But there's actually no grading system for cacao.
Even the term "ceremonial cacao" is used to mean many different things.
Sometimes groups make claims about superior cacao genetics without having a factual basis for this.
In a similar way, people celebrate criollo (cree-oh-yoh) cacao, one of the three main genetic varieties of cacao, not realizing that cacao often gets hybridized.
Even if cacao actually was 100% criollo, it isn’t necessarily “ceremonial.”
Organic certification doesn’t guarantee it either.
A lot of certified organic cacao lacks in flavor, aroma, mouthfeel, and (perhaps most importantly) ceremonial sensation... even if it’s labeled “ceremonial cacao.”
At Soul Lift Cacao we believe the quality of the farm soil matters.
Keeping things non-GMO and pesticide-free matters.
Having safe conditions for cacao workers matters, as well as paying them higher than cacao industry standards.
One of the most important steps in preparing real ceremonial cacao is when indigenous people roast the beans over a wood fire.
This magic simply can’t be replicated in a propane oven in the U.S. or Europe.
Plus 5-15x the amount of money stays at the source in this model compared to bean-to-bar (or small disc) models.
But ultimately we believe “the proof is in the pudding.”
You can really only know ceremonial cacao if you’ve tried it.
We’ve tasted cacao from around the globe and now only sell cacao that meets our standards for depth and richness of flavor and sensation for a ceremonial experience.
You can really only know a cacao’s “ceremonial grade” status by the quality of your introspective experience with it.
We can’t wait for you to see what we mean.