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FAQs


General

WHAT IS CRIO BRÜ?

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Mayan pictograph of ka'kao

Crio Brü is brewed drink made from 100% cacao beans (also known as cocoa beans), roasted to perfection. Named after the most prized of cacao beans, the Criollo, Crio Brü will astound your taste buds with its complex chocolaty flavors and subtle aromas which come right from the cacao bean itself! It is 100% natural and 100% pure.

Crio Brü is the ultimate superfood. It is low in calories and contains no sugar, no fat, no dairy, no sodium, no cholesterol and practically no caffeine, yet is extremely high in antioxidants, theobromine and a host of other vitamins and minerals.

Crio Brü is both a new drink and an ancient one. Ka'kao was an everyday drink of the kings and peoples of the great Incas, Mayans, Olmecs and Aztecs for hundreds of years, but was changed when the Old World met the New. The incredible health properties of cacao are currently lost in the process of making modern chocolate, but with Crio Brü, they are preserved.


IS CRIO BRÜ MORE LIKE COFFEE OR TEA?

Crio Brü is more similar to coffee in consistency than tea. However if made too thin, it could take on a tea-like appearance and flavor. We recommend brewing it for a more robust flavor. To learn more, see our How to Brü page.

 

Energy

DOES CRIO BRÜ CONTAIN CAFFEINE?

Depending on the type of cacao bean it is made from, it either contains little to no caffeine or trace amounts. The misconception that chocolate (cacao) contains caffeine is is based primarily on confusion between two similar alkaloids: caffeine and theobromine. The two stimulants are related and have similar chemical structures, but possess very different properties, effects and origins.

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A study completed in 1993 (The Biochemist, April/May, 1993, pg. 15), definitively showed that chocolate contained 1.3% theobromine, by weight, up to 5.82% serotonin (an organic compound that enhances mood and energy, provides better mental focus, improved sleep patterns, less anxiety and decreases body fat), by weight, and no detectable caffeine.

Theobromine clearly has stimulant properties, so perhaps people reflexively attribute those effects to caffeine—even though many of the effects are fundamentally different from caffeine. Perhaps when referring to caffeine, they intend to reference an entire class of chemicals called xanthines, of which caffeine is but one example.

The amount of xanthines present in cacao is highly dependent on the variety of cacao bean that is used. There are three main varieties of cacao: criollo, trinatario and forastero. Criollo beans account for 1-2% of the world’s cacao, trinatario beans for around 10-20% and the rest are forastero. Criollo beans have the highest amount of theobromine but also contain trace amounts of caffeine whereas trinatario and forastero, typically, have little to no caffeine.

Theobromine and caffeine are similarly constructed types of pharmacologically active chemicals but with noticeably different effects. Theobromine is gentle, mild, has a slow onset, is long lasting and non-addictive whereas caffeine is intense, strong, fast acting, short lived and  addictive.

Crio Brü is 100%  pure cacao. A typical sample of cacao beans will yield anywhere from zero caffeine to 1,000 parts per million of caffeine (less than 1/20th of the caffeine present in coffee). Crio Brü provides long lasting energy and promotes whole body wellness without the negative effects found in other drinks.



IS CRIO BRÜ ADDICTIVE?

No. Crio Brü is made from cacao which is not addictive.

 

IS CRIO BRÜ SAFE TO DRINK WHILE NURSING? DOES THEOBROMINE HAVE NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON A BABY?

Numerous studies have been conducted of women eating chocolate during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The generally state that it is very unlikely that it would negatively effect a baby. Some studies actually suggest that theobromine might actually help milk production in mothers. However, “mother knows best” is always the best maxim to follow. If you sense that you or the baby might be sensitive to the theobromine, then you may want to cut back or stop drinking Crio Brü while nursing.

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Nutrition

 

WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS IN CRIO BRÜ?

Crio Brü is 100% pure cacao.

 

DOES CRIO BRÜ HAVE CARBS?

Crio Brü only has 1.5 grams of carbs per serving, and none of it from sugar. You can learn more about the nutritional contents and benefits of Crio Brü  on the Brü Benefits page.

 

WILL CRIO BRÜ HAVE AN EFFECT ON MY CALCIUM LIKE COFFEE DOES?

Yes and no. Cacao contains a natural compound called oxalate, which can inhibit the absorption of calcium in bones. However, cacao also contains large amounts of magnesium, which facilitates absorption of calcium in bones, potentially offsetting any calcium loss.

 

 

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WHAT IS AN ORAC SCORE?

An Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score is a test tube analysis that measures the antioxidant levels of food and other chemical substances. If a food has a high ORAC score, then it means the food is high in antioxidants. The antioxidant’s strength is its ability to eliminate oxygen free radicals. With the ORAC score, a higher score means the food is better at helping us fight diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

 

WHAT IS THE ORAC SCORE OF CRIO BRÜ?

The ORAC score for a cup of brewed Crio Brü is over 6375 IU per 6 fluid ounces (coffee cup) or 8500 IU for 8 fluid ounces (1 cup). This does not include the antioxidants found in the used cocoa grounds which can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, brownies, etc.

 

HOW DOES CACAO MEASURE UP TO OTHER FOODS?

