What’s your favorite mug or vessel to drink your cacao?
Do you have one?
If not, now is the time to get one!
It will help you create more meaning in your ritual.
Indigenous and ancient cacao cultures were VERY thoughtful about this.
So, what can we learn from them?
Let’s take a look at WHAT vessels they used for cacao ceremonies.
And most importantly, WHY they chose those vessels.
Froth Your Cacao: Ancient Cacao Vessels
*All information and photos are respectfully borrowed from Chocolate in Mesoamerica: A Cultural History of Cacao, By University Press of Florida (Pages 147 - 153). If you are interested in cacao history, we encourage you to read this incredible text!
Mesoamerican cultures left behind imperishable materials, such as grinding stones and serving vessels. This provides us with clues and insight into their cacao rituals.
Vessels played a very important role in frothing the cacao, thus the design was important. Electric blenders and frothing tools were definitely not found in the ancient Mesoamerican kitchen!
To literally paint the picture for you, the photo above is an early Colonial drawing of a Mexica woman frothing cacao by pouring it from a vase into cups. Illustration from the Florentine Codex (Sagahún 1950–82, Book 10, 1963:ill. 144a).
Additionally, here is a bottle that was part of the earliest ceramic complexes of the lower Ulua Valley region.
This vessel has a tall narrow neck.
Cacao was frothed by pouring the cacao from one vessel to the other.
As in the picture above, the cacao was poured from a height, so that it bubbled as it collected in the vessel below it.
Vessels, like the next one pictured below, had a narrow spout and a flaring neck.
This facilitated frothing!
Similar vessels have been found with chemical signatures of Theobroma Cacao in Belize, all the way back to 600 B.C.!
Serve Your Cacao!
Additionally, the way cacao was served to guests helped heighten the experience and the importance of the event.
It is proposed that cacao drinking rituals were the arena for the use of new, highly decorated pottery in early Mesoamerica.
Furthermore, the performance of the cacao preparation, which relied on its vessels and mugs, formalized the event and marked the occasion of drinking as special.
Sometimes, pots were made to order for drinking rituals and subsequently smashed, so as to increase the drama of the drinking event, making it more memorable!
Clearly, the cacao vessel played an important role in the function of the ceremony (preparation, frothing & consumption).
Most fascinating, however, is how the vessel played an important role in creating memorable social experiences with the community!
Froth & Serve Your Cacao!
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!
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