• SUPPORT@ORACACAO.COM

    SUPPORT@ORACACAO.COM

  • +1 707.861.8504

    +1 707.861.8504

  • SUPPORT CHAT

    SUPPORT CHAT

Trending Questions

Find answers to the most popular questions below or use the links below to navigate to the topic you’re interested in.

  • Column

    Pair text with an image to focus on your chosen product, collection, or blog post. Add details on availability, style, or even provide a review.

  • Column

    Pair text with an image to focus on your chosen product, collection, or blog post. Add details on availability, style, or even provide a review.

  • Column

    Pair text with an image to focus on your chosen product, collection, or blog post. Add details on availability, style, or even provide a review.

Basic Cacao Information

What is ceremonial cacao?

Quick Guide to Ceremonial Cacao

What is a serving size?

Where do cacao nibs come from?

Cacao nibs are made from whole cacao beans after they have been fermented, dried and lightly roasted. The beans are then cracked, shelled and broken into smaller pieces, making nibs!

Nibs are great additions to your smoothies, oatmeal, and chocolate desserts.

Is your cacao organic?

Yes. We only work with certified organic cacao farmers, and all of our ingredients in our cacao blends are also organic.

We've found that this is a tangible way to impact the earth and communities where our cacao is grown, by partnering with farmers who are invested in meeting the Organic certification standards.

What is cacao paste?

Cacao paste is made from the whole cacao bean. Compared to cacao powder, which has been defatted, cacao paste is typically 50% cacao butter.

Ceremonial cacao is made with cacao paste, because cacao butter is the best carrier for the beneficial compounds in cacao. This means that our bodies are able to absorb more of the nutrients.

Cacao paste is made from high quality cacao beans that have been fermented, dried, lightly roasted, cracked and winnow, ground, conched, and tempered.

How does your cacao work?

How Should I Store My Cacao?

Our ceremonial cacao will last 1-2 years when stored in the proper conditions. If you live in a temperate place without high heat or humidity, leaving it at room temperature is best.

If you are in a hot place, we recommend storing it in the coolest place in your house during hot weather. A dark cupboard is a great option. Sometimes storing the cacao in the fridge can result in condensation inside the bags which can ruin the shelf life. If you must keep the cacao in the fridge we recommend transferring the cacao to a glass jar, first.

Keep the cacao out of the direct sun to avoid melting.

What is the difference between cacao powder and cacao paste?

Cacao paste is a whole food, made from a single ingredient, cacao beans, that have been roasted, shelled, and ground down. Cacao powder has been defatted - it is processed a few steps further, to remove the cacao butter from the cacao paste. While cacao powder is often marketed as a superfood, we've found cacao paste to be far more potent as it still contains the high grade cacao butter, which is the best carrier fat for the medicinal properties of cacao.

Cacao powder is more popular, because it is easier to stir into drinks, won’t melt during storage and is cheaper, yet it isn't as good for you. It is usually prepared with dairy, because it doesn’t taste good with water. Cacao paste is actually good for you, it can be made without milk or sugar and still taste delicious. The difference is clear - try making a cacao drink with just cacao powder and water (it doesn't taste very good) - and then try making a cacao drink just cacao paste and water, and you'll see how much more nutritive and nourishing the latter is.

How Does Your Ceremonial Cacao Compare To Other Companies Products?

Customer Support & Order Information

I have a question, how can I contact you?

Easy! Simply chat us via the blue button in the bottom right hand corner of our website, or send us an email at support@fireflychocolate.com

My cacao arrived melted, what do I do?

During the summer months we ship your cacao with ice packs, coolers made with recyclable or reused materials, and priority shipping to protect it from the summer heat. This works well for the majority of our shipments and we feel confident in shipping your delicious cacao discs to you year round. Yet, with summer temps and without using any waxes or preservatives in our chocolate, a small percentage of packages may arrive with various degrees of melting. The good news is that while molten, the cacao is still good to use and retains all of its medicinal properties. We understand that it can be a disappointment if your discs are melted together, and we have some options for you below. 

