The alternative to coffee on every Espresso Menu
The hot chocolate is a common companion to coffee beverages in any espresso menu. Although it contains no coffee at all, chocolate has long provided an alternative beverage for people to enjoy in cafes and espresso bars. In fact the cocoa bean has been enjoyed in some form for 2000 years beginning with the Aztecs. It was even medically advised to help with ailments up until the 19th century.
Chocolate comes from a cocoa tree and is grown in basically the same regions as coffee anywhere near the equator. The trees produce cocoa pods each containing around 50 beans each. Once the beans have been released, processed and dried the shell is removed unveiling the cocoa nibs. The nibs are then roasted and ground (sounding familiar) and made into a liquor. This liquor is then further processed into either cocoa powder or cocoa butter.
There are a few methods and varieties of chocolate drinks. Generally though, either chocolate is melted and used as a base. Or cocoa powder employed for the chocolate flavouring to either create a base or flavour the milk directly when steamed. Hot water or textured milk is then added for the volume with a generous amount of froth or whipped cream on top finished with chocolate sprinkles or shavings. Sugar or flavoured syrups can also be used in the recipe however cocoa powder will usually contain sugars within. Commonly served with marshmallows to dunk into the beverage and absorb all of the chocolatey goodness.