Capomo is a sustainable, fair trade, environmentally friendly, healthy, and tasty alternative to decaffeinated coffee that has been called a super food. If you have had to give up coffee for health reasons or by personal choice, capomo can give you the flavour you crave and the health benefits you are looking for.
Where does capomo come from?
Capomo comes from the roasted and ground seeds of the Brosimum Alicastrum or Maya Nut tree, which is native to Central America and is a member of the fig family. The Maya Nut is known by over 75 different indigenous names, though it is most commonly called Arbol del Ramon and Ojoche in addition to capomo.
Mature trees are extremely tall – up to 45 metres – with a huge root system that is a natural carbon dioxide sink. The trees are also drought-resistant, allowing them to continue to produce their seeds in most weather conditions – an important characteristic in the face of climate change. Pre-Hispanic cultures throughout Central America and northern South America used the seeds of the Maya Nut tree as a staple in their diets, and they are also a major food source for forest wildlife.
Unfortunately, deforestation for livestock and commercial agriculture has decimated the Maya Nut tree. Experts estimate that only about five per cent of the original forest cover still exists, and with the loss of the trees, the traditional knowledge of the benefits of the seeds has also almost disappeared.
Organizations like The Maya Nut Institute are working to change that. Founded in the United States in 2001, this non-profit’s mission is to “find balance between people, food and forests” by teaching rural communities about the value of Maya Nut for food, fodder, ecosystem services and income. The Institute has worked with partners in Haiti, Columbia, Guatemala, Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico to plant more than 2 million trees since 2001, but more work must still be done, and a big part of that is finding markets for capomo products to encourage more people to plant the trees and harvest the nuts.
Capomo is harvested, roasted and packaged almost exclusively by women in small villages in central America. We are pleased to work with a Maya Nut Institute partner in central Mexico to bring capomo to Canada. Josefina has 100 acres of trees on her farm, and hires women from her village to pick the seeds from the ground. She then roasts them – a light roast for flour, and a dark roast for drinking – and grinds them by hand.
Why should I drink capomo?
If encouraging reforestation and purchasing a product that helps women make an income isn’t enough, capomo is full of health benefits for you and your body!
Testing by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States has proven that the Maya Nut is free from toxic alkaloids and allergens, and is not affected by aflatoxins. It is also naturally gluten and caffeine free, and has a low glycemic index, for those that use the light roast as a flour substitute.
The Maya Nut has been used by the indigenous peoples of Central America as a food, but also as a remedy for conditions like colitis, arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, infertility, and lactation problems. Scientific studies have supported some of this traditional knowledge, particularly around colitis and asthma due to the nut’s high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds. It is high in vitamins and anti-oxidants, and also contains small amounts of tryptophan, which can help you relax. Some people also report getting a natural energy boost after drinking capomo, making it a good drink for both morning and evening.
And if that wasn’t enough, the flavour is wonderful! While capomo has its own unique taste, it is similar to a mocha coffee. Being naturally caffeine free, capomo allows you to enjoy a “coffee” in the evening without worrying about insomnia or the environmental impacts of your beverage choices.
So what are you waiting for? Try capomo today!