Caribbean Cocao Tea is spiced hot cocoa beverage popular in Guyana and the Caribbean. It is perfect for a cool rainy day or if you live in the US fall and winter months.
In Guyana we call all hot beverages tea. There is regular tea, milk tea, bush tea, baby milk or formula is also tea and even coffee tea. So there is no surprise that this is called cocoa tea and not hot chocolate. The addition of spices takes this beverage up a notch from your every day hot cocoa or chocolate.
Ingredients for Cocoa Tea
- Pure Cocoa Sticks (Also comes in a cocoa ball). If you are in the US you can buy cocoa sticks here)
- Milk of your choice
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Fresh Grated nutmeg'
- Bay Leaf (optional)
- Sugar (I love Demerara Sugar)
See recipe card for quantities.
Step by Step Cocoa Tea Recipe Guide
First step in making cocoa tea is grating the cocoa sticks. I use the small shred side of a box grater.
I love this box grater with a pull out drawer. It is so convenient. You can get one by clicking on my amazon affiliate link here.
Once you have your cocoa ready, boil your milk with the spices, but keep an eye on it so that it doesn't spill over the pot.
Then add the grated cocoa in and continue too boil until all of the cocoa dissolves into the spiced milk and sweeten how every you like.
Finally brew (also called cooling) the tea.
If you love cocoa tea, you may also like my Vanilla Chai Recipe!
Although the ingredients for cocoa tea are pretty simple, the cocoa sticks may be hard to find. Here are a few substitutions to make the recipe accessible where ever you are in the world
- Cocoa Sticks - instead of cocoa sticks, you may also use pure cocoa, like Hershey's cocoa found in the baking section in most supermarkets. Or any other kind of 100% pure cocoa
- Milk - In this recipe I used unsweetened almond milk, but feel free to use any milk you like.
- Sugar - I used Demerara sugar because it adds a flavor to the cocoa tea that connects me to my childhood, but regular brown sugar or any sweetened that you would typically add too hot chocolate or tea works well
- Bay Leaf - The bay leaf used in this recipe is the fresh bay leaf but the dry bay leaf also works and is optional based on taste preference.
Variations to Cocoa Tea
Some people like to add a tablespoon of custard powder or cornstarch to their cocoa tea to give it a smooth creamy texture. I prefer mine without it.
Storing the cocoa sticks
If you are using cocoa sticks or a cocoa ball for this recipe, feel free to store any left over in your refrigerator. It keeps the sticks fresh longer.
A childhood fave was always cocoa tea and salt biscuits (saltines) with butter. Dipping the buttered crackers into the tea is still my favorite thing!
Buying enamel cups
Want to buy a set of enamel cups like these? In the US they are called camping cups and you can find them at my amazon affiliate link.
Printable Recipe Card
Caribbean Cocoa Tea
- 1 ounce Raw Cocoa or ¼ cup
- 6 cups Milk
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg freshly grated
- 1 Bayleaf optional
- 1 tablespoon Custard Powder optional
- Sugar to taste ½ cup
- If using cocoa sticks or balls, grate about 1 ounce or ¼ cup of cocoa
- To a large saucepan add milk, cinnamon sticks, bayleaf and grated nutmeg. Then add to high heat and bring to a roaring/rolling boil
- Reduce the heat to medium, then continue to simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cocoa powder and mix well until it dissolves into the spiced milk
- If using custard powder, scoop ½ cup of the warm milk into a cup, then add the custard powder to the cup and mix until dissolves. Next add the milk back into the pot and mix well. Continue to simmer for a minute or two
- Then sweetened to your liking
- Before serving you can brew the tea by using two cups and pouring the tea with a lift of about a foot and pouring into the other cup. This aerates the tea and makes it light and frothy
Such a warming delightful drink!! I’d never seen bay leaves in a drink before or heard of cocoa tea and it did not disappoint. I’ve been making this for two winters now, exactly as the recipe says and it ends up perfect every time.