Hot chocolate, or hot cocoa, is a heated beverage which consists on chocolate, melted cocoa or powder, heated water or milk and sugar if desired. Hot chocolate can also be made with melted chocolate, which is characterized by being less sweet and have a thicker consistency.



Cioccolata calda, from Italy

The Mayans are believed to be the firsts in consuming hot chocolate approximately 2,000 years ago as a delicacy for royalty. Cocoa beverages were also imprescindible in the Aztec culture. It became popular in Europe after being brought from Mexico, but made and processed with different techniques. In the 19th century in Europe, hot chocolate was also used to treat some diseases.

Today, hot chocolate is hugely popular and consumed in different variations, from very thick cioccolata in Italy, and chocolate a la taza in Spain, to very thin liquid hot cocoa in the United States.