Cacoco chocolate
Food & Drink

Chocolate Finally Goes Guilt-Free With Cacoco

Drinking chocolate that is good for the body and for the planet

Liam Blackmon and Tony Portugal of Cacoco Drinking Chocolate. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER

I was 15 the first time I tried European hot chocolate, in a small café tucked away off the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. From the first sip, that tiny, decadent cup changed what I thought chocolate could be. Now, Cacoco Drinking Chocolate has opened my mind again.

A 4-ounce cup of their spicy, dark Fire Walker chocolate has become my favorite afternoon pick-me-up. Naturally rich, creamy, and deeply satisfying, it also contains the undetectable additions of reishi mushroom and rhodiola root, both said to promote health and vitality—making Cacoco much more nourishing than the bar of chocolate I keep in my desk. All it needs is hot water and a good shake in a Mason jar.

By blending their minimally processed cacao with organic superfood herbs and spices, like cardamon, turmeric and maca, Cacoco moves away from confection and into the food-as-medicine realm, without sacrificing flavor or texture. Each cup is a beautiful molten delight. Cacoco also doesn’t contain any dairy, is made with a small amount of low-glycemic coconut sugar, is organic and non-GMO, gluten-free, paleo and vegan. People talk about guilt-free chocolate, but this is the real deal.

Co-owners Liam Blackmon, Tony Portugal and Erik Koon, who process and blend their cacao at a local kitchen facility, tell me that they set out “to make chocolate that makes you feel good.” “We want to bring the history and tradition of this rich, vital food into a contemporary setting,” says Portugal.

Their attention to detail extends beyond the quality of their chocolate. All avid outdoorsmen, Portugal, Blackmon and Koon apply the “leave no trace” philosophy to every aspect of their product. They visit the farms where their cacao is sourced to survey environmental factors, and their beautiful, Mayan temple-inspired packaging is made from compostable materials without adhesive—so when you’ve poured your last cup you can throw the whole thing, including the bag, into the compost.


Cacoco is launching a Kickstarter campaign on Nov. 14 to help fund the next round of packaging and to source more cacao. More info at drinkcacoco.com. Available at local natural food stores and farmers markets.

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Lily Stoicheff is a freelance writer living in Santa Cruz, California, where she mostly spends her time exploring food culture and telling its stories. A fermentation and craft beer enthusiast and amateur mushroom hunter, her house is overflowing with jars of things that look gross but she swears are delicious.

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