BY Ceres Organics

gluten-free   vegan   

Ready in 15 minutes | Serves 2

Chocolate… if you missed National Chocolate Day (it was October 28th in case you were not aware) every other day is still a good day to appreciate chocolate, the good kind. So in collaboration with Kokako, we’re showcasing cocoa in this recipe for a super dreamy, caramel hot cocoa.

This hot cocoa is made from scratch, using minimal whole food, organic ingredients, that is super delicious and good for you too. Here we have used Kokako’s Drinking Chocolate which is made with certified organic and fair trade cocoa and coconut sugar. That’s all that is in the bag, no additives here!


You can use cocoa and cacao interchangeably, they are more or less the same, but slightly different. Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate you can get your hands on, as cacao is typically raw and minimally processed.

Cocoa refers to the heated form of cacao and while you might be thinking that makes it somewhat inferior, it is not, it is actually pretty good for you (it also costs less). Cocoa still retains a large amount of antioxidants too.

However, you will only get the benefits of cocoa if you stick with versions that are not packed with additives like milk powder and cheap vegetable oils.

We’ve also added maca here, which gives this hot cocoa a slight caramel taste. If you’re yet to try maca, the maca root is a verified superfood – good for helping maintain healthy hormonal-balance, and also naturally boosting energy levels.


While chocolate can make us feel good – thanks to bioflavonoids and serotonin (a hormone that helps control cravings and improve moods) – not all chocolate comes from a good place. Much of the controversy surrounding chocolate production is due to child slave labour used on cocoa farms. You can read more on that here and here.

Nobody really wants to buy something that was made from exploiting someone else, and that is why the concepts of both organic and of fair and ethical trading are very important in building, or in some cases rebuilding, a more sustainable society. Organic certifications (such as BioGro) and fair trade certifications (including EcoSocial and Fairtrade) are not mutually exclusive, and actually complement each other as part of a larger movement concerned with corporate social responsibility.

So yes, organic and fair trade products can cost more. Farmers are paid more for their crops, providing financial security and access to capital. Fair prices means farmers can work their way out of poverty, providing access to healthcare, education, and a better standard of living. Farmers are paid a premium for their environmentally friendly practices, and often, that leads to conversion of conventional fields to organic, if they were not previously certified.


Lack of regulation is an issue for both organic and fair trade, and often products are marketed as being organic and fair trade when they are not. Third party verification is the only way to be sure you are getting what you pay for. When you see a certified product, you know that brand has meet and agreed to international standards during the production and processing of their products.

All Ceres Organics and Kokako products are BioGro Certified Organic – New Zealand’s leading, and internationally recognised organics certifier. Both Ceres Organics and Kokako are also certified by fair trading programs – Ceres Organics by EcoSocial and Kokako by Fairtrade.

Being certified is very important to us, and it is your assurance that we are what we say we are.

The ceramic mug in the photo was borrowed from Kokako, but hundreds like it have been made from reclaimed clay, as part of a project called SMOKO. Joe Prisk, Kokako’s cafe manager, and local artist is one part of the Public Share, a collection of six artists who, as their collective title suggests, sharing lies at the heart of things. For more on SMOKO, check out Public Share.


1 ½ cups cashew, almond, or coconut milk (to froth)

4 tablespoons of milk of your choice

4 tablespoons Kokako Classic Drinking Chocolate

3 green cardamom pods, crushed with the back of a knife

¼ teaspoon Organic Ginger Powder

1 teaspoon Organic RAW Maca Powder

½ teaspoon Organic Ground Cinnamon


Using a frothier preferably, or a blender could work too, froth your choice of milk until creamy.

In a small saucepan over low heat, add the 4 tablespoons of milk, drinking chocolate, cardamom and vanilla.

Whisk constantly, until a thick chocolate milk forms. Lastly whisk in the maca powder until you have no lumps. 

Turn the heat off your hot chocolate mixture and pour the frothed milk into the saucepan and whisk lightly until the hot cocoa is a light brown and mixed. Serve into mugs and enjoy!