Aztec Hot Chocolate History

People tend to think of hot chocolate as a warm, comforting drink, one served up to small children on a cold night. But it was once revered as a great tonic for warriors, who needed energy and sustenance to tackle challenges such as big battles or arduous journeys. In fact, hot chocolate has a history as rich and colorful as the drink itself.

Here are some fun facts about the history of hot chocolate in ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures:

  • The first chocolate beverage is believed to have been created by the Mayan people of around 2,000 years ago, and a cocoa beverage was an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 AD.
  • An early Classic (460-480 AD) period Mayan tomb from the site of Rio Azul, Guatemala, was found to contain vessels bearing the Mayan glyph for cacao, and the vessels contained the residue of a chocolate drink.
  • In ancient Mesoamerica, the cacao drink, known as “xocolātl” was considered sacred and was used during initiation ceremonies, funerals, and marriages. During this time, cacao beans were also used as currency.
  • Montezuma II, the last ruler of the Aztec empire, was said to have kept a huge storehouse of cacao, and to have drunk up to 50 golden goblets of chocolate a day.
  • Montezuma II is also said to have decreed that only men who went to war were to imbibe the precious cacao drink, and thus cacao became a regular part of military rations.
  • During the battles between Montezuma II’s forces and the Spanish conquistadors who invaded Mexico under the rule of Conquistador Hernán Cortés, it was noted that the Aztec’s chocolate drink helped to fortify and energize the men, as one Spanish observer noted: “This drink is the healthiest thing, and the greatest sustenance of anything you could drink in the world, because he who drinks a cup of this liquid, no matter how far he walks, can go a whole day without eating anything else.”
  • After defeating Montezuma’s warriors and demanding that the Aztec nobles hand over their valuables, Cortés returned to Spain in 1528, bringing cocoa beans and chocolate drink making equipment.Drinking chocolate or hot chocolate soon became popular amongst the elite in Spain, and then spread across the rest of Europe.

So, it seems we have the ancient Aztecs and their precious cacao beans to thank for the delicacy we know today as hot chocolate. And while the modern version — particularly the tasty Rae’s Gourmet Hot Chocolate that’s also infused with Ganoderma lucidum — may be a lot more refined than its ancient predecessor, it certainly remains a powerful elixir, and one that we have happily added to our beverage repertoire.

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The Two C’s of New World History

On March 15, 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first voyage to the New World. The 2 C’s could be considered to be Christopher Columbus, the explorer renowned for “discovering” North America and many other places in the New World. But, according to many, there are two other significant C’s in America — Coffee and Chocolate!

And the two are linked by more than just alliteration. When Christopher Columbus first sailed that ocean blue (as the rhyme goes) in 1492, he traveled to the so-called New World at the behest of the Queen of Spain. And two of the precious items he brought back to Europe? You guessed it: coffee and cacao beans.

Here’s a lowdown on some of the history that links Christopher Columbus with two of the Americas’ favorite treats — coffee and chocolate:

  • The introduction of coffee beans to the Americas is often attributed to Columbus, as it is thought that he carried coffee beans on one of his voyages to the New World.
  • Columbus is also often credited with bringing chocolate, by way of cacao beans, back to Europe and then on to the rest of the world.
  • Columbus is believed to have “discovered” cocoa beans in around 1502, when he and his crew appropriated the cargo of a native Mayan trading ship, near what is now known as Honduras.
  • Apparently Columbus assumed that the beans were some kind of almond. But, sensing the value placed upon these mysterious legumes, he took them.

So, what lesson can we take from this? Well, one thing’s for sure. We’d like to thank Columbus for that initial transportation of the magical beans behind coffee and chocolate. We guess we have him to thank, in a round-about way, for one of our favorite products — the Cafe Mocha. And we can bet he would have been a big fan of one of the best — the BrewKup™  in Chocolate Almond.  

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Simple Ways to Save Time and Money

Let’s crunch the numbers: An estimated 120 to 150 million cups of coffee are consumed every day across the USA, at an average rate of 1.6 cups per man and 1.6 cups per woman over the age of 18. No doubt, one or two of them are consumed in or around your household.

