Pure 100% Ceremonial Cacao

Boundless Belize

Dive deep into personal inquiry with this magical drinking chocolate grown amidst rainforests that cover ancient Mayan pyramids. Peel back the layers of your boundless self with meditation, ritual and self inquiry as you drink this pure ceremonial cacao coming straight from three hundred indigenous Q'eqchi' and Mopan Maya families in southern Belize.

This ceremonial cacao comes from 300 small (1-5 acre) organic family farms in the foothills of southern Belize. 75% of our farming families are indigenous Q’eqchi’ and Mopan Maya, and they grow their pure raw cacao with deep respect and understanding of the local ecology. We've invested in a permaculture demonstration farm here to pioneer innovative agroforestry techniques, advance cacao cultivation in the region, and propagate heirloom seedlings. This is the first cacao we used for ceremonial purposes. This cacao has an heirloom designation by the Heirloom Cacao Project , and is produced by Maya Mountain Cacao.

 

Ingredients

Organic Cacao Beans from Belize

Mood

Expansive, Expressive, Magical

Best For

Meditation and Creativity

Flavor Profile

Amaretto, Manchego, Nutmeg (these are tasting notes, not ingredients)

VOLUME DISCOUNTS

Mix & match any of our cacaos. Automatic discounts applied in cart for 3 or more one pound bags or 2 or more five pound bags.

Weight
Contains 20 servings, $2.20 per serving
Regular price
$44.00
Regular price
Sale price
$44.00
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486 reviews
  • Cynthia G.
    Verified Buyer
    9 seconds ago
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Another Favorite

    They ate all favorites but yet all so unique! Blissful

  • Anne G.
    Verified Buyer
    Yesterday
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Love ❤️

    Excellent in the morning to get going for the day and feel more creative at work. Very yummy!

  • LENEISA R.
    Verified Buyer
    5 days ago
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Great product

    Taste really good.

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  • A cacao ceremony in a historic cave above the cacao grove

  • Learning about Martin's relationship with the forest

  • Being welcomed to Belize with burning copal incense

  • A cut test to assess the fermentation level of the harvested beans

MMC pioneered wet cacao purchasing in southern Belize. Originally founded by Taza Chocolate, MMC entered a competitive cacao market that was already exporting cacao internationally, and after five years emerged as the leading exporter in the region by focusing on establishing a long term stable price for farmers and building a new fermentation facility. They now export over 75% of the country’s cacao, much of which is grown by Q’eqchi’ and Mopan Maya farmers.

MMC is based in Punta Gorda right on the Caribbean ocean in southern Belize. Northern Belize is more touristy and a little drier, and the south is more lush and where the cacao grows. The people in the area speak a mix of English (the national language), Garifuna, Creole, Q’eqchi Mayan, Mopan Mayan and a little bit of Spanish. Belize was a British colony until just four decades ago when it became independent in 1981, and prior to that, it was a part of Guatemala. People are very friendly and welcoming, the culture is slow paced and you will hear lots of reggae, afro-caribe and R&B music as you walk down the street on a weekend night. On the coast seafood is common fare, along with calaloo (jungle greens).

The landscape of southern Belize is dominated by limestone mountains and caves that are revered by the Maya people. There are many ancient Maya ruins covered by jungle and coral reefs with crystal clear water off the coast. Abundant rivers flow to the coastal area which are covered in mangrove forests. There are many iguanas, toucans, bats, agoutis, tapirs, owls, tarantulas, squirrels, howler monkeys and biting insects. Even jaguar has returned to the region.

Walking through the rainforest here with a knowledge guide is like walking through a living medicine cabinet. The farmers will bring home various plants not just for cooking, but to cure all sorts of injuries and diseases. This intricate knowledge of the forest as a living ecosystem is an essential part of the long term stewardship of tropical rainforest regions, and many of the cacao farms are directly adjacent to rainforest preserves. We’ve also seen some of the most creative and innovative permaculture techniques for growing cacao here, which requires careful observation and deep understanding of the relationships in the entire ecosystem.

  • Metric tons purchased

    27

  • Peak Harvest Time

    MARCH TO MAY

  • Acres of Cacao

    983

  • Organic Farmers

    7

Preparing Your Cacao

  • Step 1

    Combine about 25 cacao discs with a touch of sweetener (or drink pure).

