Indeed, the cocoa tea experience is one-of-a-kind and a traditional practice of many Caribbean households. It is therefore not surprising that cocoa tea from local cocoa commands such high acclaim, as Trinidad and Tobago has a rich cocoa history and its own distinctive brand of Fine Flavoured cocoa beans.
T&T cocoa beans enjoy a competitive advantage in the international market thanks to their esteemed place amidst the seven other exclusive Fine Flavoured Cocoa Producers (including six Caribbean countries: Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname) recognised by the International Cocoa Organisation’s 1993 International Cocoa Agreement.
The unique genetics of the Trintario variety (a cross between the Forestero and Criollo varieties), the microclimate, and the agronomic regime of cocoa farmers, constitute the key which unearths the highly reputed taste and exquisite flavour of T&T cocoa. It is this cocktail of cocoa factors that gives each cocoa product (cocoa tea and more) its own identity in a competitive global market. Sadly, even in light of these elements, regional preference sways more towards foreign food than local, and old culinary customs are often abandoned and replaced by processed and instant alternatives.
But the truth is there is no replacement for good old cocoa tea. The cocoa tea of yesterday which is still popular in many rural Caribbean communities like Tamana is not your regular hot chocolate. It’s not even tea when you really dig deeper into its recipe and make-up. In fact, upon real analysis, one discovers that it is as healthy as it is delicious.