Friday, May 30, 2014


Dominican Cocoa Tea
Photo by Sasha Martin

Cocoa Plant
Photo by Prinzessin
Cocoa Stick and Grated Cocoa
Photo by St. Lucia Villas
Dominican Cocoa Tea is very similar to Hot Chocolate that we commonly drink, but it does not contain any tea. So why does it called Cocoa “tea”? While in many countries tea is a drink made with the plant Camellia sinensis; on the other hand, the term tea can be used to name many other drinks in Dominica, which includes Cocoa tea. 


The main ingredient of Dominican cocoa tea is cocoa. It can be purchased as a stick, ball, or in powder form. If it comes in a stick or ball, they are required to be grated into powder form when preparing cocoa tea. [1]

The tea recipe includes grated cocoa, water, condensed milk, cinnamon, leaves from a Christmas bush or bay leaves, grated nutmeg and sugar. Coconut milk and whole milk can be added. [2] Some people also add almond or vanilla extract to taste. [3] In order to make a thicker drink, heavy cream can be used.


Like mentioned early, the flavor of Dominica cocoa tea is very similar to hot chocolate. Some people would prefer cocoa tea because of its aroma and richness.


Influenced from their colonial era when plantation workers used to have tea at sunrise before going to work, the word tea is often used to replace the word breakfast. [4

In Dominica cocoa is a staple crop, which makes cocoa tea a common drink all day long especially in the morning. The tea is served hot, and often accompanied by banana fritters.

Other than cocoa tea, bush tea is also popular and was traditionally consumed as medicine. Bush tea is a type of herbal tea. It can be brewed from different kinds of plants depending on their medicinal properties. For example, Guava leaf is used for diarrhea and orange leaf is used to stop vomiting. [5]

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