The Power of Cacao

Tahuu Chocolates' Gold and Silver Standard
The healing properties of CBD and CBG are merged with cacao and essential oils in the bespoke confections. Photo: Alexis Cintron

By Ray Rogers

Drawing on cacao’s legacy as a precious commodity known for its healing properties, Julian Arango created Tahuu Chocolates, a new line of bespoke confections infused with CBD and other botanicals, packaged as silver and gold medallions. For thousands of years, cacao was revered by Indigenous communities for protection and abundance, notes Arango, a Manhattan-based chocolatier who hails from Medellín, Colombia. “It was a currency at some point, a very rare item. That’s why I package my chocolates as gold and silver foil coins.” 

Trained at Le Cordon Bleu in London, Arango worked in restaurants from London (The Square) to NYC (Picholine) before launching Tahuu Chocolates with business partner Alexis Cintron, a creative director who designed the colorful packaging featuring the namesake spirit wolf. “The story of Tahuu comes from a Colombian folk tale about a spirit wolf, made of light and thunder,” says Arango. “It’s a healer, a protector. The natives believe he will guide them, so they don’t get lost in the dark forest.” 

The metaphor worked perfectly for Arango’s mission to bring light to people via a high-quality piece of chocolate. “I come from coffee and cacao farmers in Colombia, so I have a deep connection to the plant and the product.”

Incorporating CBD and CBG (a cannabinoid from which other types of cannabinoids, such as CBD, are derived) was a natural fit for the young chocolatier, whose vision was that of a wellness brand rather than a candy company. “There’s barely any sugar in it,” he says. “I use 70 percent dark chocolate, sourced from an eco-friendly company called Luker in Colombia. I bring it here, temper it and mix it with essential oils and the CBD and CBG. It’s a very unique piece of chocolate.” 

And a very tasty one as well, with flavor profiles that range from vanilla-coffee bean and cinnamon-lion’s mane mushroom to stimulate brain function by day, to raspberry-acai or honey for nighttime chill. His latest creation is a special aphrodisiac chocolate called “Estimula,” featuring a combination of CBD and CBG, plus horny goat weed, “promoting healthy sex, love, partnership and connection,” says Arango.

Just as he believes chocolate can be a healer or spirit guide, in his downtime Arango is also a guiding light, helping people in the recovery space on their sobriety journey. What a delicious way to move through this world.