Now imagine the 10 to 15 minutes it takes you to either:

  1. Fix the cup yourself at home using your: drip brew coffee machine; espresso machine; French press; or other DIY coffee method of choice; add a few additional minutes if you grind your own beans at home (for the time it takes using and washing the grinder).
  2. Stand in line at your local coffee shop or cafe.

On average – whether it’s prepping coffee at home or buying it to-go – that’s around 12 minutes per cup, per day. This doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but let’s add that up and look at the bigger picture. The average prep time for six days a week of just one coffee per day, breaks down to 12 minutes per cup. Multiply that by 312 days a year and that’s a grand total of 3,744 minutes per year, or, roughly 62 hours or about two-and-a-half (2.6 to be exact) days a year just preparing coffee.

Now imagine what else you could do in that time? Two-and-a-half days could be spent enjoying a lovely vacation — perhaps in a ski lodge, or at a resort on a sunny tropical island, if that’s more your style. Or you could read a book. Or write a short story. Or see multiple movies. Or take in your favorite sporting event, in person or live via broadcast television.

Time is valuable in today’s busy, multi-tasking society. For many of us, time is money. So wasted time means wasted money. What if you could save those 62 hours?

In honor of the Coffee Connoisseur Club, here are our six top tips on using the Cafe’s coffee, mocha and tea products to help literally save you time and money, and make your life simpler, more efficient, and possibly even happier. And who doesn’t want to be happier?

  1. Gourmet Cafe Supreme not only has the light and creamy flavor of a $5 store-bought latte, it has added benefits. Namely, it is enhanced with two powerful ingredients: 100% pure Ganoderma extract; plus the prized ancient ingredient of Panax Ginseng root.
  2. For basic black coffee connoisseurs, Gourmet Black Coffee features a classic, robust, smooth flavor, and is enhanced with antioxidant-rich Ganoderma extract.
  3. With Gourmet Café Latte, a light, creamy latte is at your fingertips in an instant — minus the wait in line.
  4. Guilty of a sweet tooth and tend to crave a sugary pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon? We have the answer— Gourmet Café Mocha. This instant product offers a rich, cocoa-tinged coffee that’s ideal for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
  5. Organic Green Tea adds an element of instant zen to your day, blending the finest organic green tea leaves with our renowned organic Ganoderma extract for an antioxidant double dose.
  6. Prefer a chilled beverage on those hot summer days and nights? Try an instant cup of Black Ice— a naturally invigorating iced black tea that has already been sweetened with pure, natural honey and enhanced with Ganoderma extract and Amazonian Guarana, to revive your body and mind.

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Mocha Almond Pancake

It’s been a little over a year since the introduction of the delicious BrewKups at P50K in San Antonio, Texas. To celebrate the “occasion”, I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes from the OG Cookbook: OG Brewed Mocha Almond Pancake by Roberto Carlos Cruz from Puerto Rico.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Brew Organo Gold Chocolate Almond BrewKup using the medium size.
  2. Dissolve OG Café Mocha and OG Black Coffee into the brewed Chocolate Almond. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, beaten eggs, oil and milk and whisk until well incorporated. Add Organo Gold brewed coffees and chocolate to the mixture. Blend well.
  4. Cook pancakes on a hot griddle or pan over medium heat. Turn once and cook until they are golden.
  5. To serve, add a small scoop of butter and drizzle with honey.

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Green Tea Hot Cocoa

This Green Tea Hot Cocoa will surprise and delight you. The addition of green tea makes this a truly revitalizing beverage and turns this ordinary cocoa into a health-boosting drink everyone will enjoy!

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Green Tea Hot Cocoa

I like to boil the water seperately and steep the tea for 1-3 minutes. While that’s working, I heat up the milk and stir in the half of a hot chocolate sachet and save the rest for another cup. After the tea is ready, just pour the hot chocolate in, stir and enjoy!

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