Veggy Malta tried out Koawach, an organic energy chocolate drink that is an alternative to coffee. The main ingredient is guarana.
Guarana is Latin American plant. It gained popularity when the Jesuit missionaries in the Amazon realised that when the tribesmen consumed the seed they managed to hunt for extended periods of time. In fact the name reflects the Guarani Indian tribe in the Amazon, who ate the plant seeds. A number of studies have indicated that amongst the benefits of guarana are; treatment of diarrhoea, appetite suppressant, reduction in blood lipids an anti-oxidant with some also claiming a boost in one’s libido².
The name guarana is derived from “waranà”, which means “like eyes of people” ¹. This resemblance to eyes gave rise to tribal legends of the “children of guarana”.
“The contrast of the colours in the split-open fruit gives them the appearance of eyeballs. Indeed, the origin myth behind guarana’s domestication is attributed to the Sateré-Maué Indians of Brazil, the first consumers of the guarana beverage, who tell of a malevolent god who lures into the jungle and kills a beloved village child out of jealousy. The village finds the dead child lying in the forest, and a benevolent god consoles them in their grief with a gift in the form of guarana. The good god plucks out the left eye of the child and plants it in the forest, where it becomes the wild variety of guarana. The right eye is planted in the village garden, where it sprouts and produces fruits resembling the eye of the child, forever after a pleasant reminder of their forever but lost child.” – H.T. Beck, The Cultural History of Plants
Guarana is rich on caffeine which is actually called guaranine. It is richer in caffeine than coffee and contains vitamins A, B1, B3 and E along with iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and magnesium.
Making a cup of Koawach energy chocolate drink couldn’t be simpler. Just heat up 20ml of (dairy-free) milk. Add two teaspoons of Koawch and stir in until creamy. Add 180 ml of pre-heated (dairy-free) milk or add cold and heat after. Stir a bit and enjoy. I tried all the flavours; pure, classic, vanilla, and cinnamon-cardamom. There are many other drinks you can create with Koawach like the smoothie in the below video with the Koawach monkey. (The item in the tin can kokosmilch is coconut milk). It is obviously the organically grown coca powder inside Koawach that gives it the chocolaty taste.
Koawach is certified organic (obviously from a non-EU source). It also is fairtrade. Furthermore it is vegan and they use raw cane sugar instead of processed white sugar (made using bone chard). A packet of Koawach can make 10 cups of hot chocolate.
A packet of Koawach sells for €5.95 and can be found from leading supermarkets and health shops. Koawach is imported locally by Dical House in Mosta.