USDA data on foods with high ORAC scores

Food

Serving size

Antioxidant capacity
per serving size

Raw unprocessed cacao

100 grams

28,000

Small red bean

½ cup dried beans

13,727

Wild blueberry

1 cup

13,427

Red kidney bean

½ cup dried beans

13,259

Pinto bean

½ cup

11,864

Blueberry

1 cup (cultivated berries)

9,019

Cranberry

1 cup (whole berries)

8,983

Artichoke hearts

1 cup, cooked

7,904

Blackberry

1 cup (cultivated berries)

7,701

Prune

½ cup

7,291

Raspberry

1 cup

6,058

Strawberry

1 cup

5,938

Red Delicious apple

1 apple

5,900

Granny Smith apple

1 apple

5,381

Pecan

1 oz

5,095

Sweet cherry

1 cup

4,873

Black plum

1 plum

4,844

Russet potato

1, cooked

4,649

Black bean

½ cup dried beans

4,181

Plum

1 plum

4,118

Gala apple

1 apple

3,903

 

Nutrient Data Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - May 2010.

 

I SEE SOME SMALL DOTS OF OIL RISING TO THE TOP OF MY CRIO BRÜ. I THOUGHT THERE WAS NO FAT IN CRIO...?

Great question! You are correct, since Crio Brü is made with one ingredient - cocoa beans - the essential oils contained in cocoa beans are part of the brew.

When we had it tested by a nutritional lab, they found that the percentage of fat was so small per serving, it essentially contained 0% fat. which is what they recommended for the label.  

The good news is that for the fats it does contain, most of them are the healthy fats such as those you'd find in olive oil, nuts and avacados.

As a reminder, there are three types of fat: 1) mono = good, 2) poly = good/neutral, 3) saturated = bad.

The primary “good” fat in cocoa is oleic acid (the same health fatty acid found in olive oil). Oleic acid gives us natural energy without contributing to weight gain.  

And over half of the "neutral" or "bad" fat content is made up of stearic acid which has been shown to have a neutral impact on both weight gain and high blood pressure.

In short, when you brew Crio Brü there is a total of 71% “good” and “neutral” fat with only 29% “bad” fat. Even though you can see a little of the oils or fats when you brew it, most is the good fat and it comes in such small quantities per serving that registered as 0% during FDA testing.


IS CRIO BRU BREWED COCOA MORE ACIDIC THAN COFFEE?

We recently completed an acidity test and Crio was shown to be 5.5 on the litmus scale, consistent with raw cocoa. Coffee is more acidic at 5.0. Crio and coffee are more neutral than beer or any fruit juice and similar to carbonated water (which contains carbonic acid as a result of the dissolved carbon dioxide).

Many people have difficulty drinking coffee over time due to the specific types of acids it contains: tannic acid, aliphatic acid, chlorogenic acid, phenolic acid and alicyclic acid. Cocoa is known to have different type of acids: stearic acid, palmitic acid, oxalic acid and phytic acid.

We have found that individuals that could no longer drink coffee have no problem drinking Crio. You may need to drink a small amount in the beginning, to be sure. If you are concerned about a medical issue, we encourage you to speak with your doctor before trying it.



IS CRIO BRU ORGANIC?

All of the cocoa beans that are used to make Crio Brü, save those from the Ivory Coast that make Cavalla, are organic. Crio is working on its organic certification in order to place the USDA ORGANIC seal on our packaging. That should be completed by fall 2013. We are also working to locate a reputable, traceable source of cocoa beans from the Ivory Coast that will taste as good or better than our Cavalla Crio Brü.

The cocoa beans that are covered in chocolate to make Crio Beans are organic. Currently, the chocolate we use to cover them is not certified organic. We are experimenting with organic chocolate and sugar free chocolate to see if we can find the right pairing.

 

Policies

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IS CRIO BRÜ FAIR TRADE?

Crio Brü is committed to always paying fair trade market prices or higher to its growers, even if the producer is too small to pay the Fair Trade verification fees.


HOW MUCH IS SHIPPING AND HANDLING
?

Shipping and handling is detailed on the Shipping and Handling page.

 

WHAT IS YOUR RETURN POLICY?

Our return policy is detailed on the Our Guarantee page.

 

Miscellaneous

I LOVE YOUR NAME! HOW DO I TYPE THE "ü" IN "Brü"?

  • On a Mac, hold down option while typing the letter to create characters with umlaut accent marks.
  • In Windows, hold down ALT while typing the appropriate number code on your numeric keypad to create characters with umlaut accent marks, such as: Ü - ALT + 0220, ü - ALT +0252. Be sure to not use the numbers at the top of keyboard. Use the numeric keypad and be sure Num Lock is turned ON.
  • In HTML, to create umlaut accent marks type the & (ampersand symbol), then the letter U or u, then the letters uml, then ; (semicolon), such as: & Uuml; (no space) for Ü.

 

ARE THE CRIO BRÜ GROUNDS GOOD FOR PLANTS?

Yes, similar to coffee grounds, Crio Brü grounds make great compost. The iron and magnesium make a good additive to your soil. NOTE: Please ensure that pets won’t get into the soil, as it could be very harmful, even fatal.