Let’s talk cacao.
What it is, what it is NOT and why it’s one of the best things you can put in your coffee.
So first and foremost. Cacos' actual scientific name, Theobroma cacao -- translates to “food of the gods” and that’s because it is the superfood to end all superfoods.
It does so many things that I can’t really list them all because it would veer into ‘snake oil’ territory. I'll do my best later in this article to explain.
Probably the most important distinction we need to make right away is that Cacao is NOT Cocoa. This can be really confusing as the terms are wildly inconsistent and sometimes it matters, sometimes it’s tomato/potato.
Essentially, all you really need to know is that generally, Cacao is fermented, dried, and unroasted version of the cacao bean. It is less processed and healthier as the nutrients aren't lost through roasting.
Cocoa however is roasted under high temperature. It’s the high temperature that really makes you lose the nutrients and benefits. Cocoa has 4x less of the good stuff. Cocoa is also often laced with milk and sugar for taste. Which actually is why chocolate sucks for you and we view it as bad.
The cacao we use is raw, organic, and ethically sourced from Ecuador. It is dried with warm - not hot - air.
We're working with an awesome cacao partner and it's all they do. We had to develop and patent a special method to blend raw cacao into the coffee so it would not clog your brewer and retain all it's benefits. It was the most challenging and most rewarding part of the process. I can say that no other coffee on the market is made like ours and can do what Flow State Coffee does!
In your FACE Starbucks!
So let’s talk about why I put this in Flow State Coffee and what benefits you get from it.
Like I said earlier, Cacao is a superfood so I’m going to cover three compounds cacao contains (alliteration!) and how they affect the brain.
Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid that’s an active ingredient in cacao. Theobromine acts as a stimulant that helps open up blood vessels which is a big reason it’s part of Flow State Coffee.
Daily caffeine usage can cause blood vessel constriction. Less blood flow limits caffeine's effect on brain activation. This is what leads to chronic tolerance and dependency out of fear of the dreaded “crash” from withdrawal.
Theobromine, meanwhile, INCREASES the elasticity of blood vessels and facilitates more blood flow to the brain, which results in more efficient thinking. Crazy, right?
It also may result in minimizing blood pressure and help battle against edema, angina and other diseases.
*( also in some studies it has been shown that theobromine hardens tooth enamel and helps fight tooth decay which I feel like should be mentioned when we’re talking about coffee teeth but we have to pick a lane here and we’re not creating optimal teeth products right?)
Cacao contains the highest dose of anandamide. The literal meaning of the word Anandamide is from the Sanskrit word, Ananda which means “joy, bliss or happiness.” This is because anandamide is a neurotransmitter that helps with feelings of happiness.
Anandamide has shown to have numerous health benefits and seems to help patients fight against anxiety and stress.
Phenethylamine is the precursor of Dopamine (the feel good hormone), and it is found naturally in cacao.
Phenethylamine affects the brain through neurotransmitters in the central nervous system It’s the same compound humans produce when in love!
Anandamide and Phenylethylamine and other compounds in cacao combine to create mild feelings of euphoria and happiness. It’s the most natural (legal) way to feel good!
Seriously. There are studies on Cacao’s mood-boosting properties saying people who consumed it daily are 70% less likely to report feelings of depression.
When I think about Flow State and sitting down to create something it’s part focus and drive but the missing component to me is being in a good mood.
Also, the taste! It really enriches the nicaraguan flavor we have to give you a nice smooth taste.
I hope it brings a smile to your face as you drink it and you feel a little happier as you flow.
"Here's to feeling good all of the time." - Cosmo Kramer