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Tropical Cooking with Travel Man - 1st Beverage: Home-prepared Cocoa Drink

Updated on September 23, 2011
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Cacao Pod (Photo by Travel Man)Young cacao plant (Photo by Travel Man)Opened Cacao Pod (Uploaded by Kbh3rd in wikipedia.com)My Sun-Dried Cocoa Seeds (Photo by Travel Man)
Cacao Pod (Photo by Travel Man)
Cacao Pod (Photo by Travel Man)
Young cacao plant (Photo by Travel Man)
Young cacao plant (Photo by Travel Man)
Opened Cacao Pod (Uploaded by Kbh3rd in wikipedia.com)
Opened Cacao Pod (Uploaded by Kbh3rd in wikipedia.com)
My Sun-Dried Cocoa Seeds (Photo by Travel Man)
My Sun-Dried Cocoa Seeds (Photo by Travel Man)

Every heard of cocoa drink? I will give you some pointers on how to make it at home with the ingredients available. Thanks to the Mayans, (circa 15th century) of South America who popularized this tonic drink or beverage that is considered as 'official drink of the gods' centuries ago.

The Spanish conquistadors (invaders) brought its variety at the Philippine shore and success stories on planting kakaw (cocoa plant) contributed to the unstable economy of the country. Families that belong at the marginal line or poverty threshold cultivate this crop side by side with coffee trees. The propagation is assisted by the government as an alternative means of livelihood of common people in the countryside.

Although the production is not enough to include the country as one of the top ten growers of cacao around the world, it is the main source of livelihood as local cocoa or cacao balls are being vended house-to-house by mothers who also dry, roast and ground cocoa seeds for that crude chocolate (with added brown sugar on it).

Considered the best alternative for coffee as cocoa drink is rich in flavanoids, known to benefit our cardiovascular system. In other words, it is good for the heart.

Lovers of chocolates should also love this home-made drink.

If you love parties, try mixing your drinks with cocoa liqueur. The aroma is different and you can't forget the burden of alcohol content on that drink you've chosen or ordered.

Anyways, at this very moment, I tell you, I rekindle my liking on homemade cocoa drink as the summer starts and its season peaks these days.

I

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cacao balls made from grinded cacao seeds (Photo by Travel Man)Use the conventional grinder if you don't have a coffee grinder (Photo by Travel Man)Cacao granules (Photo by Travel Man)
Cacao balls made from grinded cacao seeds (Photo by Travel Man)
Cacao balls made from grinded cacao seeds (Photo by Travel Man)
Use the conventional grinder if you don't have a coffee grinder (Photo by Travel Man)
Use the conventional grinder if you don't have a coffee grinder (Photo by Travel Man)
Cacao granules (Photo by Travel Man)
Cacao granules (Photo by Travel Man)

The 'Drama' of making the Cocoa Drink

After eating the fresh-sweet cacao seeds from the ripen pod, you must sundry the seeds for two or three days.

  1. Roast the dried cacao seeds on the frying pan. The aroma will tell you if it's just roasted already. The smell is different from the burnt ones.
  2. You can pound it using mortar and pestle or in a clean cheese cloth using wooden mallet.
  3. Strain it to get the finest granules. Repeat Step 3 if there are large granules left. If you have a coffee grinder, you can also use it at the start of Step 2.
  4. For model the home-made cacao chocolate, dilute it with water just enough to moisten the mixture. Add the brown sugar.
  5. You can manually shape it round or flatten with molders of different shapes.
  6. Put in a Ziploc container then store in the refrigerator for future use.

You can omit Steps 4,5 & 6 if you want to make a Hot Cocoa Drink in a jiffy.

Enjoy drinking!!!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cocoa Drink - a morning treat (Photo by Travel Man)A tablespoon scoop of cacao powder (Photo by Travel Man) Hot boiled water (Photo by Travel)
Cocoa Drink - a morning treat (Photo by Travel Man)
Cocoa Drink - a morning treat (Photo by Travel Man)
A tablespoon scoop of cacao powder (Photo by Travel Man)
A tablespoon scoop of cacao powder (Photo by Travel Man)
Hot boiled water (Photo by Travel)
Hot boiled water (Photo by Travel)

Variations of Cocoa Drink

  • You can add an evaporated or sweetened canned milk or even powdered milk on the cacao drink.
  • It is more stylish if you'll have a cacao latte. Just add heavy cream at the top then have a sip on it.
  • Tropical islanders of the Philippines often add or cook it with coconut milk. Unsuspecting guests will never know if it's hot, lukewarm or cold because they cannot see its smoke. The indicator is that the demitasse cup is hot and that's a warning that you must slowly sip it because your tongue might get hurt if your gulp the content abruptly. It is mostly prepared during town or barangay fiesta. You can drink it along with prepared sticky rice delicacies, like puto (rice cake).
  • Some cocoa drink producers even mix flavorings on it for iced candies and cold preparations. Vanilla essence is the most appropriate flavoring for cocoa drink.

Comments

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    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Mrs. J.B.: That praise is what I needed these days. At least I am making myself visible here on HP. With that vote of confidence coming from you, I am more inspired to make informative hubs more.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      Travel: You are such a great writer. All of your hubs are educational, interesting, filled with useful advice that I am speechless. Thanks for everything you have taught me.

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Thelma Roberts: Thanks for the hub-visit. My mom always encourage me to drink this every morning. It's not heavy in my stomach. It's very different from coffee; where right after drinking it, I always had the urge to visit the CR.LOL!

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Fluffy77: You better drink it now. LOL! If you can't make a homemade one, there's a commercial cocoa product that you can enjoy, too.

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Cogerson: Thanks for drinking it with me, LOL!!!Err, the 'Mayan' in me tends to drink more cocoa this summer. I don't believe on some folks that too much of cocoa will bring heart ailment. Flavanoids will never let me have such ill effects.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 6 years ago from Germany

      Hi! Your Hub reminds me of how my mother made our cacao drink when I was a child. Yummy.... I could smell it right now, lol. A Great Hub!!!

    • Fluffy77 profile image

      Fluffy77 6 years ago from Enterprise, OR

      This sounds like a very wonderful tasting drink, I let everybody know I'm a chocoholic. Just can't get enough, I think if I drank this I would feel like I had died and gone to heaven. Maybe why they called it the drink of the God's,LOL!! I hope to try this, maybe even make it myself. Thanks!

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Well it sounds like the Mayans were on to something....thanks for sharing this interesting hub

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @earthbound1974: You can also buy a commercial cocoa drink; I think with a mix of milk on it. You'll get through it. Cheers!

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @thesailor: Same to you, sailor! It really helps my heart to relax. Don't believe naysayers that it can affect our blood pressure badly. It's the opposite and it's goof for our hearts.

    • earthbound1974 profile image

      earthbound1974 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I miss this!!! I hope I can buy some here in Manila!

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 6 years ago from Seven Seas

      Its aroma seems to emanate my feelings. Cheers, travel man!