ECUADOR— Millennials and Gen Z consumers are redefining the ritual of breakfast drinks. For anyone nearing the age of 40, breakfast is almost always associated with a freshly brewed mug of coffee or tea. In the past 10 years, the list of ‘the first thing I drink’ includes pricey cold-pressed juice and artisanal teas, such as Japanese matcha. Now, we can add Ecuadorian drinking chocolate to the wave of beverages that are challenging traditional coffee and tea in the morning.
T.cacao, a new line of drinking chocolate produced by ultra-premium Ecuadorian chocolate makers To’ak, launched this week to coincide with a National Geographic “Explorer” feature on the To’ak brand (“Chocolate Crusaders” from Season 11, Episode 10, which aired Jan. 28, 2019). Parent brand To’ak is recognized as one of the most exceptional chocolate makers in the world, celebrated for producing cask-aged, luxury chocolate bars in extremely small batches (a 1.8-ounce bar of To’ak sells for $365 and up). T.cacao drinking chocolate is made from the same rare source of cacao as To’ak, bringing an unprecedented level of quality and taste to the new chocolate drink.
T.cacao introduces its new line of drinking chocolate with an ‘everyday’ 100 percent organic cacao powder, which comes in an 8.8 oz. resealable bag and retails for $22. Each bag contains approximately 10 servings of T.cacao. At launch, T.cacao is available for purchase on the To’ak website, www.toakchocolate.com, on Amazon and will soon be sold at select cafes and gourmet and natural groceries.
“First and foremost, this is not a cup of cocoa or hot chocolate,” said T.cacao co-founder James Le Compte. “What people drink in the morning is part of a ritual for them – it grounds, it centers, it energizes. We intend to turn that ritual on its ear with our new drinking chocolate, which has the qualities people expect from great coffee: a strong aroma, a satisfying taste, blendability with alt-dairy and traditional dairy, and the viscosity that collectively announce the start of the day.”
To’ak co-founder Jerry Toth has been a long-time convert to beginning his mornings with a cup of cacao. “I find the energy boost I get from drinking cacao is superior to the benefits of coffee — thanks to the power of theobromine. That functionality is what we wanted to capture with the launch of T.cacao.”
T.cacao launched in conjunction with a National Geographic “Explorer” documentary featuring Toth and the conservation work that To’ak has made an integral part of its brand. The segment includes correspondent Jago Cooper visiting Ecuador with Toth, on a mission to save and cultivate the country’s oldest cacao trees – the same trees from which T.cacao sources all its cacao beans. Preserving the rare, endangered cacao variety (Heirloom Nacional) is a part of T.cacao’s social responsibility and sustainability mission.
“T.cacao allows you to drink Ecuador’s finest chocolate, any time you want. This is a beverage with functionality because of its energizing theobromine levels, but even more than that, the T.cacao brand will be built on ritual – specifically drinking chocolate that people can enjoy preparing and personalizing as part of their morning regimen. T.cacao has a sophisticated taste that, like To’ak chocolate, invites you to evaluate how you enjoy chocolate and experience the nuance and pleasure of a superior chocolate product,” said Le Compte.
For more information, visit https://toakchocolate.com.
About T.cacao and To’ak
The new T.cacao drinking chocolate is made from the same exceptional cacao beans used for To’ak, sourced from the last relics of history’s most cherished heirloom cacao variety (called Nacional) from Ecuador. Each bar of To’ak’s single-origin dark chocolate is packaged in a handcrafted Spanish Elm wood box, a keepsake that is engraved on the back with its individual production number. The bar is accompanied by special tasting utensils and an educational booklet that invites you to revisit how to enjoy chocolate. The To’ak flagship edition is aged for four years in a French oak cognac cask and retails for $385 per bar and is considered the most expensive chocolate in the world. The introduction of T.cacao allows more people the opportunity to enjoy the extraordinary taste of this rare cacao variety.