If you receive a melted ceremonial cacao sampler kit you can put the cacao in a cool spot so it can resolidify. Each bag of cacao is 2oz, so you can split the melted cacao in half, to have 1 serving each (these are stronger servings, so you could also split it into 3 equal-sized pieces). Use a knife to chop up the block of cacao. Once you have a serving size, you can use a sharp knife to chop the cacao up into small pieces. This will help it melt smoothly into your heated liquid. Make your cacao! Enjoy! While it's a little more effort upfront, you're still enjoying a high-quality beverage of ceremonial cacao that tastes delicious.  If you receive an 8oz, 16oz or 5lb bag of cacao with more than 50% of the discs melted together and have shipping insurance you can submit a claim for a replacement, within 24 hours of delivery by the carrier. Remember that the product is inherently still good and usable, so please only submit a claim if you feel you cannot use the product as replacing product is expensive for our small business! 

Coverage Exceptions:

- Insurance does not cover melted ceremonial cacao kits.

- Insurance does not cover instances when the cacao melted due to mail carrier delays.

- Insurance does not cover melting claims made more than 24 hours after delivery of the package.

- Due to extended transit times melting is not covered for any international shipments, except for FedEx Express shipments to Canada which are covered.

We highly recommend selecting the Express shipping option for cacao shipments in the summer time. 

Do you ship internationally?

Yes! We ship to most countries. We ship with the best express option for international orders, usually DHL. We ship all orders DDP, which means that delivery, duty + taxes, and brokerage are all paid for when you place an order on our website. You can rest assured that there will be no additional charges to get your packages through customs and to release your package. We also have a standard delivery option available which you may select, but usually Express is just marginally more expensive and offers much faster service. 

All international orders will ship within 2 business days. 

For international orders we HIGHLY recommend selecting our third party shipping insurance at checkout for an expedited claims process. If you do not, and a package is lost in transit, we need to wait for 30 consecutive days from the date of last tracking update before we can file the lost in transit claim for that order. The third party shipping insurance allows us to process reimbursement and ship a replacement order much faster. Pro tip: International shipping is far more economical with larger orders. Get a few friends together to share an order and receive our bulk discounts to help offset shipping cost!

What is your shipping policy?

You can find our shipping policy at https://ceremonial-cacao.com/pages/shipping-refund-policy

Cacao & Holistic Health

What are the health benefits of ceremonial cacao?

Has your cacao been tested for mold & heavy metals?

Yes, all our cacao is third party tested for mold before we purchase it, that is part of our purchasing standards. So no, you do not need to be concerned about mycotoxins in our cacao. 

Our cacao has been lab tested for safety and meets comprehensive EU standards for absence of heavy metals.

We get the cleanest cacao in the industry, from reliable and reputable partners who take utmost care in the fermentation and drying process to produce ultra premium cacao. Jonas, the founder, visits our suppliers to verify the post harvest processing himself.

What are the nutrition facts for your cacao?

Is your cacao raw?

Indigenous cacao traditions all over central and south America toast their cacao at low temperatures using a clay comal and the coals from an open fire. 

We believe there is wisdom in these indigenous preparations of cacao, so we too lightly toast our cacao, so it is not raw.

Also, because cacao goes through a fermentation process which naturally heats it to over 110 degrees, even cacao that hasn't been toasted doesn't technically qualify as raw. The "raw cacao" marketing craze emerged out of the "raw foods" movement, which correctly encouraged people to eat more raw foods, defined as foods that are never heated above 116F. "Raw" became synonymous with high vitality, healthy food, so naturally, "raw cacao" was born. However, as chocolate makers, we know this term is misleading for cacao, due to the benefits of the fermentation and toasting processes described above. Raw cacao is certainly an improvement over industrial cacao roasting which uses very high temperatures to create uniform results out of inferior cacao inputs, but those high temperatures also effectively kill the health and spiritual potency of the cacao. But leaving out fire altogether isn't quite right either ... it's missing the magic and the flavor that the fire element introduces.

We believe strongly that making good ceremonial cacao involves taking the cacao through a four element transformation as we work with it, including fire, air, earth, and water. It's all about being in harmony with the fire, so we roast our cacao at low temperatures and for short durations. Despite the pressure to market our chocolate as "raw", we've never done so, and instead share what we wrote above with everyone we meet because we believe a transparent marketplace is a healthy one. If this explanation leaves you with any questions please contact us!

