Cacao v Cocoa and why it should go in your coffee!

by Gregory Frontiero


Hello Friends, 


What a week it’s been.

The first bit of news is enough of you crazy creative cowboys/girls have pre-ordered enough to cover our first run!

So thank you for that! We’ve 10x what I thought we’d do in orders which is both amazing and terrifying. 


Since we’re still waiting on bags to be printed and shipped (should be next week!) Then we're in the endgame of packing and shipping to you!


We’re currently working with our coffee roasters to try different roasts with our ingredients. We have some fancier options available and if we can make this taste even better with the extra time and capital we have, why not?


But you didn’t open this newsletter to hear that. You came to talk about cacao.


So 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 -- means “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.


But first, 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.


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. 


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 in Brooklyn 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 abd retain as much of the benefits as can. It was the most challenging and most rewarding part of the process. I can say that no other coffee on the market 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.


It’s as important to be in the right mindset before creating something and the cacao really enhances the other ingredients imo.


You have this perfect combination of ingredients feeding the others giving you better energy, focus and mood that primes your mind for a Flow State. 


Next week I really want to delve into mindset and how I use Flow State Coffee as a physiological trigger to do creative work. It's gonna get pretty culty but like most cult leaders, I really believe it!


Let's get weird!


-Prophet Greg