If you’ve ever gone on a cold-weather adventure, winter camping, watched a football game in the snow, or hunkered down during a Nor’easter, what’s in your thermos? My guess is some sort of hot coco concoction that seems good while in the moment, but maybe it’s time you spice up your life a little with some Sipping Chocolate instead.
Believe it or not, hot chocolate didn’t always come in pre-packaged pouches containing precise amounts of sugary powder for the perfect cup of coco. Mesoamericans started fermenting, roasting, grounding, and blending bitter cacao and mixing it with water and spices thousands of years ago, calling it “Sipping Chocolate.”
Be on the look-out for more and more coffee shops around the country offering up sweet and bitter variations of sipping chocolates – the frothy European-style mixed with milk, or the smooth Aztec-style mixed with water, each containing their own unique blend of spices.
The main reason (other than the fantastic flavor) for the chocolate comeback is a particular health benefit researched over the last few years. Chocolate contains more flavonoids than red wine or green tea, helping to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
If you’re in the New York City, Portland, or LA area, then you’re lucky enough to have shops currently offering-up glasses of Sipping Chocolate. Otherwise, for the rest of us, we can either wait for the next local coffee shop to start serving-up the goods, or you can create your very own Sipping Chocolate at home using this recipe. Don’t be afraid to add in your own spices like chili, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, vanilla, a dash of allspice, fresh ground black pepper, or even ginger! These cold, winter nights need a little extra spice!