Is cacao keto approved?

Absolutely YES. Many experts recommend extra dark chocolate for the ketogenic diet. Our cacao has a 1.1 : 1 fats to protein+carbs ratio, so it won't knock you out of ketosis. And you'll receive all the many benefits of cacao, from a gentle energy boost to the high mineral content to the compounds that beneficially affect your state of mind. 

How often should I drink cacao?

First and foremost we recommend listening to your body. There are periods where we drink cacao every day, and times where we take a break, especially when our body needs to rest when we are sick. Sometimes we'll have a whole cup of cacao at once, and other times we'll treat ourselves to chocolate discs once an hour, spreading it out all day. So every day is different.

In the course of a day, generally a larger dose is considered something in the range of 1oz -1.5 oz, and a smaller dose could be only a few discs (0.25oz or less). Our typical serving for a public cacao ceremony is 1.0oz, and then we'll pour more for those who want more. Most definitely we reserve larger doses for when we can really spend time with the cacao, for example when we are in ceremony. 

As far as having too much, it's important to keep in mind that more of a good thing is not necessarily better. If you have a larger dose than optimal you may notice feeling overstimulated, or alternatively, tired. On a long term basis, this could cause adrenal fatigue. The more you continue to drink cacao the more you will understand how your body responds, as we're all unique. You might be fine with 1.5oz or even 2.00oz of cacao daily, or you might prefer just 0.25oz. Your body will guide you.

When you are first starting out, we like to think of it as creating a relationship with a new friend.. a tree friend :) To best learn from cacao, we recommend staying well hydrated, avoiding other stimulants such as coffee, and other mind altering substances such as alcohol or tobacco. That way you can clearly discern the effects of cacao.

It can be helpful to set aside every morning to build your practice of making cacao, and noticing how it feels in your body. This may become a regular part of your morning ritual! Our founder Jonas began his relationship with cacao by micro-dosing with a small amount (such as 0.25oz) on a daily basis for over a year. He noted his state before he had cacao, and then how his experience was several hours later, to develop an understanding of how cacao impacted his physical / emotional / spiritual state in a wide range of situations.Needless to say he developed a strong relationship with cacao, and then he began experimenting with larger doses. It takes time to build true intimacy, but the path is delicious every single day and full of beautiful surprises!

How much caffeine is in cacao?

Actual caffeine and theobromine values from our lab testing indicate 36mg caffeine and 212mg theobromine per serving.

As a coffee alternative, you might think this caffeine value is high, but experientially the "feeling" of cacao is dominated by theobromine. That's because all of the beneficial fats and many other molecules moderate the caffeine in the cacao, similarly to how a bullet proof coffee provides a more grounded experience than a cup of straight black coffee.

Caffeine is often confused with the primary stimulant molecule in cacao, theobromine. The misconception arises from the fact that the cane sugar used to sweeten most chocolate bars gives a caffeine like energy rush.

How is Theobromine Different Than Caffeine?

Theobromine is an alkaloid in the methylxanthine class of compounds, which also contain caffeine. Theobromine simultaneously stimulates the heart and relaxes blood vessels, together producing an effect of 30-40% higher blood circulation. This improves absorption of other important nutrients in cacao or other superfoods that it is paired with.

What minerals are found in cacao?

Consuming cacao can replenish minerals vital to our body. Magnesium is chronically deficient in the majority of western diets, and cacao is the highest naturally occurring source. Magnesium is used in all key brain functions, especially memory and concentration. It is also beneficial for the function of the heart, acting to relax blood vessel and decrease strain. Besides magnesium, cacao is also the highest naturally occurring source of chromium, and also high in copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulfur, iron, and phosphorous. Our cacao has been lab tested for safety and meets comprehensive EU standards for absence of heavy metals.

Theobromine is only about one quarter as stimulating as caffeine, and it has a much longer half life in the liver, meaning that it's effect on the body is softer and longer. Theobromine is a cardiac stimulant, as opposed to caffeine which is a nervous system stimulant.

Who shouldn't drink cacao?

