Did you know that the chocolate bar is a relatively modern concept? The first bar didn’t appear until the mid-1800’s. While this might sound like a long time ago, it’s really nothing when you consider the history of chocolate – one that began in Mesoamerica. Fermented beverages made from chocolate date back to at least 1900 BCE to 1500 BCE.
The reverence for cacao in Mesoamerican civilizations is really quite amazing. The Aztecs and Maya, in particular, regarded cacao as a divine, sacred, and precious substance. It played a central role in their religious, social, and ceremonial practices. The Aztecs enjoyed a chocolate drink known as xocolātl - a frothy, bitter beverage made from roasted and ground cacao beans. The Mayan version was known as chocolhaa. These beverages held cultural and ritual significance.
Fast forward to the time – that one time – during the 16th Century when Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés discovered cacao from the Aztecs, and bought it back to Europe. Consequently, chocolate houses – much like coffee houses – became popular on the continent in the 17th & 18th centuries. The clientele typically included members of the aristocracy, scholars, and affluent individuals who could afford the relatively expensive delicacy. Hot chocolate was indeed a status symbol. One associated with refinement and sophistication.
Think of this, the next time you sit down to enjoy one!
In a twisted chain of events, hot chocolate - or simply hot cocoa - has become something easily accessible – rarely met with the refinement of past generations – often topped with marshmallows and composed of mostly sugar and milk powders.
Our drinking chocolate goes back to the roots. It isn't cocoa, it is literally drinking chocolate: made with just two pure ingredients: pure 80% cacao, made from the bean and cane sugar. Nothing else. No cocoa powder, no milk powder, no additives or emulsifiers, nothing. You can enjoy it hot or cold, and prepare it countless ways! Like with roses, or cinnamon!
Just like our chocolate bars, the beans are also single origin, and from Togo Africa.
Wedged between Ghana and Benin, Togo is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Despite its small size, it has several distinct climatic zones, from lagoons and beaches to forested hills, and savannah plains. The bean is from the Badou area, near the border of Ghana which features a warm tropical climate – the perfect conditions for cacao trees to flourish. Typical to Togolese terroir, this chocolate is wonderfully bold, with a creamy mouthfeel and a strong nutty undertone with hints of coconut.
The beans were sourced from smallholder farming cooperatives working with direct price agreements via the Federations of Coffee and Cacao Unions which provides support and training, access to markets and financing.
TRULY CRAFT DRINKING CHOCOLATE
• pure and made with just 2 ingredients
• no cocoa powder , milk powder, emulsifiers or additives
• nice rich chocolatey flavor profile with hints of coconut and hazelnut
• enjoy it as a hot or a cold drinking chocolate!
• sprinkle it on top of smoothies, yogurt bowls etc
• pure cacao is healthy! It is rich in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, which may help combat oxidative stress in the body. Pure cacao is also high in flavonoids, and essential minerals, including magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc,
• you can add more sugar or honey to taste
• savor it as thick (espresso-sized, great for dunking)
or as fluid as you wish
• add spices too! the possibilities are endless: vanilla sugar, cinnamon, chili, chai, rose, orange peel, lavender, anise, and cardamom, just to name a few
• also enjoyable with a shot of rum or whisky
• you can add your choice of milk or milk alternatives but it also tastes great with water. Considering these Togolese beans have a nice natural coconut aroma, it certainly mixes well with coconut milk
• special tip: if you have a milk steamer, use this to froth up your hot chocolate!