Saturday, June 15, 2013

Product Review: Crio Bru - The new hot chocolate!

Let’s talk a bit about a couple of health claims shall we?

We’ve all heard the saying before, “Dark chocolate is GOOD for you!”. Loaded with free radical fighting antioxidants, who can argue right!? Sounds great! I guess that means I can eat more than one piece since it’s oh so good for me, right!?! (You know you’ve used that as an excuse. I have!). But at 50-70 calories of mostly sugar per piece (unless you’re going to the extra dark stuff), the calories can add up quick when your chocolate sweet tooth is just not satisfied. Can we say multiple handfuls of chocolate chips?

Aaaaand what about the contradictory reports about coffee? It can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, fight free radicals thanks to the antioxidants, and improve memory and cognition, yet it’s a diuretic which leads to dehydration and wrinkles, can cause weight gain, raise your stress levels , it’s addictive and it can increase your risk of heart attack. If you’re like me, it also causes jitters, mood swings and sometimes bloatedness. All of that is just not worth it for the taste.

So chocolate is good for you, but in small amounts and coffee, in my opinion, seems to have more cons than pros.

So now what do we do!?

Well, what if I said there’s a product that contains the best of both worlds? No, I am not talking about a Dark Chocolate Mocha as yummy as that sounds. I’m talking about a drink brewed from roasted cocoa beans. Now you’re talking! It’s called, CRIO BRU. 

With a laundry list of health benefits, a subtle bitter taste similar to coffee, and an aroma that will send you into pure chocolate bliss, Crio Bru’s cocoa bean brew will have you giving up coffee and bite size chocolates for a cup or three of this hot chocolaty goodness.

The health benefits of consuming cacao is quite amazing. Not only do cacao beans contain antioxidants, they also contain minerals that support your immune system, heart, digestive system and brain. In addition, cacao beans are said to increase energy (naturally and more gently), curb appetite, increase focus and reduce stress, just to name a few. Wow! Sounds like coffee’s better twin! 

As for the aroma and taste, as Crio Bru puts it, “its complex flavors and subtle aromas…will astound your taste buds”!  The first thing I noticed after pouring my very first cup was the absolutely decadent scent of hot, warm chocolate. I swore I was holding a creamy cup of hot chocolate! Before I added any sweetener or cream, I wanted to taste the brew alone in order to gain the full Crio Bru experience. I notice the brew was light in body and subtle in bitterness, yet complex in flavor. Think light coffee. (Of course, the flavor and body changes among the different varieties they have so some may be heavier, darker and slightly more bitter than others). I could, and most likely will, enjoy it alone, without sweetener and milk – which turns it from light coffee to a light, semi-creamy hot cocoa. Holy yumm!!

After drinking my first cup, I did notice a bit of physical change, similar to when I drink coffee, but way more subtle. Instead of a racy heart and the desire to jump off a cliff for fun, I had an increased amount of energy, as if I could go for a nice long run. It sounds odd, but I felt more calm than hyper. Instead of dead stares at the computer, I felt a bit more alert, aware and focused. I did feel a bit dehydrated, but nothing like I do when I drink coffee. A cup of water easily took care of that. As for mood swings from caffeine withdrawals, bloatedness, or jitters? None!!  

Oh, and if you are worried about calories, DON’T! Even though, after sweetener and milk, the calories in one cup of Crio Bru may match the number of calories in a one ounce piece of regular dark chocolate, the Bru contains more chocolate goodness to last you at least a good 15 minutes and it is higher in antioxidants and minerals. And that doesn’t even include the antioxidants found in the used grounds which can be used in smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal and baked goods! 

In my opinion, Cri Bru is the perfect coffee alternative, a great energy booster and a great go to for when chocolate cravings hit or can’t be kiboshed with just one piece of choco. It’s filling and oh so satisfying. I definitely plan on purchasing more of this amazing bru to help curb my cravings for chocolate and coffee and for an energy boost for those days when..well you know what I’m talking about. 

On another note, they do sell other products such as cocoa powder and chocolate covered cocoa beans (talk about double chocolate!). The chocolate covered beans are for a day when the cravings can ONLY be satisfied with lots and lots of chocolate..and for when you need a super hyper boost! Only a few will do ya good...if you can stop at a few. 

So what do you think!? Would you trade coffee and/or a piece of chocolate for brewed cacao beans?
Oh and there’s more! Crio Bru always hosts a “Free Bru Friday” every Friday on FaceBook. This is what I received when I won! Tons of goodies and who knows, the odds may be in your favor.  So like them on FaceBook and get winning! 

Need a few recipes?

Crio Frosty
Serves 1

  • 3-4 ounces of almond milk or other milk alternative
  • 3-4 ounces of water plus 12 ounces of water
  • 3 Tbsp of Crio’s Cavalla
  • 3 Tbsp of Crio’s Cocoa’s River
  • ½ banana, frozen
  • 3 blackberries, frozen
  • ½-1 Tbsp of unsweetened dried coconut (optional, it gives it a bit of texture)
  • 2-3 tsp of agave or other sweetener (adjust amount to taste)
  • Pinch of cinnamon

The Night Before:

  1. Freeze almond milk and 4 ounces of water into 1 ounce ice cubes

Day of:

  1. In a small pot, bring to a boil 12 ounces of water
  2. While the water is boiling, add to a French press Cavalla and Cocoa River grounds.
  3. Add to the French press 10 ounces of boiling water.
  4. Allow to sit for 15-30 minutes
  5. Once slightly cooled, pour fresh brew sans the grounds into a high speed blender.
  6. Add to the blender banana, blackberries, coconut, cinnamon and sweetener.
  7. Add 3 almond milk cubes and 3 water cubes into blender. (Note, you may add more for a thicker, frostier drink but not that more liquid means lighter taste. I like my brew strong.)
  8. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
  9. Pour into a small glass and serve immediately.


I have a few more recipes up my sleeve on how to use the grounds both fresh and already brewed so stay tuned!

Oh P.S. -->  Insert disclaimer here. Yep, I actually love this product! No type of payment is necessary ;)


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