8 Things Coffee Has in Common With Cacao

8 Things Coffee Has in Common With Cacao

Jake Bonneman Jake Bonneman
3 minutes of coffee drinking

Cacao and coffea are two of the world's most popular plants and for damn good reason. They both contain caffeine, they're both loaded with antioxidants, and the fruit of both plants are used to make some delicious treats for us humans.

Many people enjoy drinking chocolate flavored coffee, or eating chocolate infused with coffee. This is because the two flavours compliment each other very well—they almost seem made for each other.

And both plants have some unique properties that make them beloved by many people in many cultures around the world.

But what exactly are the differences and similarities between these two beloved beans?

That's right, I said differences and similarities.

Yes, they're both dark brown (in their processed forms, anyway) What other similarities could I possibly be prattling on about? I'll bet I can come up with—oh, I don't know.... eight things coffea* and cacao have in common.

(*Coffea isn't a typo, by the way. The coffee plant's scientific name is Coffea. I'm about to say it like 30 more times so I thought I should clear that up now. Anyway—eight things!)

8 Things Coffea and Cacao Have in Common:

  1. First off, let's talk about everyone's favorite subject—botany: Both cacao and coffea plants are evergreen trees.

  2. Second, the leaves of both plants are also glossy and dark green. In fact, I submit that you would have trouble telling either apart with the naked eye unless you're in the coffee industry, or one of those damn botanists.

  3. Third, the flowers of both plants are small and white (white-ish in cacao's case—but I say it counts.)

  4. Fourth, let's look at the antioxidants they contain. Both cacao and coffea beans are packed with antioxidants, which are beneficial for our health.

  5. Fifth, they both contain caffeine. Cacao contains a lot less caffeine than coffee, but it's still there. (To make up for it a bit, cacao also contains theobromine, which is a mildly psychoactive substance.)

  6. Sixth, they both have a long history of use by humanity. Coffea has been used for centuries by people in the Middle East and Africa, while cacao has been used by people in Mesoamerica for even longer.

  7. Seventh, let's take a look at where they grow: Cacao is native to Central and South America, while coffea is native to Africa. Cacao has to be grown in hot, humid climates, while coffea can tolerate a wider range of climates—but both are grown primarily in a band of equatorial nations around the globe.

  8. Eighth, they're both affordable indulgences. While they're more or less luxuries as far as consumables are concerned, you can find both cacao and coffea beans at your local grocery store, and even some premium coffees and chocolates are not too expensive.

Yes, cacao and coffea are two seemingly very different species. But they do have quite a few similarities. They both contain good stuff for our health and our tastebuds, they both come from plants that can look eerily similar, and of course, they're basically a match made in heaven as far as mixing them together.

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