  • Step 2

    Add 3/4 cup (6oz) hot water, tea, or mylk (~180F).

  • Step 3

    Use a blender or electric frother to mix for 10 seconds.

Ethical Trade Regenerative Agroforestry USDA Organic Sugar-Free Third Party Metals Tested Vegan & Keto GMO-Free & Soy-Free

Ethical Trade Regenerative Agroforestry USDA Organic Sugar-Free Third Party Metals Tested Vegan & Keto GMO-Free & Soy-Free

Answers to Frequent Health Questions

What are the Nutrition Facts?

Is Your Cacao Tested for Heavy Metals?

Yes! We take heavy metals in cacao very seriously and have been testing long before the recent media attention on the topic.

All of our cacao has no detectable levels of lead. Lead is a post harvest contaminant that is introduced onto cacao beans through air and soils pollution. Since we source from remote and pristine regions with exacting standards, we have never had any presence of lead in our cacao tests.

All of our cacao also tests well below the legal limits for cadmium. Cadmium is present in many soils and impacts much of the food that we eat. Even if you were to consume cacao daily and it had the legal limit of cadmium in it, experts estimate that is would contribute at most 10% of your daily cadmium intake that comes from other grains and vegetables.

We've been talking with people daily to assure them that they will not die from heavy metals poisoning because of their love of chocolate. We strongly believe big chocolate needs to be held accountable for poor quality of their products. We're also disappointed that a lot of the recent media didn't contextualize the many cadmium sources people have in their diets (not just cacao), and that there are very large factors of safety that are used to determine the legal limits.

Here's a good third party perspective on the topic: https://arstechnica.com/health/2023/11/despite-spooky-consumer-reports-testing-metals-in-chocolates-arent-scary/

Is Cacao A Stiumulant?

Ceremonial cacao is a great coffee replacement because it offers a grounded energy boost without the jitters and crash. You can fully or partially substitute your cup of coffee with a cup of cacao. If you are new to cacao we recommend drinking it before 2pm so that the stimulant effect has time to clear before you need to sleep.

The dominant stimulant molecule in cacao is theobromine, which is a a cardiac stimulant, as opposed to caffeine which is a nervous system stimulant. Theobromine is also a vasodilator (it relaxes blood vessels), so it has a neutral effect on blood pressure. The improved circulation from cacao is excellent for cardiac health, and improves absorption of the nutrients in cacao and superfoods that it is paired with.

Overall, 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 for sustained energy.

How Does Cacao Affect Mood?

In the long term, regularly working with ceremonial cacao can have therapeutic health benefits that include creating new neural pathways that change our daily experience to include more joy, love, and connection.

That's because cacao is full of beneficial neurotransmitters and neuro-modulators. It also contains reuptake inhibitors that block the pathways that our bodies normally use to break down and recycle these beneficial mood altering molecules, so the good mood lasts for longer.

Some of the top mood altering molecules in cacao include:

Anandamide is commonly referred to as the bliss molecule, and is associated with the runner’s high effect.

Phenylethylamine (PEA) gives the perception of time slowing down, and helps with excitement, alertness, attention.

Norepinephrine is commonly referred to as the joy molecule. It is both a neurotransmitter and a hormone.

Serotonin - Helps with wellbeing, and creates resistance to stress. Cacao also has MOA inhibitors that inhibit reuptake of serotonin.

Dopamine - Gives feelings of motivation and pleasure. Cacao also has MOA inhibitors that inhibit reuptake of dopamine.

Due to these molecules and many others, when you drink ceremonial cacao you may feel expansive, blissful, connected to self and/or others, inspired, connected to your intuition & vision, connected to spirit, grounded, you may have emotions arise, and you may experience the movement of stuck energy. Gives the perception of time slowing down.

What Minerals Does Cacao Have?

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 vessels 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 phosphorus.

Are there any Contradindications?

Cacao is contraindicated with SSRIs. Unfortunately that means many people struggling with depression and other mental illnesses cannot take cacao because of the SSRI’s they are medicating with. There is potential that people may be able to partially reduce their SSRI medication intake and supplement with ceremonial cacao, however medical studies on this need to be done to establish a verifiable protocol.

Besides this, we highly recommend being well hydrated before, during, and after drinking cacao.

Not sure where to start with cacao?

That's okay, you can try them all! Our best selling pure ceremonial cacao kit allows you to try all four of our 100% single origin cacaos!

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