"Activated" Hot Chocolate


  • 2 cups water or milk, your choice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw cacao
  • 1 teaspoon ashwagandha powder
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • Cinnamon as needed

What it is: Hot chocolate made with raw cacao, coconut oil, honey and. It’s free of dairy and refined sugars.

Mann offers two kinds of hot chocolate at Baba Cool: classic ($3.50) and “activated” ($5), with the latter designed to be an energizing sipper. Raw cacao mixed with the herb ashwagandha, prized for its energy-boosting and stress-reducing properties, serves as the base of the activated drink, along with maca: the powder form of a root known for its mood-lifting elements. The base is blended with either water or a choice of milk for smoothness and raw honey for sweetness.

Inspiration: Mann created the drink to satisfy her own daily chocolate cravings, while also hoping to create something that flat-out tasted good.

Sweetness Index: Herbs add nutty and bitter notes, but in a way that works against the honey and raw cacao. “I was trying to find that balance where hot chocolate wasn’t super sweet,” she says. 

Loyalty Factor: Mann’s “activated” hot chocolate appeals to an audience that wouldn’t otherwise order the drink, so they are willing to pay a little more. “If there is a healthier option, people feel better about actually ordering it,” she says.


Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to boil. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Makes 1 to 2 servings.

Recipe by Owner Gabriella Mann
Baba Cool Cafe, Brooklyn, New York