No question about it, the cocoa bean is the best bean in the world (sorry, coffee lovers, real talk).
We found out some epic trivia about cocoa beans while researching Aztec drinking chocolate recipes.
Make yourself a mug of Purdys’ Aztec Spiced Hot Chocolate and read up on these cool facts about cocoa:
Ancient South American cultures, like the Mayans and the Aztecs, mention cocoa as part of their creation myth—cocoa was a gift from the gods. This actually inspired the cocoa tree’s scientific name Theobroma cacao, which literally translates to “Food of the Gods”.
Originally, chocolate was strictly a ceremonial drink. Cocoa beans were fermented, roasted and ground into a paste to be mixed with water and spices to create xocolatl (‘bitter water’).
The Spanish conquistadors took chocolate back to Europe and tweaked the recipe by adding sugar.
Soon enough, enterprising bakers took an interest in the actual cocoa beans.
In 1828, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, inventor Van Houton created the cocoa press, which separated cocoa powder from cocoa solids. Chocolate bars became a thing, and the demand for raw cocoa was such that cocoa trees (originally from South America) were planted near the equator in regions such as Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Nigeria.
Want to know where Purdys’ cocoa comes from? We purchase only from 100% sustainable sources that benefit cocoa farmers and the environment. Check out Purdys’ Sustainable Cocoa Program.