Ceremonial Cacao & SSRI's

Cacao is a natural antidepressant, and is contraindicated with SSRI based antidepressants, which are ‘selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors’ making our cells more able to receive serotonin. Cacao has the same effect, and when people are already on SSRI antidepressants, drinking a ceremonial dose of cacao can overload the receptors with serotonin.

It's important to note that not all antidepressants have SSRIs, so it’s an important distinction to make. It's also important to note that other medication such as some anti-psychotics also work in the serotonin & dopamine pathways in the brain, and these are also contraindicated.

Too much serotonin in the system can cause headaches - if this occurs, drink lots of water and rest.

If you are sharing cacao with groups, it's important to share the possible contraindications before serving cacao. Note that with ceremonial cacao, more is not always a “better” or “deeper” experience. The cacao can be very potent even with a little sip. Being in the room in the presence of the cacao energy can be powerful without taking a full dose yourself.

Recipes & Tips For Making Your Cacao

How do I prepare my ceremonial cacao?

It's easy! Check out our guide here.

What are healthy ways to sweeten cacao?

What can I do with leftover cacao?

Put it in a sealed container in the fridge and reheat the following morning for cacao round 2! (it's best to consume within 12-24 hours)

Make Cacao Mousse (see recipe)

Make Cacao Ice Cubes (see recipe)

Gift it to friends and loved ones

Return it to the Earth with gratitude

What are some good recipes?

Check out our recipes page!

Sourcing & Impact

What Is Colonization & How Was Cacao Colonized?

How do we decolonize cacao?

Decolonizing Cacao: A Sacred Medicine & Relationship To Money

Announcing our Cacao Coin Rewards Program got us thinking deeply (again) about the relationship between cacao as a medicine, and monetary exchange. If you want to dive in, we recommend reading the How Do We Decolonize Cacao FAQ that touches the essence of our perspective at Firefly on this topic.

Fundamentally, our monetary system is simply one form of respect that we can give for a sacred medicine such as cacao (for example, paying our cacao farmers good prices). But the true work of decolonization includes respect on many additional levels, including seeking active relationship to cacao through ceremony, seeking to end destructive deforestation and mineral exploitation, and supporting indigenous sovereignty and protection of their cosmo-visions. 

This decolonization work is at the heart of our mission at Firefly and we're emerging as thought leaders in the chocolate world on this topic. So as we share the cacao coins rewards program with you, know that it is but a little part of the bigger picture of leaning more into sacred exchange with our community. The intention is not to devalue cacao, but to give thanks to you for the many non-monetary ways you support us, from sharing our cacao with your circles of friends, and simply blessing us from afar.

Is your packaging sustainable?

We're glad you're curious about this! We recently shared a newsletter going into detail about our search for compostable packaging and our efforts for regenerative cacao.  Take a look on our Cacao Journal to check it out.

Cacao Ritual & Ceremony

How To Cultivate A Relationship With Cacao The Plant Spirit

Often relationships are based on a genuine desire to get to know each other, and working with cacao is no exception. The best way to get to know cacao is to begin sitting with it on a daily basis, and approaching it with inquiry.

When you sip cacao, you can ask cacao any number of questions. Some good ones to get started with are:

Hi! I'm curious about you. Can you teach me about you?

What do I need to know to share you in ceremony?

You may or may not receive a reply immediately. Plants have a different notion of time than humans do, so sometimes the insight comes days later. Just pay attention, and be patient.

You can also approach the cacao with personal work you are doing, which is a way that cacao loves to work with us. For example:

So I'm really struggling with this ... , and I need help with it. Can you help?

I'm working on this ...., and I need new insight or clarity. How can I see this situation differently?

Specificity always improves outcomes. The more detail you go into with any personal work, the clearer the outcome will be.

Or, you can work with cacao to invite new beginnings, expansion, or mystery into your day. One of my favorite things to ask cacao for is more magic in my life. Regardless of what I request, I usually feel lighter after bringing my request to cacao, knowing that I'm not in it alone anymore, I have a bad-ass plant spirit looking out for me too.

What do we know about ancient cacao rituals?

