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What is Cacao?
Cacao is a rather broad term, many companies will claim the use of “cacao” despite not living up to the same criteria as others. For us here at coKo Lounge, we use raw cacao that has had specific, careful processing; from the bean pod to the final product. This criteria includes minimal fermenting and roasting to allow all the bio-active components to flourish; to give you an enriched cacao experience far beyond the familiar chocolate flavour.
Cacao grows in a large pod, within this pod is a fleshy white fruit with large beans/seeds that we know as coco beans. These are harvested and processed in different ways to create final products. Coco beans are often fermented, then roasted. After this, they are crushed into nibs, and melted to create a paste that is half coco butter and half coco solids. This product is often then compressed to separate the butter from the solids thus cocoa powder is produced. This is then recombined with the butter and sugar to create what we know as chocolate. Our special mixes of cacao skip many of these unnecessary processes to bring a product to you that has been passed through as few hands as possible resulting in an authentic product – free from adulteration.
Why would I choose raw cacao over cocoa?
Chemically, cocoa is vastly different from its less processed counterpart. Cocoa is “Dutch Roasted” cacao. This processing is rigorous and long. It is done by the long roasting of the beans to create strong bitter flavours, that when mixed with sugar, create the chocolate taste known in the modern world. Whereas, cacao is not so bitter and can be eaten without the addition of sugar – as it is naturally sweeter and taste-wise, is vastly more complex.
What are the benefits of cacao?
Cacao boasts many, almost unbelievable, benefits to nutrition and health. Some of these are; the highest natural source of magnesium, highest plant-based source of iron, greatest source of antioxidants, balancing “feel-good” hormones (Serotonin, Dopamine and Anandamide), reduces inflammation, improves respiratory function, counters fatigue in a more sustainable way than coffee, mitigates anxiety and relaxes habitual tensions.
Cacao has studies indicating that it may increase stem cell count by up to 2x when ingested twice a day for a month, genuinely supports immune system functions, and finally, is a great aphrodisiac!
How is it different from others?
The specific processing and our understanding of bio-active compounds allows us to enhance the bioavailability of the rich compounds in cacao. A shorter ferment, with minimal roasting allows for less breakdown of bio-active compounds and preservation of cacao’s rich, nutrient dense compounds.
Criollo cacao is an ancient variety of cacao that has been bred by the ancient tribes of South America since 1300 B.C. This variant was popularized because of its natural sweetness for consumption in their cultural practices. This was thought of as the apex of cacao – fed to kings and royalty.
How does it make me feel?
Cacao has been described as a heart opening experience by many. This is because of the bio active compounds such as theobroma, amandine, serotonin, dopamine and other hormones, cannabinoids and terpenes. These all work in tandem to assist your body in creating a warm fuzzy feeling mixed with an undeniable sense of happiness and optimism. Cacao is a unique plant in the fact it is a part of a small, select group of species that contains phytocannabinoids that are existent outside of the cannabis plant, this being anandamide.
How does it work?
The bio-active compounds allow for the production and release of neuro-chemicals in the brain that are produced naturally, so as to not shock the system. A unique property of cacao is the presence of MAO inhibitors which prevent the breakdown of neuro-chemicals in the brain allowing for a longer lasting feeling of the cacao bioactives, this helps the body increase levels of serotonin and dopamine in a safe, sustainable way.
This is part of the reason chocolate is the first thing reached for when you’re feeling down.
Anandamide is an interesting compound known as the bliss chemical – replicating feelings of love, and giving life to the cacao heart-opening experience. It’s also why chocolate is given out during Valentine’s Day.
What’s the history of Cacao?
Traditionally, cacao was a center point of many South American cultures. It was used as a currency, food source and a symbol of wealth. Many rituals and practices were based around the consumption of cacao in the form of a hot, frothy drink. It was also treated as a medicine as it aids healing and supports immune system function.
Cacao’s scientific name is theobroma cacao translating to “drink of the gods”. This referred to its status among people. There are many myths surrounding cacao and it was even referred to in myths as the origin of the gods, as depiction shows gods bloodletting into cacao to create offspring and thus, gods being born from it.
Why choose coKo?
coKo lounge combines the science of bio-actives and traditional practices to enhance cacao and bring back the ancient magic. This allows for you to consume cacao in a tasty, yet healthy, way – to enhance your life quality.
How can coko enhance my day?
By aiding your body and fortifying your mind, you will be able to reach new heights in both performance and happiness.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a fine crafted extract of green tea, developed in Japan many centuries ago, used for the purpose of intense meditation practices. Mixed with warm water and whisked until frothy, this became a favorite among high ranking monks (later, becoming popular in Japan in modern times). Now a common sight in Asia and around the world, this beverage provides a coffee-like stimulation without the caffeine and is much more sustainable due to the large amount of L theanine.
What is Maca?
Maca is an ancient South American root. Cacao and maca have long been a popular combination. Maca is used for its strong vitality, hormonal regulating properties, energy and libido boosting power.
It is also great for supporting mental health – by providing a range of hormones that help even out the nervous system. Maca has also been proven to be very beneficial in improving memory and cognitive function. Maca is great for men and women; providing balance to women during hormonal changes and aiding men with physical performance.
How do I decide between Pure Liquor and Hot Chocolate?
Both are great options and can be consumed in place of each other. Or mixed!
Pure Liquor uses ceremonial cacao, as it is the highest quality and involves the whole bean. This includes the coco butter which is nutritionally rich and provides a bio available medium in which the cacao can be further utilized.
Hot Chocolate is slightly sweeter and much lighter. It still has all the benefits and health promoting qualities but without the coco butter. This makes a significantly less calorie-dense drink – that is just as delicious!