Course 4: Cacao Sourcing and Transformation
Come join us on an epic journey ... from seed to cup. Packed with detail, you'll learn all about where your cacao comes from, how it is grown and made, and what makes it ceremonial grade. The complexity of the chocolate supply chain is lost on most people, linking communities across the world and if done right having significant environmental and social impact. It's a fascinating world that we'll guide you through step by step with our inside experience of sourcing some of the best cacaos in the world.
This course provides a detailed overview of the current commodity cacao industry and how this differs from the transparent direct trade cacao movement. You will leave this course with an understanding of how your purchase of ceremonial cacao impacts farmers, and why fair trade plantation-grown cacao really doesn’t cut it. You will also understand the truth behind the raw cacao marketing fad, why organic certification matters for your health, and see a detailed video of how we make your cacao incorporating the four elements.
- When you sign up for the class you will receive an email with the link to join the private social network, where all materials & class recordings live. You will have lifetime access and can re-watch the videos as often as you'd like.
- You will receive supplemental reading to prepare for the class.
- You will receive "love-work" journaling prompts to follow up and integrate the course material.
- You can ask questions about the course material and direct message us through the course network.
- ‘Ceremonial Grade’ Defined
- Regenerative Cacao Farming Practices
- Wet Cacao Purchasing and the Social Impact Benefit
- Plantations vs. Small Farms, Fair Trade vs. Transparent Trade
- Secret to Flavor - the Cacao Fermentation Process
- The Truth Behind The Raw Cacao Marketing Trend
- Cacao Supply Chain - Why Organic Certified Cacao Matters
- Cacao Roasting and Shelling
- Cacao Grinding and Conching
- Cacao Tempering and Depositing
- The Four Element Spiral of Making Ceremonial Cacao
Did You Know We Have More Online Classes?
We have broken down our two big courses into six smaller classes, to offer a self-guided learning journey through the topics that you're most interested in. These classes can be taken in any order, and you can see the entire list here. They are listed in order from beginner (cacao health & embodiment 101) to advanced topics (cacao ceremony facilitation) so if you are interested in receiving a comprehensive education around ceremonial cacao we recommend starting from the top and working your way through.
Yet, our intention is to make the courses accessible for those who want to pick and choose the areas they are most interested in, as well as provide the comprehensive course option for those that want it.
After first encountering chocolate making with a Zapotec elder in Oaxaca Mexico in 2012, Jonas founded Firefly Chocolate in 2014, with the mission of inspiring awe and wonder through cacao. As his third entrepreneurial venture and his first at the helm, starting a business was a big initiation. Building a modern chocolate factory to produce purely 100% ceremonial cacao took many years, and now Firefly has found its footing with a unique expertise as a leading supplier of ceremonial cacao in the US and internationally. Jonas loves that every day he shows up to work, he gets to work with cacao, and it is always teaching him. His favorite part about teaching these courses is that he gets to share that rich learning experience with you.
Jonas goes by he/his, and he identifies as a first-generation American, having immigrated from Germany at 4 years old, He grew up in Boston, land of the Massachusetts people, and lives in Northern California, occupied land of the Nisenan people.
Sena worked at Google pioneering their hardware projects for 5 years before discovering cacao in a ceremony in Mexico in 2015. She eventually left her corporate job which led to travels in Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Belize to deepen her connection with cacao. She joined the Firefly team in 2018 after teaching many about ceremonial cacao through her online courses and in addition to her marketing support for Firefly, continues to lead ceremonies, retreats, and workshops on cacao stewardship.
Sena goes by she/hers, and identifies as half-Mexican and half-European. She grew up in the land of the Dakota Sioux, now called Minnesota, and lives in Northern California, occupied land of the Nisenan people.
