Coffee is the second most widely consumed beverage after water in the United States. There are so many coffee shops in the US that sometimes you can see one from the window of another. However, it can often cause some problems. If you drink too much, the caffeine can cause high blood pressure or worsen symptoms of anxiety. The acidity can also cause problems for some people.
While hot chocolate, tea, or BioCoffee are great options, there is yet another alternative! While cacao powder is a great ingredient for hot chocolate, you can use cacao for a coffee replacement! Cacao beans are remarkably similar to coffee beans, and the process of brewing your delicious morning cup is very nearly identical.
The cacao beans are roasted and fermented in a process very similar to coffee beans. Rather than being processed to create cocoa powder or chocolate, or even into cacao nibs, the whole beans are then crushed coarsely for brewing. This is also very similar to the process for brewing coffee from whole beans.
Unfortunately, there is a drawback to using cacao beans to brew a coffee replacement. They are not as versatile as actual coffee. There are dozens of ways to brew delicious coffee, but only one to make brewed cacao. You must use a french press, which produces a delicious and smooth brew.
The finished brew is very similar to black coffee as it is dark, strong, and bitter. However, the brewed cacao has a distinct chocolatey aroma, though it does not taste like hot cocoa. Rather, it is more similar to an extremely dark chocolate. And for avid coffee drinkers, you don’t have to worry about caffeine withdrawals. Small amounts of caffeine are not harmful, and a cup of brewed cacao has about a quarter of the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee.
If you like black coffee, you may also like brewed cacao! The dark, strong beverage is perfect to kick start your day. However, you can also put in any additions you would put into a cup of coffee. From creamers, milk, sugar, or ice, the possibilities are endless! There are dozens of healthy alternatives.
You can find all-natural, dairy-free creamer in many grocery stores, but you can also make your own! Make a latte by steaming the milk of your choice and adding a little sweetener such as honey, agave, or coconut sugar to half a cup of very strong cacao. Anything you’d add to coffee, you can add to cacao! You can even make the cacao the night before, allow it to cool, and enjoy an iced coffee replacement!
Cacao is an amazing alternative to coffee, especially if you don’t want to give up caffeine entirely. If you decide to try brewed cacao, be sure to snap a picture and tag Foods Alive for a chance to be featured on our social media!