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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Rae’s Cafe Mocha

This is one of the first videos that I made for Rae’s Cafe. The Cafe Mocha is one of my faves…it also saves you time and money 🙂 Awesome, right?! It’s easy…it’s simple…

#GourmetLivesMatter #RaezCafe

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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Make Mine a Mocha

Coffee and chocolate are two of the most popular flavors and substances on the planet. So it makes sense that folks thought to put them together to create the marvelous Mocha. Here are some fun tidbits of info to share with friends next time you whip up a batch of Gourmet Cafe Mocha, which happens to be Greg Norman’s, Organo Gold’s new Global Brand Ambassador’s favorite  beverage.

The mocha or cafe mocha is an American invention and a variant of the cafe latte. Like a latte, a mocha it is typically one third espresso and two thirds steamed milk, but a portion of chocolate is added, typically in the form of cocoa powder — although many big coffee chains these days use chocolate syrup.

Not unlike a cappuccino, a cafe mocha often features milk froth on top, although are sometimes served with whipped cream instead. They are usually topped with a dusting of cocoa powder or cinnamon. Marshmallows may also be added on top for flavor and decoration.

Mocha reportedly takes its name from the Red Sea coastal town of Mocha, in Yemen, which as far back as the 15th century was a dominant exporter of coffee, especially to areas around the Arabian Peninsula. Coffee beans from this region are said to have had a notable chocolate-y taste, and hence the term “mocha” was extended to mean intentional addition of chocolate to coffee.

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8 Reasons to LOVE Ganoderma

It’s at the heart of all of our products, which is why Rae’s Café is such a big fan of Ganoderma, the ancient Chinese mushroom that has long been used in Eastern medicine. Here are just some of the many reasons this precious fungus has been revered for thousands of years, and why Rae’s Cafe just loves it so!

  1. The names given to Ganoderma in various Asian languages reflects its potency. The Chinese name, Lingzhi, means “spiritual potency”, while the Japanese name, Reishi, translates as “King of herbs.” The Vietnamese name for the Ganoderma mushroom, Linh Chi, literally means “supernatural mushroom.”
  2. With their long brown stems and shiny orange caps, the mushrooms look like something straight out of a children’s book!
  3. Ganoderma Lucidum has been recognized by practitioners of traditional Asian medicine as the highest ranked of all herbs found in the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Dr. Shi-Jean Lee — the most renowned doctor of the Ming Dynasty — strongly endorsed the effectiveness of Ganoderma in his famous book Great Pharmacopoeia (Ban Chao Gang Moo), where he wrote that “long-term taking of Ganoderma will build a strong, healthy body and assure a long life.”
  4. Today, Ganoderma has become known by modern science for its potent antioxidant properties, and antioxidants have a wide range of health benefits. According to The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Ganoderma contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants in any food.
  5. Certain types of Ganoderma, such as the Cafe’s Ganoderma Lucidum Mycelium, also contain the polysaccharide Beta-glucan, which has been shown to help stimulate immune function.
  6. Because Ganoderma Lucidum respires just like humans — oxygen in and carbon dioxide out — it helps add a quality source of oxygen to the body.
  7. At Rae’s Cafe, the Ganoderma is grown naturally in logs, as it was meant to, high in the Wuyi Mountains of China’s Fuzhou region.
  8. Finally, Ganoderma is transformed in Organo Gold’s multi-million dollar facility in China into a flavorless powder that adds goodness to all of the Cafe’s delicious products — such as our BrewKups, our pre-brewed coffees, organic teas, gourmet hot chocolate, nutraceuticals, and more!

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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.

mochapancake

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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The Rise of the New Coffee Class

riseofnewcoffeeclassIf you want to talk fancy coffee brewing methods and equipment, we could be here for a while. There are dozens upon dozens of fancy coffee machines that brew, percolate, or create the perfect cup of coffee or shot of espresso.

The recent rise of the cult coffee roaster has also produced a “new wave” of coffee connoisseurs of whom are very specific about the flavors of their beans, brews and the consistency of their foam. Even a new form, “coffee art” has emerged from this coffee-centric society — with baristas creating patterns in the foamy cap of lattes or cappuccinos, using pouring techniques (or sometimes even toothpicks) to com-bine the foamy milk with the dark brown liquid of the espresso.

While all this has been going on, another kind of coffee has also experienced something of a Renaissance – pre-brewed coffee.

A certain Seattle-based coffee giant launched their own in-house pre-brewed product with an enthusiastic response. It seems the convenience and portability of pre-brewed, powdered coffee products is a hit in today’s modern, multi-tasking, always-on-the-go society.

And why not? The fact is that pre-brewed products – in particular premium, luxury-level products such as Rae’s family of coffees – are made with the same high quality beans freshly ground in hipster coffee shops to make those over-priced lattes and espresso drinks.

  •  We source only the finest, hand-selected beans for our pre-brewed coffee products, such as the Jamaican Blue Mountain grown beans used in our Premium Gourmet Royal Brewed.
  •  We use only the latest technology to dry, process and make our premium pre-brewed coffee, capturing the freshly-roasted flavor of these quality coffee beans from the world’s finest coffee regions.
  • The flavor of our beverages is enhanced with only the finest ingredients, such as the luxuriously rich chocolate flavor of our Gourmet Café Mocha.
  • Our Gourmet Café Latte product is SO much like a fancy coffee shop latte, complete with freshly-foamed milk, we challenge you to challenge your coffee elitist pals to take a blind taste test and spot the difference.
  • We believe our products, with the addition of the amazing Ganoderma powder, are not merely as good as store-bought, freshly brewed coffee — they’re better. AND beneficial.

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Caramel Vanilla Mocha

Chocolate meets caramel meets vanilla in this delectable and delicious new recipe!

A classic product comes together with our newest product to create a drink that’s best suited for those who have a sweet tooth and aren’t afraid to show it.

Share this product on social media with #OGBarista and lets spread this recipe to everyone all over the world!

Caramel Vanilla Mocha

Please note this recipe has been created for 2 servings…. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Brew Caramel Vanilla in the smallest cup size setting (6 oz.)
  • Empty an OG Mocha sachet into a glass of hot water and let it steep for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour 3 oz of each coffee into a new glass
  • Garnish the drink with whipped cream and caramel syrup on top

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