What is the Difference Between Coffee and Cacao?
Cacao or Coffee?

What is the Difference Between Coffee and Cacao?

Coffee and Cacao: Choose Your Daily Cup

Is cacao an alternative to drinking coffee? Have you ever wondered what is the difference between coffee and cacao? With Cacao Source, we have heard from countless cacao lovers how they gave up their morning routine with coffee to replace it with a mindful moment with cacao. In this article, we’ve compared cacao and coffee in the medicinal, social, and ecological aspects to bring more perspective to your choice. 

Most of us grew up in the coffee world. Starting the day means a cup of coffee (or many coffees) before being functional and going to work. This culture resulted in coffee addiction and keeping up with a fast-paced lifestyle. The coffee culture has, of course, great benefits to it in its cultural and medicinal aspects. Isn’t it nice to take a break from work and meet a friend at a cafe to speak about our day? Letting go of coffee, for some of us, can also mean losing a bit of our social life and routine, which is a bit hard to let go of. 

5 Benefits of Coffee

What about the great benefits of coffee stimulation? When we live in a fast-paced society, coffee acts as fuel to keep us going, especially in early mornings or late nights. Many people are most interested in how drinking a cup of coffee is going to make them feel. Both coffee and cacao are stimulants. With coffee, the main active compound is caffeine. Caffeine works on the central nervous system, which is what provides a quick zap of energy in your body. This energy can feel nice in the proper dose, or it can also cause feelings of jitteriness. 

Of course, it is known that the abuse of coffee can be unhealthy but what about the healthy dose of a cup of coffee a day? A few health benefits of coffee:

  1. Boost your energy level
  2. Decrease the risk of diabetes
  3. Cleanse the stomach
  4. Beneficial for the liver
  5. Lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease

What about the role of coffee in the ecosystem? There are two ways to grow coffee: shade or sun grown. Most coffee enthusiasts prefer the taste of shade-grown. By shade grown, we mean growing under the forest’s canopy. Not only is shade-grown coffee better in taste, but it’s also an environmentally responsible way to cultivate coffee. 

In a fast-paced life, most of us find ourselves without a morning. Regardless of the effects of coffee, the culture around it has brought a quick, pleasant routine to most people. Enjoying a good warm coffee as you wake up on your balcony, porch, or kitchen is enough of a good reason for people to wake up a bit earlier and savor the moment.

What about Cacao? 

Cacao is known as a heart opener. The main active compound in cacao is theobromine. This compound is similar in structure to caffeine. Instead of working on your central nervous system, however, theobromine works on your smooth muscle tissue. This includes your heart. Theobromine dilates your blood vessels, particularly your heart, which also increases your energy levels. It’s a different type of feeling to coffee, but a lot of people have likened it to the pleasant feeling of love.

Cacao also has many properties that bring about feelings of alertness and creativity, which may also enhance your work.

Imagine starting the day with delicious hot cacao which allows you a mindful moment, maybe even a small intention setting for the day or gratefulness, while enjoying a heart activation. This could drastically change the outcome of your entire day!

Cacao, as for coffee, needs to be drunk in moderation to enjoy its benefits for the mind, body and spirit.  An abuse of any substance, cacao included, result to an unhealthy practice, especially for our body. If you’re drinking cacao daily, we recommend no more than 20 grams a day, and no more than 40 grams in ceremonial dose. 

What are 5 Benefits of Drinking Cacao: 

  1. Healing from hypertension
  2. Anti-cancer properties
  3. Highest source of plant-based iron
  4. Antidepressant properties
  5. Cardiovascular health 

You can learn more about cacao benefits on our blog: 12 Major Health and Nutrition Benefits of Cacao

Cacao has a similar relationship with its ecology to coffee. Cacao can be shade or sun grown. Shade-grown cacao is known to be more environmentally friendly than sun-grown. Often we find sun-grown cacao in mass production for farmers to increase their yields as a short term solution. This practice results to soil degradation and deforestation. Meanwhile, shade-grown cacao offers higher quality cacao for our health and as well for its environment. 

In the social realm, cacao may be used in morning routines, such as coffee, as well in a ceremonial setting. Cacao is an incredible gatherer for human connection in heart-opening spaces. These types of social gatherings are popping up everywhere, bringing intentionality, deeper connections, and community bonding. We find an increasing amount of cacao shops functioning as our favorite cafes, which allows us to have a new option for our friend meetings in the city.

What is a Ceremonial Cacao?
Cacao Source's 5 criteria for ceremonial cacao