In an effort to keep my reviews objective based on health topics, I structure each in the same way and allow my opinions to come through in the "Bottom Line" at the end. Here are my findings for Xocai ("sho-sigh").
IS IT ORGANIC?
Xocai is not certified organic. The company says that its bean come from farms that do not use pesticides. I have no way to verify this. Their products are non-GMO.
WHAT BEANS DO THEY USE?
Xocai uses forastero beans, as all cacao beans grown in Africa are.
HOW IS IT PROCESSED?
Xocai specifically says it is not raw, but does claim to use a cold-press process for its cacao. I take this to mean that they produce their powder using a cold-press method, but they go beyond the "raw" threshold when heating their ingredients to make the actual chocolate. So this is a traditional "cooked" chocolate. I cannot say whether they have preserved more nutrients by cold-pressing to make their powder.
WHAT SWEETENERS ARE USED?
Xocai uses raw cane juice as a low-glycemic (around 24), unrefined sweetener.
IS IT FAIR TRADE?
Xocai does not have fair trade certification, and they get most of their cacao from the Ivory Coast where slave labor is widely used in the chocolate industry. The company, however, is emphatic that their cacao is 100% ethically traded with no human exploitation involved.
My invitation to join Xocai several years ago when I ran a health practice actually spurred me into studying chocolate and building this site. As Xocai was fairly new at the time, it represented a good business opportunity, but I couldn't be involved if I didn't believe in it.
Since my studies led me to the conclusion that I only wanted to be involved with raw, organic, and fair trade chocolates, and because I was not interested in their binary compensation plan or the amount of money they required members to spend on chocolate every month, I opted not to join. It was 3 years before I stumbled across ChocoNat and found a chocolate I wanted to represent.
There is nothing wrong with the taste of Xocai, by the way. It's a fairly standard chocolate, and I don't know of anyone disappointed in its flavor. Because the company has been around for a while, they also have a wide variety of products and an established marketing system. So I appreciate that it is attractive from a business standpoint.