How does cacao taste to you?

Is your answer binary, for example, “Good” or “Bad”?

If so, it’s time to develop your chocolate palate!

Chocolate tasting is both fun and an art.

It will help you develop your connection to cacao.

Below, you can discover how we taste cacaos.

And why ceremonial cacao, in particular, is far more flavorful than other chocolate.

Ready to taste cacao in a new way?

P.S. We left you a special “map” below to help you develop your palate too!

How We Taste Cacaos

Chocolate tasting for us at Firefly is a critical skill. The more tuned in we are to the flavors of each unique batch, the more consistently we can produce your favorite cacaos.

We taste cacao at every stage of the crafting process—roasting, grinding, coaching, and after it is hardened into cacao discs.

Tasting cacao is a very nuanced process. It usually takes our staff six months to calibrate the palette to cacao, and that’s with tasting most days!

Fortunately, over our seven years, we’ve developed our palates to tease out the subtle notes and describe them to each other with a shared language.

We look for the optimal expression of flavor from each origin, while examining it for defects that would indicate errors during processing.

What’s The Story of Your Cacao?

Chocolate tasting requires awareness, presence, curiosity, and patience. 

To really get to know a certain cacao, you must invite it to tell you a story.

Every story has a beginning, middle, and end. And so does the flavor of cacao as it registers on your tongue.

Pay attention to how the flavor of the cacao changes, from beginning, to middle, to end. You may have noticed that the flavor of cacao lingers for a long time. That’s because, unlike most chocolate, our cacao has no sugar added.

Sugar is a flavorless substance, and it makes the taste of something go away faster. That’s why you get a hit of flavor from an M&M, and then it’s gone, making you almost right away reach for the next one! And all of a sudden you’ve eaten a whole bag. There’s no lasting satisfaction in sugar, but just a single disc or a single sip can tantalize your taste bud for minutes on end.

So try letting one of our cacao discs melt in your mouth, or simply savor each sip for a long moment. Then, watch how the flavor changes! And see if you can describe a piece of your journey with the chocolate tasting map.

To help us articulate the experience of cacao tasting, we often refer to this chocolate tasting map from the International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting.

You can use this too. And you can even start to develop your own map!

It was designed to “create a standardized approach to understanding the fine flavor in cacao and chocolate that is intuitive.”

Remember, it’s okay if this is hard. It was for us too! Just try your best and play with it, and relax into the pleasurable experience that chocolate tasting is!

What Does Firefly Taste Like?

Here’s a look at the "Tastes Like" section for each of our cacaos, as found on each product page.  We developed these during our blind tasting session with some of our professional culinary school friends.

It’s one way of describing how each cacao tastes to us. Most importantly, how does it taste to you? There are no wrong answers. Reach out to us and let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

  • Thriving Tanzania: Butter, Cherry, and Caramel
  • Boundless Belize: Amaretto, Manchego, Nutmeg
  • Connected Colombia: Coffee, Bark, Grass
  • Glowing Guatemala: Fig, Tobacco, Leather
  • Medicinal Mushrooms: Stone, Oak, Brie
  • Oaxacan Spice: Chili, Cinnamon, Cardamom
  • Tantric Rose Blossom: Rosé, Lavender, Bergamot
  • Vibrant Vitality: Malt, Earth, Cream

Re-Stock Your Cacao In September

Image of Vibrant Vitality 100% Ceremonial Cacao Drink

Vibrant Vitality 100% Ceremonial Cacao Drink

Image of Glowing Guatemala 100% Ceremonial Cacao Drink

Glowing Guatemala 100% Ceremonial Cacao Drink


Image of Connected Colombia 100% Ceremonial Cacao Drink

Connected Colombia 100% Ceremonial Cacao Drink

We hope this cacao ritual forecast sparks inspiration, deeper self-knowledge, generosity, and understanding.

Do you have any questions on rituals? Or would you like to share your rituals with us?

We'd love to hear from you and feature your cacao practice in future newsletters! Text us at +1 (844) 695-0043, reply to this email, reach out on social media, or click on the bottom-right-hand corner of our website for help.

With Love, Gratitude, & Cacao,

Jonas & The Firefly Family

P.S. - ❄️ We are now on a summer shipping schedule. All cacao is sent out with ice packs and recycled + recyclable insulation!

📅 Orders ship Monday through Wednesday.

🕰️ Wednesday @ 1pm PST is the last order time to make the above shipping window, so that we can reduce the likelihood of your cacao being delayed in a hot warehouse over the weekend!

🧠 Please be mindful if you are ordering during a heatwave.

🏡 Bring your package inside as soon as you can after it is delivered!

📲 We recommend opting in for text message delivery notifications; to do this, enter your phone number at checkout and you will receive updates on your cacao!

Join Us! Firefly Community - FREE Weekly Virtual Cacao Ceremonies

Tuesdays at 1 PM PST (via Zoom)

Cacao brings us together and creates authentic group connections. Come experience cacao with people from around the world in a safe welcoming space. Click here to sign up and see more details! 

Let's Be Friends!

Text +1 (844) 695-0043 for a more intimate cacao conversation.  

You'll get access to the Firefly Family, our private circle where we share exclusive promotions, cacao ritual insights, exciting product updates, and more.

Have plans on Tuesday?

Join us for our weekly virtual cacao ceremonies.

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