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St. Lucia

Taste of the Caribbean – Breakfast with Lucian Cocoa Tea

Taste of the CaribbeanBreakfast with Lucian Cocoa Tea
Cocoa Tea by Kathleen Bennett
Cocoa Tea by Kathleen Bennett

In the states we have Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme to help people start the day with a filling, doughy, sugary rush. Although, I know Stephen likes to “run on Dunkin’”, I’m sure he’d concede that few things kick off your day quite like a steaming bowl of cocoa tea. (Not that Cocoa Tea!)

First off, cocoa tea is obviously not tea. There are only 4 actual kinds of tea that come from actual tea leaves – white, green, oolong and red or black. Your bush tea? Not tea.

What cocoa tea is, however, is a rich concoction made from cocoa grown locally around St. Lucia.

The process of creating cocoa ready for your morning beverage is a bit of a long one that native St. Lucians have practiced for generations. It involves taking the seeds from the ripe red or yellow cocoa pod, cracking them, cleaning them, roasting them, breaking them, grinding them, heating them and more!

Yeah, it’s best to savor your cocoa tea.

Anyway, once you have your cocoa stick (we recommend buying one in the market!), the process gets a bit easier. This recipe comes from La Haut Plantation near Soufriere.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup grated local cocoa stickd)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk (cream, evaporated, powdered, or low-fat)
  • Sugar to sweeten
  • Vanilla
  • Bay leaf
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:
Put water to boil with cinnamon and bay leaf. Boil for about 15 minutes. Grate cocoa stick and add to boiling water; boil for another 10 minutes. Add cream (or evaporated milk, powdered milk, or low-fat milk to reduce calories). Sweeten to taste. Mix the cornstarch with water and slowly add to the boiling mixture, stirring all the time. Add vanilla. Strain and serve.

Back in the day, little flour dumplings were boiled in the Cocoa tea, making the drink a complete meal! Forget donut holes, this is the real deal and can be enjoyed for breakfast all over St. Lucia.

Bon appetit!

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