Cacao Coffee

Not to be confused with cocoa, this recipe uses raw cacao to add a nutty, slightly bitter flavour to the coffee while it’s being brewed in the French press. Adding raw cacao isn’t like adding sweetened chocolate, and won’t make your coffee taste chocolatey. But with the right blend of ingredients along with the raw cacao, the outcome is a fresh take on your morning joe (or jane).


  • French Press (the coffee oils make it into the brew intact and deliver a richer flavour)
  • Blender (hand / bullet blenders work great!)
  • Coffee Grinder (seriously, grind your own beans)


Core Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp freshly ground coffee
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao nibs
  • 16 oz hot water (not boiling)
  • 1 tbsp organic butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or MCT oil)
  • 1 tsp stevia (Truvia is one of the purer stevia blends readily available)

Optional Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp protein powder (I prefer unflavoured, cold-pressed whey isolate)
  • Kelp powder (if you’re like me and are trying to get high-quality iodine into your diet, but hate the taste of kelp and seaweed)
  • Ground vanilla, from whole or de-seeded vanilla pods (toast in a saucepan and grind in a mortar and pestle – do it ahead of time and store in a cool, dry place)

Butter in my Coffee? Gross! And, Heart-Attacky?

Give it a try. The butter imparts a rich, creamy flavour to the coffee and a shot of high-quality fat. Also, saturated fats aren’t the harbinger of coronary destruction that we thought they were. Why organic butter? It tends to lack preservatives, hormones or antibiotics, and has a better nutrient profile than regular butter. Why stevia? Also no preservatives, it comes from natural sources (a plant found in South America and Southeast Asia), and it’s calorie free. Why MCT oil? This fat is medium chain, and more easily converted into energy by the human body. Start small if you’ve never ingested pure MCT oil before – it takes a week or two for your body to get used to digesting it.

Also talk to the relevant professionals if you have a health condition or specific concerns. Or don’t want to take some random dude’s blog for gospel (ie these words don’t constitute medical or dietary advice of any kind… so don’t get your lawyer all up in my grill, ffs).

Makin’ It

This isn’t a beverage, it’s a meal. If you regularly have cacao coffee alongside other breakfast foods, don’t be surprised if you pack on a few pounds. Depending on the combination of ingredients you choose, this recipe will deliver between 450 and 600 calories per 16 oz serving. Seriously, it is breakfast. I’ve found that this particular combination of healthy, saturated fats and caffeine delivers food satiety and mental clarity well into the early afternoon. But hey, that’s just me.

In the Kitchen

Heat the water and brew the coffee in the French Press with the cacao nibs. Add the remaining ingredients into the blender, and combine on low. Once all the ingredients are blended and a bit of foam starts to form on the top, you’re good to go. Pour it in a travel mug and enjoy with the rising sun or during your morning commute.

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