If you are kind of a tincturist you probably have a tincture of cacao shells in your collection. Cacao shells are, to put it simply, a by-product of the cacao processing industry. These shells are usually from roasted beans. One can even buy them at a chocolaterie or a tea shop. They are really a nice ingredient in tea mixtures (one of my favourite recipes I do at home is with cardamom, cacao shells, rose buds, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of ambrette seeds) or savoured on their own.
When tinctured you can capture this chocolate-ly smell that we are accustomed to when thinking of „chocolate”. And I personally find the tincture to be less sour than the extract I own.
Raw cacao shells are a different animal. If you never tried raw chocolate (or raw beans) I’d advise you to do so. Preferably at 100%, with no sugar or other „diluents”. The taste – of course depending on the terrain and the manufacturing process – is somewhat earthy and fruity, some having notes of red wine or melon.
I kept the filter that I used when decanting the tincture of raw cacao shells after a few months in a zip lock bag, half a year ago. The smell is still amazing. The opening I’d describe as bitter, smoked ham transiting to light leather with an underlying florality and cresolic notes. Now, in the very dry down it smells of horse and leather, like a saddlecloth.
I am offering a limited amount of these raw cacao shells originating from Java so you can make your own saddlebroth. I’d recommend a 10% concentration. The material is very fragrant and high-yield, soaking up a lot of ethanol.
Check it out here.