Chocolate has a long and storied history in Mesoamerica (this area extends from central Mexico south into Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica). The world's first chocolate drink comes from this region. The Mayan word Ka'kau' comes from the language of the Olmec who are widely considered to be one of the earliest cultures of ancient Mesoamerica. This would mean that more than 2,500 years ago the Olmec had developed a sophisticated taste for this rich beverage. In addition to early writings describing consumption of this drink archeologists have performed chemical analysis of ceramic pots discovered in a Mayan tomb in Belize that date back to 600 BCE that show residue of a cacao liquid.
Native to the Americas, cacao beans come from the cacao tree that is sometimes referred to as Madre Cacao which translates to "mother cacao". Cacao (Theobroma cacao) belongs to the genus Theobroma. Thobroma cacao is derived from the Greek meaning "food of the gods" and was coined by the Swedish scientist (and renowned chocoholic) Carl Linnaeus (also known as Carl von Linné) who in the 1700's devised the taxonomic classification system that is still used to identify all living things by genus and species.
Cacao was used in both Mesoamerica and South America. Cultivation and use of cacao was more extensive in Mesoamerica, but researchers have been unable to pinpoint which geographical location was responsible for the initial domestication of this plant. Recent research suggests that the earliest and most genetically diverse cocoa beans come from South America, particularly the Amazon region.
The discovery of iced chocolate is thought to date back to the Aztec emperor Motecuhzoma (who in this country is better known as Montezuma), who was practically addicted to a thick chocolate liquid that was drenched over bowls of snow transported from the nearby mountains, then beaten into a frothy chilled drink. The beverage was also sometimes served hot but no matter which temperature was used a good head of foam was considered crucial for a properly prepared chocolate drink and the mark of a skilled culinary craftsman.
Naturally once Columbus, the conquistadors and the Portuguese brought cacao beans and recipe for this chocolate drink back to Europe the beverage was bond to evolve. It was the Spaniards who first added sugar and cinnamon to the fairly bitter brew which led to this luxury drink becoming very popular throughout Europe.
The traditional liquid to use to make this drink is water but many fans of Mexican hot chocolate prefer using milk. In our opinion you can't go wrong with either. Add 1 cup water (or milk) to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring in the Mayan Coco blend and then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 2-5 minutes (stirring frequently). For an even more authentic version stir in a teaspoonful or more of masa (Mexican corn meal used to make tortillas). The key to making the perfect Mayan hot chocolate is to use a whisk and vigorously stir until a thick froth forms. Pour into a cup and serve.
There is no set amount of Mayan Coco mix to use as some will prefer a bit more flavor and others a bit less. We recommend the first time you make it you use 1 tablespoon per cup of water or milk.
Hand blended from cacao powder, demerara sugar, almonds, ancho, Ceylon cinnamon, allspice and cloves.
A rich and spicy flavor with a bit of sweetness and hints of mild heat.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*