing and health-conscious option gaining popularity is cacao tea. Derived from the same source as chocolate, cacao tea offers a unique and delightful alternative beyond mere indulgence.
As an ancient beverage with roots tracing back to Mesoamerican civilizations, cacao tea has made a modern comeback, captivating the taste buds of those seeking a flavorful and health-enhancing hot drink.
Delve into the benefits of cacao tea, unveiling its nutritional treasures and shedding light on how this unsung hero can contribute to overall well-being. From its antioxidant-rich nature to its potential mood-boosting properties, it emerges as a comforting brew and a wellness elixir.
The Origins of Cacao Tea
Cacao tea, or chocolate tea, is a light and refreshing hot drink made from cacao beans. Unlike its similars like breakfast, mint, or green tea, this one isn’t made with leaves but with roasted cacao bean shells instead.
Cacao tea resembles coffee and can also be steeped in hot water. Also, it can be prepared as French press coffee, sharing a similar grind and brewing time. Since it’s caffeine-free, it makes a fantastic alternative to coffee or black tea, especially for those who don’t drink such beverages.
How Does it Taste?
Without being a huge surprise, cacao tea undoubtedly tastes like cacao. Its naturally sweet scent makes it a delicate toffee with caramel mix, being great for any time of the day. One of its benefits is that you can also find the characteristic flavor without the fat and sugar in traditional chocolate.
Cacao, on its own, is also an alternative to chocolate and black coffee but also has a similar texture. Adding a bit of milk or sugar to sweeten it might be ideal for those looking for something thicker or richer.
What Are the Health Benefits?
Besides being a suitable replacement for other drinks, cacao tea has many benefits, making it a great drink. Its organic, gluten-free, and vegan characteristics make it a perfect option for many consumers who want something healthy.
Provides More Antioxidants
The human body is always balancing free radicals and antioxidants. When there are many free radicals and not many antioxidants, you can reach a state of oxidative stress. Cells get damaged by this issue, and it speeds up the aging process.
One of the benefits of cacao tea is that it can provide those needed antioxidants, keeping the cells and skin healthy. Daily consumption helps the body reach this needed balance, boosts the body’s immune system, and prevents damage.
Has No Calories
Since this tea only contains cocoa bean husks and nothing else, there are no extra calories. Having zero calories means it can be drunk at any point in the day: with meals, breakfast, or simply before bed. This way, you get all the benefits of cacao without the sugars many other drinks contain.
Besides that, the theobromine it contains also helps boost metabolism, promoting a steady weight loss without caffeine’s downsides.
Boosts Mood and Energy
Caffeine is known for giving an energy boost, but its side effects are very well-known: anxiety, migraines, and headaches. Also, it can become an unhealthy addiction for many people, which, if taken away, might make people experience symptoms of withdrawal.
Organic cacao tea, on the other hand, is entirely safe and healthy; it doesn’t contain caffeine. It has theobromine instead, a natural, gentler alkaloid that provides energy and a mood-lifting sensation to the drinker.
This tea also primes the brain to release endorphins such as serotonin, dopamine, anandamide, and phenylethylamine.
Provides Vitamins and Minerals
Cacao tea is a powerful magnesium source, essential for heart health, and aids muscle and nerve functions. Iron and zinc can also be found in it, which makes it a healthy fat and thermogenic. The number of vitamins C and E it includes makes it perfect for fiber diets.
These are some of the most well-known benefits each vitamin and mineral has when drinking a cup of cacao tea:
- Magnesium: besides the heart, muscle, and nerve aid, it helps with bone health and can decrease the risks of Type 2 diabetes. It provides benefits to reduce migraine and lower blood pressure, depression, and anxiety.
- Iron and zinc: it helps the body to properly function for hemoglobin, energy, and focus. Zinc also helps with the immune system and muscular degeneration and activates T-cells.
- Vitamin C: It dramatically helps the immune system, lowers blood pressure and risks of heart disease, and aids with memory.
- Vitamin E: This powerful antioxidant prevents cell damage, moisturizes skin, promotes wound healing and nail healing, and prevents the creation of wrinkles and fine lines.
All of these healthy benefits included in the vitamins and minerals make cacao tea a perfect drink for the body’s overall well-being.
Best Cacao Tea from the Caribbean
Our stores from Caribbean Trading have the best products for those looking to acquire some of the best cacao tea made in the Caribbean region.
Our caffeine-free blend tea is made up of rich organic cacao shells. Still, since chocolate and cacao contain minor stimulants like theobromine, the product must be labeled as caffeinated by the FDA. A couple of size packs are available: the large one (including 12 tea bags) and the small one (5 tea bags).
How to Prepare the Best Cacao Tea
Preparing a mug of cacao tea isn’t a complicated process. It can be done in only a few steps, and getting the most flavorful option possible.
The first step is to boil a kettle and get the roasted brewing cacao. Remember that the quantity is personal, so adjust as you see fit. The most common recipes include two tablespoons per cup of hot water as a starting point.
Pop the cacao into the brewing device (cafeteria, filter, teapot) and pour hot water over it. After that, stir gently to avoid any clumping; then leave to steep. As it brews, it will start gaining its characteristic chocolate aroma.
Most tea lovers agree that 4 or 5 minutes is the best brewing time for cacao. If more than five minutes pass, it’s more likely that the strong scent gets an unpleasant odor. Balancing it with a sprinkle of sugar or milk can help when such a thing happens.
Tea Strainers vs French Press
A ubiquitous question often appears when preparing cacao: there’s a massive debate about whether it is better to prepare it with filters or the French press. Both are great, as they can separate ground cacao from tea.
Separating them is a vital process. Once the grounds imparted their flavor on the water, you might want to remove them for a smoother experience. They can be enjoyed as deliciously aromatic body scrubs, like cacao husks, if you want to keep them.
Is Filtered Water Good?
It’s essential to address that tap water often contains impurities and unwanted flavors that can significantly impact the quality of tea. For those living around hard water zones, it’s more likely that you will find limescale around the inside of a kettle. Filtered water can remove these impurities and get a good drink.
Cacao tea emerges as a delightful and health-promoting beverage, offering many benefits beyond its rich and indulgent flavor. Its high antioxidant content, particularly flavonoids, showcases its potential in promoting cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, and lowering blood pressure.
Furthermore, theobromine, a natural stimulant found in cacao, provides a gentle energy boost without the jittery effects associated with caffeine. This makes cacao tea an excellent alternative for those seeking a milder yet revitalizing beverage.
Its versatility in preparation and the ability to be enjoyed both hot and cold make it a great and satisfying choice for individuals looking to diversify their tea options.
Beyond its physiological features, the benefits of cacao tea also hold the power to elevate mood and enhance mental well-being. It can contribute to the release of endorphins, fostering feelings of pleasure and contentment.