Ava, chocolate and cacao, for most people it's the same. Can you tell us the difference?
Chocolate is when the ingredients like cacao, cacao butter from different varieties and mostly sugar are mixed together. Means that the cacao it contains is a mixture of all types of cacao beans from all over the world, combined in one bar. Cacao is just the melted cacao bean so to say, no additives. Just 100% pure cacao directly from the cacao fruit. And the fruits are growing at the cacao tree. There are different kinds of cacao plant varieties. The cacao that we are talking about is ‚Criollo Cacao‘. This special variety makes up only 1% of the cacao grown worldwide! In the cacao family, this one produces the highest amount of theobromine, which is the activating part in it we love so much! Above that it contains a big spectrum of minerals and vitamins. It's one of the highest natural sources of magnesium in perfect ratios that are fully absorbable by the body. It also contains a type of amino acid called ‘PEA’ that is a pre-cursor to the happy brain chemical - serotonin.
How did you get interested in the topic of ceremonial cacao?
I went to a cacao ceremony and there something special happened to me. I got somehow lost in the nice and open arms of Maestra Cacao. I felt nourished, grounded, I felt seen. I was more in contact with me, my truth and my emotions. Somehow, I felt touched on a very deep level. After that moment it was clear for me: I want to learn more about cacao. (And had really no idea where the cacao will lead me!) With the time I felt in love with the healing power of cacao that I wanted to be a part in bringing this wonderful medicine into the world.
The spirit of the cacao taught me how to work even deeper on the spiritual, physical and emotional level… She is here for us, if we allow, if we open up our hearts. It’s the medicine for the hearts. She grounds our minds in our hearts again and shows us her wisdoms. She became a very close ally in my daily life. You can imagine her like an unconditionally loving mother, who strengthens you from inside out. So you can taste again the golden nectar of life.
Would you describe yourself as a spiritual person and do you have any spiritual practices?
For me a spiritual practice is very personal. But what I would like to say is, cacao is a good support for spiritual practices. In my daily little cacao practice, I take some time and get in contact with the spirit of cacao. I show her my gratitude and give my prayers into the cup of cacao. I literally talk to the spirit of cacao. After programming the medicine this way, I drink it, sip by sip and let it sink into my heart.
You are also a stockiest for Ruk’u’x’Ulew cacao from Guatemala. Why do you source from them and what is special about this cacao?
Ruk’u’x’Ulew is a women's collective and, as you said, located in Guatemala. It is difficult for women in this country to have good working conditions and to make a living from their work. In addition, the Maya women work so hard in their homes, so many tasks! They clean, hand washing clothes, make tortillas, take care of many children, but while working with the cacao spirit they can sit down and relax with the cacao, even meditate.
When I saw how much love they put into making the cacao, they won my heart.
By getting the cacao from this women's collective, we are helping them to lead a good life. For example, they can pay school fees for their children and buy them better clothes. Everyone wins in the end. They put their hearts and wisdom into making the cacao and we have access to very high-quality cacao.
It is almost priceless to receive something in return that fills our hearts so much and gives us access to self-healing. You can feel it when you drink it.
Fun Fact: Did you know that mosquitoes are the main pollinator for the cacao? At least somebody can enjoy their visit and may you will think of it in summertime.
Thank you Ava, for your time!