Optimal Chocolate: Reviews

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The cacao plant, which is indigenous to Central and South America, produces a multihued pod. It’s now grown in equatorial zones around the world. The three main categories of beans are criollo, forastero and trinitario, with a plethora of subspecies and clonal variations. Criollos, highest in grade, are produced in small quantities because they are […]

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Metaeffective Tea: Rooibos Red Tea

Rooibos (pronounced “roy-boss”) is a red tea grown the mountainous Cedarberg area north of Cape Town in South Africa. During the summer months the Rooibos plants are harvested, fermented and dried in the sun. The sun induces the change from verdant green to the mahogany red of Rooibos tea. The slightly sweet tea is free […]

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Hyperoptimal Tea: Mate

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Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is a shrub from the holly family, native to South America, whose leaves are dried and made into a tea. It is very popular in South American, where it is consumed in a similar way to coffee or black tea. Yerba Mate is known for its effects of sustained energy, mood […]

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Efficient Sweetener: Stevia

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Stevia is a herb native to Paraguay whose leaves are extremely sweet. In fact they are 10-15 times as sweet as table sugar, and refined extracts are 200-300 sweeter than sugar. I can’t abide artificial sweeteners, but I use Stevia to make lemonade, and it tastes great. It takes just one dash of the extract […]

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