The Differences Cocoa and Coffee Have

Updated: Jul 6

Lets start off with flavor. One of the two is more simple and is probably the most bought and sold good in the world for its flavor (and caffeine). The other is the cocoa, and its complex. Cocoa has about twice the amount of flavor of coffee but that doesn't mean its flavors are all accessible. Manufacturing techniques, growing regions and especially storage will all affect the flavor of both intensely. Its best to note that the majority of cocoa (70% of all chocolate) is grown and manufactured in a way to simplify flavor. That includes adding chemicals and other vegetable fats like soy. The flavor of coffee is one without additives but with equal or even more processing. Flavor is complicated and so we have written more about it below.

A Coffee bean with cocoa and coffee in it.
Cacao versus Coffee, the differences

There is a Bean to Bar Chocolate tasting guide coming out soon I am sooo excited to have authorized it!

Bean-to-bar Hawaiian Chocolate
Hawaiian Cacao Beans covering up bean-to-bar Hawaiian Chocolate

We do not talk about coffee or coffee flavor in it so I thought this article was important to write. If you would like to download the free ebook on tasting chocolate, click here.


Keep in mind flavor include the taste buds and the aromas in your nose. Obviously, cocoa and coffee taste and smell different all though they can have similar and/or overlapping flavor compounds a.k.a. "flavinols".

Hawaiian Coffee
Coffee Beans on a spoon

Instead of getting science-y and snoby, lets just say I prefer the flavor of cocoa. Was that already obvious? Well I LOOOVE coffee. Especially Hawaiian Coffee. Thats why with this Hawaiian Coffee & Chocolate bar (*update, no longer available) you can have the best of both worlds. You can have all the nutrition and all the flavor now in one! Coffee is different than cocoa because of caffeine too! Cocoa has None in a cup by cup comparison. That doesn't mean cocoa isn't stimulating or that chocolate can't have caffeine added to it. Cocoa has theobromine not caffeine.


Theobromine is a stimulant that has double the half-life of caffeine or coffee. That means it takes twice as long to break down. In other words, you will never get physically addicted to chocolate. Coffee, yeah, obviously. Theobromine is not addictive because of how our body breaks it down but it is a strong stimulant. It doesn't stimulant your central nervous system so you can drink or eat as much stimulating cocoa as you want without harmful side effects.

Cacao beans and coffee in a cup
Comparison of Theobroma Cacao and Arabica Coffee

We have all felt coffee withdrawal symptoms. I am happy to say that that is something chocoholics will not have to worry about. Lastly, coffee and cacao are not only completely different plants from different plant families but they also have different nutritional values. Sure, coffee has its benefits like extra energy and sharper focus. Sure, coffee is diruetic and can help with constipation and as an enema, potentially cancer. However, cocoa, or the raw ingredient it comes from cacao, is a true 'superfood'. Cacao, what cocoa is made from, has the most antioxidants out of any food in the world. Cocoa is the second. Coffee is on the list but black tea is higher. Cacao fights cancer and I have seen the studies personally. It inhibits the growth of an enzyme that can turn cells cancerous. Its also and anti-inflammatory. Cacao has more magnesium than any other food and also more iron than red meat. Cacao and cocoa have more calcium than milk.

cocoa with the word cocoa in it.
cocoa

You really can't go wrong with cacao. Cocoa however is often combined with additives like milk and can contain the most contaminants out of any food. That would be up to 10 different types of contaminants. This number is for "Big Chocolate", and doesn't represent 'fine flavour' and 'craft' or 'bean to bar' chocolate which is typically contaminant free. We find no contaminants in our beans. Some times there is a little penicillin growing on the outside which can help with pain relief when brewing cacao tea. Those statements, just those, have been researched by the University of Hawaii. Let us know what differences you find between coffee and cocoa. There are definitely A LOT more! What do you think is the biggest thing that separates the two?

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