Photo credit: Watergatebay

Hot chocolate / cocoa dates back to an early Classic (460-480 AD) period Mayan tomb from the site of Rio Azul, Guatemala. It had vessels with the Maya glyph for cacao on them with residue of a chocolate drink. To make the chocolate drink, which was served cold, the Maya ground cocoa seeds into a paste and mixed it with water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other ingredients. They then poured the drink back and forth from a cup to a pot until a thick foam developed. Chocolate was available to Maya of all social classes, although the wealthy drank chocolate from elaborately decorated vessels. Continue reading for more creative ways geeks can hack their hot chocolate this holiday season.

Bonus Video – Frozen Hot Chocolate

In 1828, Coenraad Johannes van Houten developed the first cocoa powder producing machine in the Netherlands. The press separated the greasy cocoa butter from cacao seeds, leaving a purer chocolate powder behind. This powder, much like the instant cocoa powder used today, was easier to stir into milk and water. As a result, another very important discovery was made: solid chocolate. By using cocoa powder and low amounts of cocoa butter, it was then possible to manufacture bar chocolate. The term “chocolate” then came to mean solid chocolate, rather than hot chocolate.