This post was guest written by Benns Chocolates.
When discussing the various types of chocolatey drinks, you’ll probably hear the mention of hot chocolate, chocolate milkshakes or even chocolate coffee. But have you heard of chocolate tea? Turns out, a clean soothing warm cup of tea that tastes like a good quality piece of dark chocolate really does exist! In fact, it existed some 2000 years ago, when cacao (the raw ingredient of chocolate) was actually consumed as a drink. Back then, the Mayans and Aztecs would cut open the cacao fruit, leave it to ferment, and roast it to create a smoky taste. Afterwhich, the fruit husk was removed and the beans were grounded into paste. The drink was then made by repeatedly pouring the paste from one bowl to another until it created nice froth (akin to the teh tarik we drink!).
Cacao tea today is made in a similar method, with the beans being roasted before the husk (outer shell) and nib (inner fruit) are separated. The husk is normally thrown away if you’re making chocolate, but as the main component of cacao tea, it’s saved for treatment with the nibs to make them safe for consumption.
Like many other teas, Cacao Tea has its fair share of health benefits. From the research we conducted together with UCSI University in Malaysia, we found that both our Vung Tau (Vietnam) and Sungai Ruan (Malaysia) origin Cacao Teas have higher antioxidant levels than most regular teas, coffees and fruits. In fact, the amount of antioxidants found in Vung Tau Cacao Tea is almost 3 times that of apples and 60% more than that of strawberries! Antioxidants are beneficial as they help reduce physical damage caused by health hazards such as pollution, UV and cigarette smoke. Cacao tea is also rich in magnesium, nutrients, 100% natural and entirely sugar-free!
Furthermore, drinking this cup of goodness will also fill you with positiviTEA! Cacao tea makes you “feel good” as it boosts your endorphin and serotonin levels, helping you relax and stay happy.
One of the best things about our Cacao Tea is that our cacao beans are directly sourced from Asian farms. Did you know that in producing a typical bar of chocolate, only 3% of the retail price goes back to the farmers? However, at Benns Chocolate, we cut out the middle men and work directly with the cacao farmers, allowing them to be paid up to 3 times the market price and earn fair wages. This also ensures we use quality cacao beans that are grown and produced using the best farming methods, thus translating into quality chocolate tea!
Finally, a fun fact for you to brew on! Did you know that not every cup of cacao tea tastes the same? Even with the same ingredients, Cacao teas from different plantations taste different due to the unique environment (or terriors) the cacao bean is grown in. Our cacao tea from Malaysia is slightly more acidic but has a stronger aroma. Meanwhile, the blend from Vietnam is more floral. Why not try them yourself and decide which you like better? After all, chocolate could be your cup of tea. Literally.