Ema Taylor is a Sydney based naturopath who also happens to make delicious organic cacao. Ceremony Cacao asks you to slow down and find the space to create a little ceremony in life, by sipping mindfully on some hot cacao. I'm sure most of us wouldn't need much convincing, especially in the knowledge that only the highest quality cacao and medicinal herbs go into her blends. Recently Ema travelled to Peru, straight to the source to see the cacao growing and production process first hand and connect with the ancestral land of this revered plant.
Who is behind Ceremony Cacao?
Naturopath, Ema Taylor
What products are on offer?
We offer medicinal drinking chocolate blends. Currently we have two flavours - classic cacao and chilli cacao.
Tell us a bit about the ingredients you use…
Ceremony is crafted in small batches using the highest quality, organic ingredients. We blend cold pressed, unroasted, enzyme rich Peruvian cacao beans with a handful of Mother Nature’s super foods – each possessing their own unique medicinal properties.
You recently went on a trip to Peru, the reputed home of cacao. What did you get up to while over there?
So much! Peru is such an incredibly magical and diverse country. We travelled to the desert, the coast, the sacred valley, mountains and the jungle. We visited cacao farms, stayed with local growers and learnt the whole process of cacao production, from planting the tress through to fermenting the beans and grounding them into a powder.
How and where is cacao grown?
Most of the worlds cacao trees grow in a narrow belt along the equator in tropical climates. Cacao pods take from 180 to 210 days to reach maturity (that's four to five months of energy from the earth and sun absorbed into this super food for us to enjoy) and range in colour from green, purple, orange and yellow, depending on the species.
We use Peruvian cacao in our blends, which take longer to grow (210 days) however we love the richness and depth of flavour, so are very happy to wait.
What are some of the historical and medicinal uses of cacao in Peru?
Cacao was used ceremoniously, medicinally and for culinary purposes by both the
Mayan and Aztec civilisations. The Aztecs even used cacao as a currency, highlighting its value. The Mayans referred to cacao as ‘the food of the gods’ and used it as an offering to
deities and in rituals. Cacao was drunk to enhance stamina, nourish the nervous system, improve digestion and stabilise weight by both civilisations.
What are some discoveries you made about cacao while in Peru?
Cacao growers and their families’ work incredibly hard to bring the world cacao,
especially when it is done in a sustainable and ethical way. Many of us are so far removed from the hands on process of how food is grown and produced it is easy to not think twice about what we buy from the store. Seeing the growers dedication and love for the earth and its offerings was such a powerful reminder to be deeply grateful for the wholesome food we have to fuel our body with and stop and think about the people along the way that make it possible for us to enjoy.
Also, cacao fruit is delicious! The growers suck it off the pods to sustain energy while harvesting – make sure you try it if you ever get the chance.
Why is it important to add some ceremony to your day?
Most of us live fast paced lives, running around trying to fit everything in and tick of
our to – do lists; sometimes the day flies past without a second to yourself.
This is why I feel it is so important to weave in daily rituals. Sipping slowly on a cup
of Ceremony creates a sense of stillness, a moment of calm, time for reflection and
fosters joy. I believe rituals have the power to change your day, and in turn your life.