Frequently Asked Questions | Cuatro Manos y Cinco Volcanes Farms Skip to content


Why is cacao powder not considered ceremonial?

The chocolate industry is not a regulated industry and when it comes to "ceremonial cacao" the standards are indigenous and passed down from generation to generation. Because there is no "official governing board" nor set of rules or standards that have been adopted by mainstream western society it does what it always does, whatever it wants to exploit and make $.

1. Planting: To be considered "ceremonial" the trees must be planted with the intention of producing ceremonial cacao. There are specific ceremonies that must be done when planting and continued offerings given to remain in good relationship. Most cacao powder is being produced from large commercialized plantings where none of this care is given. Commercial cacao production involves monoculture and so the cacao themselves are considered "orphans" for they are not integrated with their greater family therefore it can offer less connection.

2. Process: To make cocoa powder, chocolate liquor is pumped into giant hydraulic presses, where about half of the cocoa butter is squeezed out. Baking soda is added to the remaining material, which is called "press cake." The treated press cake is then cooled, pulverized, and sifted to form cocoa powder. The cocoa powder is then packaged for sale in grocery stores as hot-chocolate mix or sold in bulk for use as a flavoring by dairies, bakeries, and candy manufacturers.

Ceremonial cacao does not undergo this process and is made from past

3. Permission: We have seen a rise in so called ceremonial being sold without the permission or blessing of native elders to carry such name.

When did cacao come to Hawai'i?

Cacao first came to Hawaii via Guatemala in the 1830s, according to the Hawaii Chocolate Association. The trees grew in David Kalakaua's gardens. In the 1850s, German physician and botanist William Hillebrand planted cacao in what is now Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu.

Why is this the rarest cacao in the world?

Hawaii represents 1% of the global cacao production in the world and although introduced in the 1800s it was never really a tree that was seen as having commercial value at the time. Growing takes 3 plus years to bear a product so sugarcane and coffee were faster commodities.

Of this 1% we represent a smaller portion of this Hawaii diaspora being the only indigenous makers that come from a cacao lineage that follow the old traditions of deep relationship.

The cacao planted in our farm comes from beans that were blessed and brought to the islands as a gift to the King of the islands representing some of the first initial plantings of cacao.

1- Hawaiian cacao represents 1% of the global cacao production and is home to the costliest beans in the world.​​

2- We represent 1% of that focusing on REAL ceremonial cacao made by INDIGENOUS people. No other ceremonial cacao coming from Hawai'i is made by indigenous lineage holders.

3- We Pay LIVING WAGES. We buy direct from farmers and pay $13-$17 per pound of fermented dried beans which is at least 900% more up to 1600% more than the global average.

4- Made from PASTE not powder.

5- We carry on an ancient tradition handed down to us SINCE 1600 BCE


7- Proceeds go to land restoration, indigenous elders, growing food for the local community, animal rescue, first nation sovereignty efforts, and subsidizing/free access to teachings for indigenous students.

Why is this ceremonial cacao so expensive?

On average Hawaiian beans and production cost 200%-300% more to grow and make due to higher land prices and cost of goods and labor.

Cacao Health Information

Important Cacao and Health Information
Please consult a doctor before taking

-Heart Rate:
Cacao will naturally raise your heart rate slightly. Please consume accordingly and mindfully.

-Blood Pressure:
Epidemiological studies suggest that cacao reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Flavanols found in cocoa have shown to support blood pressure reduction.

If you are currently taking SSRI antidepressants and/or anti-psychotics, they might not be compatible with the MAOI's (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) in cacao. Depending on the dosage, consuming cacao might be ok, as always, if you're taking these types of meds please consult with your doctor.

-Pregnant and nursing women:

Please consult physician before taking

-Other substances:
Raw cacao contains both serotonin and tryptophan which have positive effects on our mood. Blood flow to the brain is also increased amplifying brain power.

The caffeine content of cacao varies widely amongst cacao plants and processing, this cacao has shown a very low, to no-caffeine feel.

In moderation and of course smaller doses based on their weight is recommended for children.

Cacao should NOT be consumed by your pets as it can be deadly. Please keep out of reach from your beloved animals.

You've probably heard of single origin, but have you heard of single farm? Why this is the gold standard for doing intimate work with cacao?

We carry a cacao lineage as farmers, makers, and ceremonialists since 1600 BCE. In addition We have a background of over 30 years as educators in the fine dining and fine wine business. Working with world renowned chefs, wine programs, and wineries as trained sommeliers and educators we bring all this expertise of terroir to ceremonial cacao.

Most Cacao is made from sourcing from multiple farms and then combining everything together.

Many times this is because cacao farms could have small plantings, they could have a bad year, the trees are older and producing less and the cost to plant is high and takes 3 years to see new fruit.

Because most chocolate is mechanically engineered for candy and confectioners not much is done in terms of regulations.

Small farms though provide for us a unique taste of a cacao vintage. And while it is astronomically costlier to make especially in Hawai'i (900%-1600% more) we believe in being more than small batch or single origin (which could mean a whole region) we are small farm. Doesn't get better than that or does it?

We also believe that the energetics of each farm offer different opportunities and support as they take on the mana of their environment and how they are nurtured. We seek to go just beyond taste profiles and truly to connect to the spirit each region, each farm, each tree gives to us.

Order & Shipping

How long will it take to receive my order?

Ground shipping can take anywhere from 5-20 days depending on time of year. Inter island shipping is around 2 days

How to track my order?

You should receive a tracking number once your order ships

Do you ship internationally?

Yes we ship internationally you are responsible for international tariffs

I never got my order, what to do?

If your order is lost please send us an email to

Exchange & Return

What is your return policy?

Please check our return/refund/exchange policy here.

Can I exchange an item?

No returns or exchanges

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