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A mug of Caribbean cocoa tea beside snapdragon flowers.

Caribbean Cocoa Tea

  • Author: Asha
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 27 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Cuisine: Caribbean


Heavy and robust with a deep chocolate flavour that is warmed with spices and sweetened to your preference, this Caribbean cocoa tea will likely be unlike anything you've tried before.



2 cups (473 ml) water

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 cup (2 ounces) cacao nibs, roasted and ground * (see notes for traditional cocoa ball version instructions)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup (236 ml) milk

1 tablespoon condensed milk **

1 teaspoon  pure vanilla extract

pinch of freshly ground nutmeg


Bring 2 cups of water with a bay leaf and a cinnamon stick to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in your cocoa (whether that is the roasted and ground cacao nibs, or the grated cocoa ball powder). Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a slurry by mixing 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 1 tbsp of cold water in a small bowl. Set it aside for now.

Stir milk and condensed milk into the cocoa tea. Stir in the slurry and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the pure vanilla extract and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.

Pour the cocoa tea through a sieve and discard the solids. If making the cacao nib version, I recommend lining your sieve with cheesecloth to help remove any grit. Taste test the tea and adjust the sweetener to your preference. Serve Caribbean cocoa tea nice and hot in mugs.


* How to roast cacao nibs: Preheat oven to 300°F / 150°C. Spread the cacao nibs out into one layer on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake them for 12 minutes. Grind with a food processor or mortar and pestle.

To make this recipe using traditional cocoa balls, simply replace the cacao nibs in this recipe with a 1/2 cup (50g) of grated cocoa ball powder.

** Condensed milk can be substituted with honey.

To make a vegan version of Caribbean cocoa tea, substitute dairy milk with unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk. Sweeten with coconut condensed milk or palm sugar.

Because of the fat content in cocoa, it is normal for the chocolate to destabilize if sitting too long. Just give the drinks a stir to fix this if this happens.

Keywords: Caribbean cocoa tea, chocolate tea