Cacao Teas

Cacao Teas

Posted by Oliver pluff on

Dear Oliver,

I am amazed by how much I enjoy the Cacao Tea I recently purchased from Oliver Pluff & Co. I tried the regular, cinnamon, citrus, mint, and the new chai cacao and have found them all perfect as a hot drink option.  

First, let me explain that cacao is packed with nutrients. According to, it is “rich in many minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and copper.” And, these properties have been utilized for centuries - Martha Washington is said to have steeped the shells for access to these important health benefits.


Even before that, the Mayan and Aztec cultures took advantage of cacao shells for medicine as well. Grown in the tropics, these cultures had easy access to the shells, but it is now transported around the world.

Cacao is similar to cocoa, but, according to, has increased health properties. “Cacao powder is made from raw cacao beans and nibs that are fermented and then roasted. They're then milled into a powder. They’re processed at much lower temperatures than the beans used to create cocoa powder, which is why cacao powder is quite bitter but retains more of the cacao bean’s original nutritional value.” The National Institute of Health reports many studies currently underway to verify and underscore these benefits.


“Think of cacao, cocoa and chocolate like a pipeline,” says Fazio of Forbes Health. “Cacao [fruit] grows from a tree and is raw and unprocessed. It’s the precursor to cocoa, and cocoa is the precursor to chocolate.”

As for consumption, cacao is said to be more bitter than its counterpart cocoa, which is often mixed with sugar. Therefore, different techniques have been developed to enjoy its complex flavor profile. Brewing, as shown with the Cacao Tea, is a common option. Oliver Pluff & Co. offers its cacao options already encased in easy-to-use individual brewing bags, or as loose roasted shells.

A French press is an ideal tool for brewing the loose shells, but traditional coffee makers can be utilized as well. Consumers new to cacao brewing should experiment with steeping times and water ratios while trying to maximize and perfect the desired intensity.

And, just as with coffee or tea, personal preference dictates the addition of crème, sugar, honey, and other flavor options. All can enhance a lovely cup of brewed Cacao Tea.

But, add-ins for cacao extend far beyond those traditional tea-time staples. Pumpkin spice, agave, maple, cayenne, chili, vanilla, salt, cardamom, rose, and various fruit flavors are nice complements. And, consumers can try all the milk alternatives such as almond, hazelnut, coconut, cashew, rice, soy, or oat with cacao as well. Brewed or powdered cacao can be added to smoothies or used in baking.

“Adding cacao or cocoa to your diet is easier than you might think.” Says Fazio of Forbes Health. “These products are no longer relegated to health food stores and can be found online or in your regular grocery store.” However, consumers should be aware of all the heath properties such as the stimulant effects while they consume any beverages such as cacao.

So, cacao might be a little trickier to find but is well worth the effort when seeking a delicious beverage in the “chocolate” family.