Caribbean Chocolate Tea (Cocoa Tea)

25.1.16 | Recipe by Renz

A warm and delicious chocolate tea ideal for the cold months

Caribbean Chocolate Tea

I can remember the mornings waking up and smelling tea boiling on the stove.

It's a smell that really pulls at your stomach strings and lets you know that breakfast is ready.

Chocolate tea was specially made on Christmas mornings at my house. It was just a kinda tea that just needed to be made on special occasions.

But this chocolate tea is not really a tea.

Before I go into the recipe, let me give you some history of cocoa in Trinidad and Tobago (TnT)

Cocoa has been a major contributor to the economy of TnT for over 200 years.

Having traded hands from British to the French to the Spanish, the country quickly became a trading passage.

Cacao quickly became one of their staples and made them one of the top three cocoa producers and exporters in the world at one point.

As a result, of the various inhabitants, TnT's cocoa is a hybrid of different types of cocoa and had a unique flavor.

This "Tea of the Gods" as it was fondly called is not really anything close to hot chocolate even though it is sometimes compared to each other.

Cocoa tea is a blend of chocolate with other spices and gives this "tea" a strong chocolatey flavor that is much heavier than the packaged hot chocolate with marshmallows.

The cocoa beans are roasted, crushed (ground), spiced and then rolled into the balls or even sticks.

To get the cocoa crushed, the cocoa workers would "Dance the Cocoa", quite an interesting sight.

My mom always boasts that as a child she was able to be a part of this process. Now, this process is obviously done by a machine but here's a video of the "long time" process of dancing the cocoa at the Tobago Heritage Festival.

How to make Caribbean chocolate tea

I mentioned that this isn't tea. This is a heavy, chocolate drink that warms up your inside with the bursting flavor of not just the strong cocoa taste, but amazing spices of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Caribbean Chocolate TEa

Sweetened with enough condensed milk to your liking, it pairs nicely with some bake and saltfish for a hearty Caribbean breakfast.

The process isn't a hard one. It's almost like making porridge.

Coco comes in various forms. Sometimes as a ball, or a stick or a block. Whatever form you get it in it needs to be grated to a powder so that it can be used.

Then that powder is added to boiling water (that has spices added to it) and left to simmer down till "cooked" through.

You then sweeten to your liking with whatever sweetener you prefer. I love to use condensed milk, but some people prefer honey.

Where to buy cocoa tea

I usually beg my mom to bring cocoa for me when she's coming to visit. But I also happened to find an online site now selling them.

You can now shop chocolate sticks

Now, it is not traditional for us to add whipped creme. In fact, I showed my mom the pic of it with some whipped creme and she wasn't having it. But whipped creme is a great addition to this chocolaty drink especially for those people who may not be accustomed to such a strong chocolate taste.

Cocoa storage tips

I usually grate whatever blocks I get and store in an airtight container.

Someone recently asked me how well they store and I said over a year. But then I realized that some of the balls had started to mold.

So I would definitely cut that down to no more than six months for best use. Especially if you know the ball/stick/cube is pure with no preservatives.

Keep in a place that is dark, cool and dry. If you are going to keep in the fridge then make sure it's in an airtight container. I keep mine my cupboard, even when grated.

This chocolate ball can be used for a multitude of other meals. 

Great for brownies, candy, truffles, rum balls. I know some people use it for meats (I am yet to try that).

What else would you use raw chocolate to make?

Check out some other Caribbean drinks:
Peanut Punch
Pumpkin Punch
Bush Tea

Caribbean Chocolate Tea Recipe
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