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The Great Canadian Cacao Drought of 2016

Updated: Feb 18, 2019

A picture of me in Keith's Cacao warehouse with about 300 pounds of cacao paste. This was the day Kristin and I picked up our order of 150 pounds to bring back to Canada.

It took us quite a while to use up the 150 pounds of cacao we brought back from our trip to Guatemala in 2015. When we eventually did start to run low we placed several orders with Keith and Barbara in 2016 for 30 and 40 pounds to allow us to continue sharing #cacaoceremonies. We really had to plan ahead as the turnaround time between placing the order and receiving the cacao was about 2 months.

Kristin with a glowing smile after we picked up one box of Keith's Cacao from the post office in Duncan, BC, Canada.

We loved receiving the packages of #ceremonialgradecacao from Guatemala with all the stamps required to have it sent from there to Canada. We were invited to share #cacaoceremony in several different communities near where we live on Vancouver Island. One of our favorites was sharing a #cacaoceremony and sound journey in a tipi with our soul sister, Astaria Light. We’d never offered a #ceremony in a tipi before and it was a bit tricky to tend the fire as well as co-facilitate the sound journey! Just like always we learned a lot about when, where and how we’d choose to do things in the future. It’s been pretty awesome to be invited to share unique and fun offerings in many places around the planet. We've learned a lot about discernment about deciding which events make the most sense energetically so that we are able to maintain balance and harmony in our lives as ceremonialists.

Astaria, Kristin and I outside the tipi before our cacao ceremony and sound journey in Sooke, BC, Canada.

You can feel the goodness in these blocks of cacao paste! Notice how they all look so different? It's called bloom.

When Kristin and I placed our next order with Keith’s Cacao in September of 2016 we were notified by Barbara that the Guatemalan postal service was on strike and that it might take a few weeks for them to sort out the shipping. We never thought too much about it until they contacted us a few weeks later saying they were refunding our order and that they weren’t sure when the postal service would be back up and running. We felt a bit confused about not being able to obtain this wonderful heart medicine. We had grown very fond of the consistent high quality and medicinal effects of sharing #keithscacao in our #ceremonies. We scheduled a few more ceremonies at the end of 2016 with the intention us using up the last of our reserves of Keith’s Cacao and then taking a break to reassess all things #cacao related.

A picture from an amazing cacao ceremony we co-facilitated in Tofino, BC, Canada with Astaria in 2016.

Toward the end of 2016 Kristin started exploring taking a yoga teacher training program at the yoga ashram in Pennsylvania where she had lived for 6 months in her early 20’s, called the Himalayan Institute. While exploring their website she was looking at the different members of their global outreach program and she decided to click on one man’s Facebook profile. She was amazed to discover pictures of cacao trees and pods on his profile! One of Kristin's old friends from the ashram had suggested that we get to know this man who had started a coffee and cacao business at the yoga ashram. We thought it must be a wink from the universe that she happened to find this man’s information after we had been unable to obtain more cacao from Guatemala.

Our curiosity was piqued so Kristin reached out to the man whose Facebook profile she had found, who runs a company called MOKA Origins at the Himalayan Institute's USA campus in Pennsylvania. We were interested to try some of the #cacao that they use to make chocolate bars with as he had several sources that seemed very intriguing. He agreed to send us #cacao samples of two different varieties, one from the Dominican Republic and another from Uganda. He seemed a bit unclear about what we were using the cacao for and hesitant to send us 100% pure #cacao as their company was so used to mixing it with sugar, nuts and fruit but we reassured him that we only wanted 100% pure #cacaopaste.

This was one of the cacao samples that Jeff from Moka Origins was kind enough to send to us. So amazing to see the different patterns and designs in the cacao paste.

We awaited the arrival of the samples with great anticipation, hoping that we’d found ourselves a new source for #cermonialgradecacao. When the package arrived we we sat down and tried a small piece of the two different varieties of #cacao. One was so sour, astringent and bitter that it almost made our mouths turn inside out when we ate it. The other was SO smooth and delicious that we decided it would be worth investigating the energetic effects of a full #ceremonialdose. When we grated the #cacaopaste into a powder and mixed it into a drink we were pretty happy with the effects of a full #ceremonial dose of this new Ugandan #cacao.

That's a serious chocolate bar! 10 pounds of 100% pure ceremonial grade cacao paste, the largest we'd ever seen!

We ordered 20 pounds of #cacao paste from this source and we used that #cacao to get us through a few last ceremonies we had planned in 2016. We decided to take a couple of months off from hosting #cacaoceremonies to reassess where we were at with things and also because we’d run out of #cacaopaste, so the timing was perfect to take a little break. We had gotten word from my mom, Cori, that she would be attending the #Cacao Convergence in Guatemala in January of 2017 and we asked if she would bring us back as much #KeithsCacao as she could fit into her suitcase!

Each block is about 1 pound of ceremonial grade cacao paste. This was some of the finest tasting 100% pure cacao paste we have ever tasted!

The ”Cacao Fairy”, AKA Mama Cori, came through for us as she was able to bring back enough #ceremonialgradecacao for us to offer ceremonies from February to May of 2017. Kristin and I had decided that we would both take our yoga teacher training that summer in Pennsylvania while visiting her family and friends. We would also get to meet Jeff and get a closer look at the facility where he was making chocolate, which was located at the Himalayan Institute, where we would take our 200- hour yoga teacher training.

The "Cacao Fairy" and her loot that she brought back from the Cacao Convergence in Guatemala in January 2017. What a mama!

Cacao Connection 2020