The Cacoa Ritual

How much chocolate is enough? -dumbest question ever

Sometimes we like to step it up a notch when we plan a date night. OK, I’ll be honest—when I say “we,” I mean “my wife” steps it up. I have trouble planning my next five minutes unless it involves ice cream. Last week she set up a date night at our friend Kristin Schuch's house. More specifically, we were in her actual teepee that’s located on her property, and I now hold the firm belief that everyone should own a teepee. You may be thinking, “No way, dude, a teepee if for pussies! The wigwam is where it’s at.” Pfft, whatever. How dare you denigrate the teepee—it’s far superior in every way (elegance, ease of transport, smoke signals whenever needed). But I digress…

Anyway, Kristin is “Proprietress & Creatrix” at Apothecary Tinctura in Denver, where she mixes teas and tinctures for good health and all occasions. She also knows a lot about many different plants, including my favorite—the cacao plant. That’s right, we’re talking about chocolate. The scientific name for the tree literally means “food of the gods.” Fortunately for me, Kristin is willing to share her knowledge and has developed a special ceremony to honor the cacao plant (and basically spoil her guests).

Bekah and I showed up to her house ready to indulge in a night of chocolate decadence. She had to talk me out of showing up in my sweatpants. And she wouldn’t even let me borrow her pregnancy pants with the elastic waistband. Talk about selfish! Instead I wore a loosely fitting pair of chinos and a dark brown shirt, knowing I’d likely spill on myself during gluttonous gulps of chocolate. It’s important to know yourself, right? And as I learned in my short-lived boy scout career: be prepared. Especially when chocolate is on the line.

So we got there and Kristin welcomed us and led us through her large back yard to an amazing teepee set up in the far corner. It’s interesting to see the juxtaposition of it in a complete urban setting. But it feels like a peaceful oasis of sorts, miles away from the angry sounds of traffic. I could see several ceremonial objects all around the interior. A warm fire in the center welcomed us as we shook off the cold of the winter night. Most importantly, Kristin was already preparing the first round of chocolate on top of the small central stove. The smell of fresh cut wood and chocolate was amazing. I was ready to guzzle buckets of the melting chocolate, but I had to be patient and wait for special prayers of thankfulness and a quick lesson on Ek Chuah—Mayan deity and patron of cacao. The dude is cool with me. He gets my thanks.

We drank our first round of chocolate and it didn’t disappoint. So rich and good. She mentioned three more upcoming rounds and my eyes glazed over. I felt slobber on the corner of my mouth like I was Homer Simpson faced with a dozen donuts. I’m pretty sure the cacao had taken effect.

We alternated the following rounds with prayers and thoughts and stories. Not sure if this Ek Chuah is a religion, but I’m prepared to convert and become his devoted disciple. Finally, after the fourth round of hot chocolate I felt like I had my fill. My pleasure receptors had maxed out. My eyelids had closed halfway and I could feel a grin on my face. Actually, I probably couldn’t have had any more chocolate even if I wanted more (which I did). But I can tell you this—date night just set a new standard. The spirit of Ek Chuah will live on in our house through the seasons.


#chocolate #datenight #teepee #indulgence