Sometimes referred to as Brazilian cocoa, guarana seeds have been consumed by Amazon Indian tribes since pre-Columbian times.The plant was first cultivated by the Satere-Maue Indians who would grind the seeds into foods and drinks in order to take advantage of guarana's qualities. The effectiveness Guarana derives from the fact that the seeds contain a considerable amount of caffeine, reportedly twice as much as in coffee. As such the guarana was nurtured by indigenous tribes for its ability to support them on long and arduous treks through the jungle.
The guarana fruit is about the size of a coffee bean and has a leathery orange-red skin. When ripe, the berry opens, revealing the black seed surrounded by a white aril. It bears a striking resemblance to an eyeball. The locals attribute its origins and appearance to a myth in which an evil god lures a young boy village in the jungle and kills him out of jealousy. After finding his body in the forest, the mourning family and villagers are given a guarana fruit by a benevolent god to comfort them. The guaranas 'eyes' represent that of the lost child.
Because of its legendary status, missionaries noted in their travels to South America that the indigenous tribes valued guarana as much as Europeans valued gold. Today guarana remains an essential part of the diet, not only for local communities but also for the whole of Brazil, where it is considered the country's national drink. The importance of the guarana industry for Brazil is celebrated with the annual Guarana festival, held in the city of Maues. Simultaneously with the harvest, a week of music, parades and festivities takes place, attracting visitors from all over the Amazon.
Our guarana comes from plantations in Bahia. A Brazilian state located in the northeastern part of the province. Here the abundant humidity, fertile soils and well distributed rainfall are the basis for abundant growth of this perennial. In the wild guarana grows as a climbing plant up to 12 meters high... However, when grown in orchards it resembles more a bush. Fruit production starts from the third year of life and the plant can remain harvestable for up to 80 years.
The white flowers begin to bloom at the end of the rainy season. Guarana is harvested in December, when the fruit is ripe. When the whole bunch is ripe, it is either cut off with scissors, or broken off manually. When only a few berries are ripe, they are picked individually. The fruit is then carefully selected and the red skin removed, usually by soaking the guarana in water. The seeds are dried in the sun before being placed in an industrial oven at 40 °C to dry out completely. This process not only helps to remove the outer skin of the seeds, but is an integral part of the unique cacao flavour associated with guarana. The seeds are ground into a fine powder. That powder is 100% organic, with no added preservatives.
Because of its high caffeine content, guarana acts as a natural stimulant. Our guarana powder contains 3.2% caffeine, compared to coffee averages of 1-2%. In addition, it has been found that guarana has a longer lasting effect than tea or coffee. This may be related to the interaction of the caffeine with other substances present in the plant, e.g. tannins.
Our guarana powder can be added to hot water or milk as a hot tonic, or cold drinks for a refreshing and invigorating snack. Sweetened with cocoa or liquid sweeteners you can enjoy this natural alternative to artificial stimulants.