It’s like saying potato or pa-tah-to…tomato or ta-ma-to…
Chocolate experts say that cocoa should be pronounced ka-kow. When you hear cacao (ka-kow); that usually is referring to the tree itself, the pods, and the bean inside of the pods. When you hear of cocoa (ko-ko) that is usually referring to the by-product of the cacao bean; which are the cocoa powder and the cocoa butter.
Cacao nibs and cocoa powder both come from “cocoa beans”. The difference is cacao nibs are still in the “raw” state. It hasn’t been cooked or processed, whereas cocoa powder has been cleaned, roasted, and processed.
As for the taste; I just did a taste test…I am probably not a good person to ask this as I can eat both plain and not mind it at all, since I do add both organic cocoa powder as well as organic raw cacao nibs to my yogurt and smoothies. The taste doesn’t come off as unpleasant. But If I had to describe it, I would say both have somewhat “bitter” taste. But again, I don’t mind that at all. I eat a lot of things for the health benefits. And actually now I enjoy the taste of them plain.
I hope this clears up a little about the differences in raw cacao nibs and cocoa/cocoa powder/cocoa butter, all stemming from the same little bean.