Last Updated on October 12, 2021 by Anne-Marie
A Crio Bru review. Learn more about the benefits of Crio Bru and where to buy this healthy coffee alternative.
Why you should try Crio Bru
Since I try to avoid sugar and extra calories, finding something to satisfy my craving for dark chocolate is difficult. That’s why I love Crio Bru Brewed Cocoa.
Crio Bru cocoa is a chocolate drink that’s brewed like coffee from 100% pure cocoa beans.
After brewing, you’re in total control of what you add to the drink. You can make your Crio Bru drink recipe with cream and sugar or unsweetened coconut milk and a no-calorie, natural sweetener.
This is the drink if you love chocolate but don’t love the calories when you indulge.
Looking for Crio Bru reviews? Here’s mine.
I first tried Crio Bru Cavalla, a light roast version. It’s now called Ghana Light Roast.
It’s a premium roasted cocoa with natural hints of dark spice, coconut and cinnamon. The light roast cocoa beans are grown on family farms on the Ivory Coast.
I chose to make my Crio Bru in an 8-cup Bodum French Press. I used 1 cup of Crio beans for a full French Press and brewed it just like I would coffee beans.
Since it’s recommended that you use one to two level tablespoons of Crio beans in your French Press for each “Crio cup,” which is 4.25 ounces or a bit more than half a cup, I figured 8 cups x 1 tablespoon = 1 cup of Crio beans.
I followed Crio’s brewing directions carefully and produced a hot drink that looks like medium to dark cup of coffee, almost like French roast but not quite.
(You can also make Crio Bru Brewed Cocoa in a standard coffee maker if you have a reusable golden filter.)
So how does Crio Bru taste?
Just made without anything added to it, Crio Bru Brewed Cocoa did taste like hot chocolate. But a hot chocolate drink that you made with too much water and no sweetener.
At first you may find Crio Bru a bit disappointing, because you might be expecting a creamy hot chocolate drink.
Instead, think of Crio Bru cocoa with a tongue feel of hot coffee, but instead of coffee it tastes like chocolate.
Then once you add your “milk and sugar” – in my case unsweetened coconut milk and stevia – you’ll find it to be much more satisfying.
(You can also add natural, no calorie Swerve Sweetener or powdered monk fruit sweetener.)
I enjoyed sipping Crio Bru cocoa and found that it reheated well in the microwave later in the day.
(I can’t say the same of coffee, which can get nasty when reheated.)
The taste is rich and sophisticated, sort of like a mocha latte, but without the bitterness of a French roast coffee.
However, I did miss the “tongue feel” of a creamy hot chocolate. I found making a “cocoa au lait” with half unsweetened coconut milk and half Crio Bru brewed cocoa helped.
You could also use half and half or coffee creamer, though that ruins the healthy factor of the chocolate drink.
I’ve also tried Crio Bru cocoa cold. You’ll notice some oil globules forming on the top, which is a natural part of the Crio beans.
But it’s such a small amount that Crio Bru is considered fat free. (Only 10 calories per serving.)
If you like iced coffee, iced Crio Bru would be a wonderful summer time drink.
And if you like chocolate flavored coffee drinks, adding several tablespoons of Crio beans to your coffee beans would be a healthier choice than adding sugary chocolate syrups to your coffee routine, too.
It’s not coffee it’s Crio Bru
Now if you read the reviews on Amazon, you’d may think that some people think this is a coffee substitute.
Well, It kind of is since the ground cocoa beans are brewed in a French press like ground coffee beans. And the look of the drink is like a light roast.
You can even add milk and sugar to it like you would a cup of coffee.
But I feel it’s more like a cup of hot chocolate that you doll up with your favorite “milk” and sweetener.
However, if you want to find a healthier non-caffeinated alternative to coffee, love chocolate, and herbal tea isn’t your thing, Crio Bru is a great substitute for decaffeinated coffee beans.
Even better, it’s already ground, so you don’t have to mess with decaf ground coffee beans, too!
Crio Bru roast varieties
Crio Bru comes in several flavors, which you can order at Amazon:
● Crio Bru Pumpkin Spice Light Roast (this is seasonal and not always available)
● Crio Bru Peppermint Light Roast (this is seasonal and not always available)
● Crio Bru Ecuador French Roast
● Crio Bru Ecuador Light Roast
● Crio Bru Limited Edition Nicaragua (limited edition)
The health benefits of chocolate and Crio Bru
Crio Bru is naturally gluten free. And depending on what you add to it, like no calorie sweeteners, is low carb and keto friendly.
Crio Bru brewed cocoa beans have a high ORAC score, about the same as a cup of raspberries.
An Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, or ORAC score, is a test tube analysis that measures the antioxidant levels of food and other chemical substances. It’s also caffeine free.
Crio Bru claims that their drink is packed with more natural antioxidants and heart-healthy minerals and than almost any drink on the market.
They also claim their drink acts as an appetite suppressant and gives you a boost of energy.
Cocoa beans do contain a natural stimulant called theobromine that is a relative of caffeine. Unlike caffeine, theobromine gives you a noticeable increase in energy without making you feel nervous or jittery.
I’m reluctant to support any of their health claims, so I’ll leave that up to your best judgment.
However, the Denver Post published an article, Good news: Chocolate's sweet health benefits by registered dietitian Shirley Perryman, a few years ago that supports some of their claims about chocolate.
Whatever, your reason for seeking out a healthy chocolate drink, I highly recommend Crio Bru Brewed Cocoa.
Originally posted on February 27, 2011.
Photo credit: Crio Bru
Addressing the mouthfeel; I started adding a couple pinches of potato starch to my black coffee and Crio bru to give it a silky rather than a watery mouthfeel. I gave up creamer and sugar a few years ago and missed that satisfying creamy feel but finally figured it out. Just add a pinch or two (adjust as needed) in an empty cup before the coffee is poured in and enjoy!
I also add a tiny bit of salt to give the chocolate a little more balanced flavor.
I like your tips for adding that satisfying mouth feel to Crio Bru without adding creamer or sugar. Thanks Christina!