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Cocoa has been used in ceremonial contexts for centuries. Local cultures in the Americas have used it for spiritual and personal purposes for centuries. This is (unfortunately for chocolate lovers) not a sweet candy fest, as you are consuming pure and raw cacao. This is not nearly as tasty as a processed chocolate bar, but many times healthier. It also has spiritual effects. Ceremonial cocoa, for instance, is said to put you in touch with your true self. But above all, a cocoa ceremony is meant to be done in groups. You can travel to shamans living deep in the jungle for this, but you can also do ceremonial cocoa yourself. Read all about this magical drink here.

What is ceremonial cocoa and where does it come from?

First to the basics: cocoa. This is, of course, the ingredient that gave us that oh-so-addictive chocolate. It is no coincidence that both cocoa ceremonies and plain cocoa come from the same region: the land of the Aztecs and Mayans. Did you know that the Maya used the word 'chocol' for drinking chocolate together? Most likely, the cacao tree once originated somewhere in Venezuela and spread through Central and South America via the rivers. This is also the region where you can go for cocoa ceremonies, where they use this special ceremonial cocoa.

Ceremonial cocoa is raw and unprocessed. A kind of tea is drawn from at least 30 grams of that cocoa. This does not exactly resemble Chocomel in taste, as this drink is quite bitter. Fortunately, a ceremony is not about the taste experience, but everything around it. And the effects on your body and soul, of course.

What do you do during a cocoa ceremony?

Ceremonial cocoa is used during -you guessed it- cocoa ceremonies. These are spiritual gatherings where you consume cocoa drinks according to certain rituals. In groups, that is. This group element is actually the most important part of such a ceremony, next to your intention. That intention is your 'why': what is the underlying reason for participating in a ceremony? Then the shaman will lead the ceremony in the right direction. Ceremonies can vary, but often involve meditation and music with, for example, singing bowls or drums.

Ceremonial cocoa: good for both mind and body

Ceremonial cocoa is not only good for your spiritual development, but also for your body. After all, cocoa is a source of healthy substances. And certainly unprocessed cocoa, to which no fat and sugar have been added. Raw cacao, for instance, is full of antioxidants, much more than processed cacao. This is because in processing, those very healthy nutrients are partly lost. Those healthy substances can, among other things, inhibit inflammation, lower blood pressure, improve your heart and brain health and even reduce depression.

Preparation of ceremonial cocoa

Exactly how to prepare your cocoa can be found on the packaging of the product you have chosen. Be sure to follow those instructions to give yourself the best cocoa experience possible. Here are a few extra tips.

Powder, nibs, chunks or beans

First of all, decide whether you want to use cocoa beans, cocoa paste chunks or cocoa powder. If you opt for our ceremonial raw cocoa beans, you have several options: from beans from Guatemala to Bolivian cocoa beans. You can also go for ceremonial cacao nibs from Peru.


You can use a molinillo to froth the ceremonial cocoa. This wooden mixer is specially made for this purpose. You roll the rod of this stirrer between your palms, making the cocoa drink fluffy. The Mayans and Aztecs used such a molinillo way back when. If you hold regular ceremonies yourself, such a chocolate roller is a nice addition.

Instruments and company

Decide in advance with whom you will consume the ceremonial cocoa and what you will do. Be sure to coordinate this with your party, so you keep the flow going and everyone does what they feel comfortable with.


Don't forget your intention. Every spiritual ceremony starts with this, but it also makes a psychedelic trip extra valuable. Read more about using an intention in this blog: Leveling up with every trip: enhance your spiritual experience with learning and reflection.