Ilex Guayusa & Theobroma cacao plantmilk
NIGHTWATCHER Keep an eye on your dreams. Swim up from the dregs of your sleep and into the darkness of a night room. Here, unreality is lucid and reality is a blank fog. You have to make the choice: the bed might be sedative, cosetting and thick but the nightlight is a beacon that leads you out into the night - along an inky, overgrown road out into the country where crushed brambles stain your senses and fermenting leaf litter releases oxidative alcohol and euphoria. It might be as thick as syrup out here in the plush of the night but your mind is now calm and your brain is clear. Nightwatcher, keep walking.
The indigenous tribes of the Andes called the Guayusa ‘the night watchman’. They credited it with the power to keep them alert and awake throughout the night, even when they were asleep. Some have said it enables lucid dreaming, in which case it should be drunk on the verge of sleep; but more prosaically, Guayusa provides a calm stimulation and inquisitive acquity suited to meditative work or practice. Attribute its effects to a highly unusual content of caffeine (stimulation) and L-theanine (balancing relaxation) only ever found in the tea plant. Infused plain into hot water, or even boiled (unlike tea, this won’t harm it) it will colour the water like ink and release a pallid, elusive flavour that, if not strident, will come to haunt you.
30-40 g chopped dark chocolate
5 g cocoa powder or raw cacao powder (or a blend of both)
250 ml water
5 g honey or maple syrup
a few aromatic leaves like mint, sage, thyme, rosemary, lemon verbena
2-4 g dried Guayusa leaves
1. Boil water in a kettle.
2. Pour this boiling water into the French Press to warm it up , then dispose of the water.
3. Add chopped chocolate and cocoa into the now warm French Press
4. Boil 250ml water in a saucepan with 1-2 teaspoons dried guayusa leaves for 2 minutes. Switch off the fire before adding the fresh herbs. Let it steep for another 2 minutes. Bring it back to a boil.
6. Pass the infusion through a sieve into the French press and discard the herbs.
7. Stir the chocolate-herb infusion mixture to form a paste
8. Add honey or maple syrup to taste.
9. Push the press up and down to mix the liquid thoroughly and to fluff it into a smooth and aerated chocolate juice. It should thicken like a milk-based drink.
10. Pour and drink hot.