Cacao Tea Recipe – ‘Caribbean Hot Chocolate’

Never mind the fact that this decadent cacao tea is packed with heart healthy flavonoids. My favorite part of drinking a cup of rich Cacao tea is the crunchy little bits of cocoa nut that settles in the bottom of the cup. I am uncertain if other Caribbean islands prepare the cacao/ chocolate the same way Jamaicans do. We also call all hot beverages except coffee, tea. In Jamaica the ripe cacao beans are ground and then shaped into sticks or balls. To make cacao tea, the chocolate is grated then boiled.

Outside the Caribbean, you can purchase Jamaican chocolate from online retailers like Amazon or West Indian grocery stores worldwide.

I am not a chocolate lover by any stretch of the imagination. Still, there is something about sipping on a cup of this decadently rich, creamy, chocolatey goodness that excites my tastebuds. Sweeten this chocolate delight with condensed milk and a dash of cinnamon and grated ginger or Sian’s Cooking sweet spice for a burst of added flavor.

Jamaican hot chocolate tea
All you need for complete satisfaction is a chunk of your favorite bread or a few ‘hard crackers’ for dipping.

The next time you’re craving some hot chocolate, try this concoction instead of a packaged mix loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives. The fragrant aroma and the refreshing taste (yes, refreshing) of fresh spiced chocolate is guaranteed to satisfy almost any chocolate craving and leave you wanting more. If you are unable to find cacao balls where you live give a try.

grating chocolate balls

Because the beans are ground and then packed and dried there is much more to these little balls (sticks) than meets the eye. These little chocolate balls are small in size but they are very compact If you’re only making tea for 1 or 2 it’s best to grate a few tablespoons from the ball than to guesstimate the amount. otherwise it will take quite a while for the chocolate to dissolve and you might end up with a stronger flavored tea than you intended. At the bottom of this page, you will find a short video explaining how chocolate balls are made.

Chocolate Tea Recipe (Hot Chocolate the Jamaican Way)

  • 1 oz cacao ball (or stick (about 1 oz))
  • ¼ C sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 C water
  • 1 tsp sweet spice (or ½ tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger)
  • ¼ tsp salt (optional)
  1. Break the cacao into small pieces or grate it onto a plate. Stir chocolate into boiling water. Add salt and spice(s). Reduce heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in milk and taste for sweetness. Add more milk 1 TB at a time if desired. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Pour into a heat proof cup and enjoy.


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