Archaeological evidence of cacao's use dates back to 3,900 years ago in Central America, and recent genetic evidence dates cacao's use to 5,300 years ago in the Amazon. Despite this long history of human use of cacao, we know very little about ancient cacao rituals both because of the massive genocide of the indigenous population of the Americas beginning in the 1500s, and because of how quickly ancient artifacts deteriorate in wet tropical conditions. 

We do know that for the Olmec, Zapotec, Mayans, and Aztec, cacao was a plant of central importance. Cacao is mentioned extensively in the Popul Vuh, the Mayan Creation story, and can be found in many engravings depicting ritual offerings. We know that there were great storehouses of cacao beans, that cacao was used as a currency, and that cacao was consumed as a drink. Cacao is still an important part of Maya culture today, utilized in midwifery, weddings & other social gatherings.

Cacao ceremony, in the Western context, is a relatively new phenomenon, as people seek a new relationship with cacao outside of what the chocolate industry offers. There is no relationship between modern cacao ceremony and ancient cacao ceremony, besides the desire to engage in sacred relationship with the cacao plant.

This is a fundamental tie though, as all the information for ancient cacao rituals likely arose from intuitive listening and inquiry with the cacao plant, and similarly, modern cacao ceremony arises from a method of inquiry and relationship building with the cacao spirit.

Why do people drink cacao in a group ceremony?

Am I Ready To Lead A Group Cacao Ceremony?

How Much Cacao Do I Need For A Group Cacao Ceremony?

Start with estimating how many people you expect, and add 3-5 on top to be safe.You'll want 1-1.5 ounces per person for the ceremony which is about 10-20 discs. You can start with 4 oz of liquid per serving, and then adjust per the consistency you want. Note that it will thicken the longer it sits after you heat it.

You can also use the cups that you will be serving in as a way to measure the amount of liquid.

For any cacao that is left over, you can make chocolate mousse, cacao ice cubes for smoothies, or offer it back to the Earth to show your gratitude. See the Recipes section of our FAQs for details!

How To Offer Cacao Ceremonies While Traveling

Can I Keep Leftover Cacao?

Yes! We recommend putting it in a sealed container in the fridge. It will keep for 12-24 hours, although the sooner you consume it the fresher it will be.

You can also make Cacao Mouse, Cacao Ice Cubes, gift it to others, or offer it back to the Earth. See our Recipes section for more details.

Wholesale and Bulk Cacao

I'm Interested In Wholesale Or Bulk Cacao!

Bulk cacao is our ceremonial cacao discs without Ora Cacao packaging.

Wholesale is to purchase cases of Ora Cacao branded and packaged cacao discs to resell.

Bulk Cacao, Affiliates & Rewards

Do you have an affiliate or ambassador program?

We have two programs to support the many ways people are sharing our cacao. Our Cacao Referral Rewards program is best for those wanting an easy way to share Ora Cacao with their friends and family.

Our Cacao Affiliate Program is best suited for those with digital platforms (influencers, content creators, online entrepreneurs) who have a reach on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, e-mail lists, etc.

Cacao Rewards Program

This is the place to start! You can sign up for our rewards program through the red button on the bottom left hand corner of our website, and instantly access your unique referral link. This link provides a 5% discount code for new customers on their first order, and when people use your link, you get 500 cacao coins (equivalent to $10!). With this program you also receive points for your orders with us, and other activities like leaving reviews and following us on social media. 

Becoming part of our Cacao Rewards program is the first step to joining our affiliate team. Once 5 of your referrals have purchased cacao from us you are eligible to join our affiliate program with added features and perks. You can see more about how to apply to the affiliate program below.

Ora Cacao Affiliate Program

This program is best suited for those with digital platforms (influencers, content creators, online entrepreneurs) who have a digital reach on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, e-mail lists, etc. In this program you receive a unique discount code and a commission on the first sale of new customers. You do not get rewards for your purchases or leaving reviews.You can see more and apply here.

Our goal with these programs is to have a thriving, connected community of cacao lovers, to amplify the work of this plant teacher.Questions? Email support@oracacao.com

How do I redeem cacao coins?

Checking Your Reward Status

Earn discounts for referring your friends

Joining our Cacao Coins Rewards Program is an easy way to earn rewards for referring your friends to us. 

For each friend you refer, you receive 500 cacao coins ($10 worth) to redeem on your cacao.