Confession: I cannot stand coffee. There I said it. I know it is an unpopular option, because to some people coffee is literally LIFE, but I just do not like it at all. I don't drink coffee or espresso drinks, nor do I eat anything with coffee or mocha flavors. I wasn't always this way, it started after my son was born. See, when you get pregnant, your doctor gives you this big long list of everything you can no longer do or consume. Coffee is on that list and you are told to limit your intake of regular caffeinated coffee to no more than one cup a day. Most women give up coffee all together and that is what I did. Pre-pregnancy I was your average coffee drinker, a few cups a day, cream no sugar. It was hard to go without in the beginning and sometimes I would pour a cup and just smell it, yup for real. As soon as my son was born, like literally only a few hours later, I begged my mom to bring me a huge Dunkin Donuts coffee ASAP! I was so excited I did not even test the temperature and just chugged it. Bad idea, because I immediately spit it out, like, everywhere. What was this evil burnt black bean juice that was mascaraing as my favorite warm beverage? It sure was not coffee, because I loved coffee. Well sorry to break it to you, but yes, it was indeed coffee and I now hated it.
I have since resigned to the fact that I am no longer a coffee drinker and have swapped out my caffeine fix for black tea. I take my English Breakfast strong with just a tiny squeeze of honey. A few cups a day keeps the headaches away. I do also enjoy a nice hot chocolate beverage, but the calories are usually very high for these types of drinks, so it is a once in awhile treat for me.
Fast forward to just last week, I was on FaceBook scrolling and came across one of those ads for a new type of hot beverage called Crio Bru, a brewed cacao. Interesting. It said "Roasted, ground, and brewed just like coffee, Crio Bru Brewed Cacao has the amazing flavor and aroma of pure dark chocolate. Brew our 100% pure ground cacao in your French press or coffee maker, and your kitchen will have the aroma of pure dark chocolate heaven in no time." Well doesn't that just sound AMAZING! The starter kit came with two bags of the cacao and a French press, all for $39. With just one more click it was in my cart and on its way to me. If I could have a warm morning beverage with a non-caffeine stimulant, that will wake me up AND it tastes like chocolate? I am all about it.
As soon as the package came, I unboxed everything, washed the French press and brewed my first cup. The instructions were easy to follow and not difficult at all. Pour 2 tablespoons of cacao into the press, add 8oz of hot water over the top, let it steep for 6-8 minutes, press and wait 1 more minute before drinking. EASY! I followed the steps and let me tell you, my house smelt like Hershey, PA. Have you ever been to Hershey, PA? The streets literally smell like chocolate, they pump out chocolate scent everywhere! It's fantastic! And that is what my house smelt like, so I was super excited to give it a sip.
Was it everything I imagined? Nah, kind of a let down. Don't get me wrong, if you were told you HAD to give up coffee and you loved it, you would probably like it. It tasted like watered down black coffee. For me, someone who dislikes coffee, I was not a fan. Maybe I just did not like it black, so I added Silk brand caramel almond milk creamer. With the creamer, it tasted good, like chocolate and caramel, but the amount of creamer I needed to add made the calories and sugar go thru the roof and really was not worth it for me. I would rather have a hot chocolate drink. What about the stimulant? Did it give me the energy I needed like a cup of coffee would? No, I don't think so, but I had also had a few cups of tea that morning, so it was not a fair assessment.
Would I recommend Crio Bru Brewed Cacao? I would say yes, only if you were a coffee drinker, and lover, that for some reason was told you could never have it again, then yes. For someone who does not like coffee and looking for something different, no, it tastes too much like coffee. As for me, I am going to hold onto the cacao and maybe boil some on my stove every once and awhile to make my house smell like a chocolate factory. If you would like to give it a try for yourself because why not, you can visit their website here.
Colleen is an ISSA Certified Nutrition Coach, Culinary Institute of America Graduate and Your Gluten-Free Celiac Sidekick.
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