Cacao 101 Course - Day 10
Today’s Cacao: Boundless Belize
As we discussed yesterday, cacao is a plant spirit.
To form a deep relationship with cacao as medicine, you must treat it as such.
As we mentioned yesterday, in creating a deeper bond with a plant spirit, it can be helpful to treat it as an individual. You have gone through the meditation to meet and invite the cacao spirit into your heart, now it’s time to continue deepening that relationship by getting to know cacao’s transformative process.
Do you know the journey that cacao goes through in order to make it into your hands and heart?
The journey begins with the elements of earth, water, fire, and air creating the ripe growing conditions for a healthy cacao tree.
After the cacao seed grows into a beautiful cacao tree from which the cacao pods are harvested, the cacao beans need to go through a fermentation and drying process.
Have you ever seen cacao beans before they’ve been dried and roasted? The seeds inside the pod are enveloped with white pulp!
Through fermentation, the white cacao pulp is digested by yeast & bacteria and leaves the beans ready to dry.
Once dried, the chocolate-making process can begin.
Transforming raw cacao beans into ceremonial cacao discs is a meticulous process that requires careful attention to preserve the cacao’s energetic integrity.
The process begins with roasting the beans, a step that activates them, brings out their flavor, and dries out the remaining moisture. We use minimal heat to maintain the cacao’s natural flavor and avoid the over-processing of industrial cacao.
Next, the beans are cracked and winnowed to remove the shells and create cacao nibs. We then grind the nibs to liberate the cacao butter. The mixture is then conched, a process that uses heat, airflow, and agitation to further refine the flavor.
Finally, the mixture is transferred, tempered and cooled into discs. We use stainless steel brewery piping and continuously temper the mixture to create the perfect texture and flavor.
Now, it’s time to go on a journey with cacao from seed to cup and experience the transformative process!
Reflection for day 10
- What was it like to experience this transformative journey with cacao? Did you gain any new insights
- Reflect on your own personal alchemical process. What transformations have you had to go through in order to get to this present moment?
- What part of cacao’s transformational process can you most relate to in this moment?