HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE

HISTORY OF DRINKING
CHOCOLATE

300-600 AD Mayans indulge in Xocolatl, drinking chocolate, it is revered as a divine, life sustaining, elixir of the God’s. Xocolatl becomes the world’s first mass produced energy drink.

1200-1400 AD Aztec Empire promulgates belief that the cacao tree was brought to earth by the hands of Quetzalcoatl himself, having stolen it from paradise. Cacao beans are used as currency, Aztec Kings demanded them for payment of taxes and tribute from neighboring vassals states, perhaps to support Montezuma’s alleged 50 cup per day habit.

1528 AD Cacao bean and drinking chocolate arrive in Spain. Probably in attempt to distract King Charles V from the incredible amount of gold he was embezzling, Cortez sends him Cacao bean and chocolate as tribute. The Spanish King soon added copious amounts of sugar, along with Vanilla, Allspice, Nutmeg and Clove. This heavily sweetened version of the original soon spreads like wildfire through his court.

1615 AD Ann of Austria, a daughter of King Phillip III of Spain, gives her husband King Louis XIII of France drinking chocolate as a wedding present. Setting the long lived tradition of chocolate wrapped in red heart shaped cardboard box.

1650 AD Revered as a powerful aphrodisiac, chocolate houses spread throughout Paris.

1657 AD London’s first chocolate house is established. They become the place to see and be seen throughout the motherland.

1704-1711 AD Both Germany and Austria are introduced to the undeniable pleasure of drinking chocolate.

1730 AD With the invention of the steam engine cacao grinding is mechanized. This monumental leap reduces the price of chocolate, making it an affordable luxury for all.

1765 AD First chocolate factory opens in the American Colonies. Thomas Jefferson himself touted chocolate as a therapeutic drink, and consumed it for the vigor it provided.

1828 AD Cocoa press invented. Subject to intense pressures, ground cacao mass is separated into cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Seen as more refined and innovative, Hot Cocoa begins to replace true drinking chocolate as introduced by Cortez.

1830 First chocolate bar produced in London by J.S. Fry and Sons. This marks the advent of chocolate as a true confection.

1830-2009 Alas little progress is made and chocolate is plunged into a dark age, relegated to a homogenous nightmare of Hollow Bunnies, Bon-Bons, Gold Coins and the quintessential styrofoam cup of hot cocoa drink mix.

2009 Instead of the much beloved Christmas tie, Topher Webb discovers a five lb. bag of premium Tabasco Cacao Bean, direct from Mexico, under the tree, gees thanks Mr. Santa. With a humble, hand crank, corn grinder and passion to spare, he sets out to create the world’s best “bean to cup” drinking chocolate.

2012 Mezzo handcrafted, single origin drinking chocolate is established, becoming a tasty grass roots movement to restore drinking chocolate to its former divinity.