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Food & Nutrition 5 April 2022

Why Ceremonial Cacao Is a Worthwhile Wellness Routine

What exactly is a cacao ceremony? Everything you’ll need to perform your very own at home.

In a stroke of nothing short of peak 2022, the world of pop culture has catapulted the ancient ritual of ceremonial cacao onto the scene and onto our screens. Whether you discovered the modern-day version of the ancient Maya and Ancient Aztec ritual via Kourtney Kardashian’s lifestyle brand ‘Poosh’ or controversial Netflix show ‘Byron-Baes’, it’s certainly clear that ceremonial cacao is this year’s latest wellness trend. Curious to learn how this differs from your regular hot choccy? Keep reading below.


Words By Brittany Lyons

Base

Spanning back to the 1900’s B.C. in ancient central American Maya and Aztec communities, cacao ceremonies have long been a celebratory ritual that seeks to open the heart using the power of the cacao plant. This holistic and meditative process was traditionally practised by ancient shamans, but in 2022, can be adopted by anyone who wishes to get involved.

The ceremonious aspect of the offering comes into play whilst preparing and considering the intention of your cacao. It is important to practice mindfulness, take your time, set intentions or prayers (if that’s your thing), and hold love in your heart whilst preparing your cacao, before serving it in your favourite mug or cup.

Depending on how you practice your own spirituality and meditation, other elements and modalities such as crystals, chanting and burning different herbs can often be brought into the ceremonial cacao practice.

At the core of its purpose, it is an inoffensive way of preparing a heart-warming and delicious warm chocolate drink, and, just as you would guess, the most important element of its preparation is the cacao base. You can start off with a base of cacao in either a powdered, solid or paste form, and mix it with either water or a milk of your choice in a pan to a gentle heat.

Orchard St Cacao Elixir Base Powder, $26, Flora & Fauna

Additions

Just like how you take your tea or take your coffee, there are several different ways to add ingredients to your cacao to bring it to the taste profile you enjoy most.

If you’ve opted to heat your cacao base in water alone, the addition of some nut milk or plant-based milk to your drink will add a creamy and more complex flavour. For those of you who generally opt for nut-based milk over dairy, you can purchase concentrated ‘mylk’ bases in jars that only require a little water and a good mix before becoming a normal milk consistency! These are a brilliant way to reduce your plastic reliance, as well as having nut milk on hand all the time.

In addition to your favourite type of milk, spices and herbs are often added to ceremonious cacao to not only bring flavour but other healing and medicinal purposes as well. Flavours such as cinnamon, maca, chilli powder, vanilla, turmeric and cayenne pepper all hold their own holistic benefits and can be added as either a ground powder or whole when heating the cacao.

If you’re already a committed supplement or inner health user, adding a small amount of your powered or liquid goodies into ceremonial cacao is also a fabulous idea. We are really enjoying adding Dose & Co’s collagen creamer to our morning cacao to bring yet another element of wellness to our ritual.

Dose & Co. Collagen Creamer Vanilla, $44.99, Nourished Life

Utensils

As mentioned earlier, to further extend the enjoyment and fulfilment that encapsulates the self-care offering of the cacao ceremony, it is recommended to enjoy the drink using your very favourite cup or mug.

Us humans are creatures of habit and, I’m don’t know about you, but I often drink my morning coffee from the same mug each day. The way it fits in my palm, the amount of liquid it holds, the sentimental value it brings and the routine it affords me make it a special piece of ceramic that I enjoy reaching for each morning. So, it makes a lot of sense to invite-only drinking vessels that hold much sentimental value into the personal, productive, and meditative ritual that cacao ceremonies are.

Whether it’s a garish mug that features your favourite fairy-tale character, something a loved one made you or a piece you forked out way too much money on, make sure you invite a mug of this calibre into your cacao ceremony! If you’re yet to find your perfect vessel to house your cup of comfort, we recommend going for something that is uniquely you, some options below to spark inspiration.

Of course, if you have a special teaspoon, saucer, coaster, or any utensil that brings special significance, we invite you to bring it into your cacao ceremony too.

Robert Gordon Hug Me Mugs Light Clay 4 Pack, was $69.95 now $41.97, Myer