I’m a devoted fan of hot beverages, and I’ve got a tea chest to prove it. Loose-leaf and bagged, black and green and herbal… it’s all there. What I had never tried until a few months ago, however, was cacao tea. Record scratch.
I’ve had so-called “chocolate teas” in the past, but they invariably left me disappointed. Generally speaking, I like rich, bold, dark chocolate, which is almost impossible to taste in a tea. Instead, most chocolate-based tea blends have a stronger chocolate aroma than actual flavor, leaving me disappointed and wondering why I didn’t just make hot cocoa instead.
So when the kind folks at Cacao Tea Co. reached out to me a few months back and asked whether I’d like to try some of their thoughtfully crafted cacao husk tea, it didn’t take more than a few minutes of browsing their website before I responded with an enthusiastic, “Yes, please!” After a phone call with Jessica — the company’s founder — I was even more excited to try it. Here’s why.
- It’s naturally caffeine-, gluten-, and sugar-free. Although I love (love) coffee and the comforting ritual of drinking it, it doesn’t exactly love me. I’m sensitive to caffeine and quickly get addicted, which is not a state in which I want to remain! I also can’t drink anything caffeinated in the evening without suffering the (sleepless) consequences. Cacao tea is a great alternative.
- It’s ethically sourced. Y’all know I had to ask Jessica about this, and she assured me that her company takes care to source their cacao from suppliers who pay farmers more than a living wage.
- The company donates 15% of its profits to charity. Specifically, to charities that provide meals to families in underserved communities in developing countries.
So, what is cacao tea?
It’s simply the husks left over after cocoa beans are harvested and the nibs are removed. You can brew the husks to make a chocolate-y, tea-like beverage.
How do you make cacao tea?
However you want! I tried it three ways: steeped in a tea strainer, brewed in a French press, and boiled on the stove for 5-7 minutes. The latter is my favorite method because it creates a nicely concentrated and rich drink, but the French press method is my go-to when I make it at work.
What does cacao tea taste like?
Like chocolate! OK, maybe not like hot cocoa, but like a rich and pure form of chocolate. Not bitter, but deep and nuanced. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the flavor! It was much better than those tepid “chocolate teas” that have disappointed me time after time.
When I spoke with Jessica, she called Cacao Tea Co. her passion project, and her love for the product was obvious. I’m so glad she reached out to me, and I’m glad I’ve added a new, caffeine-free hot drink to my repertoire. Up next? Experimenting with it! You can use a concentrated version of the tea in baked goods, which is obviously quite appealing to me. I’ve got a few other ideas I’d like to try, too… a cacao-oat milk latte? Cacao sorbet? Cold-brew cacao?! Actually, scratch those last two… I’m sticking with hot drinks only as the winter approaches. :)
Although this cacao tea was provided to me for free, this review is 100% my unbiased opinion. I only accept review products that align with my ethics, and I always note when I’m reviewing a product I did not purchase myself. (See more here.)