THE COURSE WAS SO LIFE CHANGING. IT WAS SO MUCH MORE THAN I EXPECTED. ~ Crystal
The course was so life changing. It was so much more than I expected. My intention was to take the class as a way to develop z spiritual practice. All the "spiritual" practices in the past never felt right for me. Cacao makes me feel so connected, makes me heart so open and big. She begs for me to share her with others. As I sit with what I have learned and am still learning I have a great desire to become a ceremonial cacao facilitator for my community. Fargo needs this! I also have changed my primary beverage of the morning to cacao instead of coffee. Realizing now the janky, anxiety ridden vibes of coffee I've been allowing all these years where why I didn't feel good. Ufta! But mama cacao makes me feel so good and energetic without ever dropping a beat. Those heart vibes are so real and big. Thank you a million times over to you both... Jonas and Sena. Now if we can have a sustainable way for everyone to drink cacao everyday and spread the good vibes. Cacao can and will surely change the world.
HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND EXPERIENCING AND LEARNING FROM THIS CLASS. ~ Michelle
When I first saw Firefly Chocolate's announcement of their "Meet Cacao" course I didn't hesitate to sign up, and I'm so glad I did! Such thoughtful presentation of topics, so knowledgeable of the cultural history, literally all things cacao, nutritionally, farm to disc, ceremonial cacao, and so much more flowed so generously throughout this course. Jonas and Sena are a wonderful team of knowledge, a great balance, and beautiful space holders. This course exceeded my expectations and for me was the perfect balance between cacao facts, nutrition, history, also their farmers and standards (all wrapped around handling this plant as living medicine, a sacred being-and bean!), as well as the spiritual side of cacao, ritual and ceremony, the sacred plant medicine. Highly, highly recommend experiencing and learning from this class. You will connect with great people, you will love working with cacao. I learned so much about the plant and myself, which is a continuing experience as I grow in this journey with Mama Cacao. So much gratitude for Jonas and Sena, their tremendous knowledge and respect, and the lovely space they create for this special class.
All the best to you both, thank you again! I can't wait to take the Stewardship/Facilitator course, just wasn't meant to be this time around--but hopefully next time! See you in the chats and on social media LOL!
SOMETHING QUITE SPECIAL. ~ Marty
My experience of the course was not like I imagined it to be. First off, equal attention was given to both heart time and brain time; and they were woven together seamlessly. While there was significant information about all aspects of Cacao, it was delivered in a heart full connected way, and rather than just receiving data points, I had the full experience of what I was learning. I am all in for the next level of Steward the Medicine while insights resulting from my personal Cacao ritual continue to enrich and inform. Kudos to Jonas and Sena for creating something quite special.
I WAS ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY... THIS COURSE TRULY EXCEEDED MY EVERY EXPECTATION! ~ Lyndsay
I signed up for Meet Cacao simply wanting to gather more information for myself on the medicinal and physical benefits that I felt were beginning to transpire for me in my month of drinking Firefly Chocolate. I was absolutely blown away after the very first class with the depth of information and education that the course provided and the honesty and candor with which Jonas and Sena presented everything. Each class continued to inspire my curiosity about Ceremonial Cacao and the benefit of participating live when I could was also a wonderful surprise gift of community! My only wish was that the course was spread over 6 weeks with one class a week instead of two so that I would have had more time to steep in the information I collected from each class and allow it to more fully integrate before even more interesting information was presented. This course truly exceeded my every expectation! I feel much more able to speak about cacao to friends and family with this foundational information to build upon. Thank you for this offering and for sharing your knowledge with the world! Mama Cacao is working her magic through you and Firefly Chocolate!
FASCINATING & DIGESTIBLE! ~ Liz
I had been working with Cacao a few months before I joined the introductory Meet Cacao course with Firefly Chocolate. All that I had experienced personally up until that point, I still only had a small understanding of the cultural history, cultivation, and social impact of ceremonial-grade cacao. Jonas and Sena have broken all this down into fascinating, digestible details, from their tremendous experience and research, truly honoring the long history of the cacao plant in nature and in culture. Each lesson expanded my relationship with Cacao, as well as my inner-self, and introduced me to a beautiful community full of passionate, wonderful people who are all just as dedicated to Cacao as I am! This is a unique, interactive course that perfectly weaves education, guidance, and hands-on exercise, creating leadership and integrity in the practice of working with Cacao.
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