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It’s Hot Chocolate Season – 10 Facts About the Sweet, Chocolatey Drink

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Warming up with a hot chocolate is one of the best things about autumn.

At the Wooolmill, Red Roof Coffee serves Zuma 100% Fairtrade Dark Hot Chocolate, which is made with 33% West African cocoa.

How we make our hot chocolate:

Step 1: One scoop of Zuma Hot Chocolate is put into a fully compostable cup
Step 2:  A splash of hot water is added, which is then mixed into a smooth paste
Step 3: While stirring, steamed milk is added

Our standard hot chocolate costs £2.80. If you would like whipped cream, marshmallows and a dusting of cocoa, our deluxe hot chocolate costs £3.00.

Red Roof Coffee is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm until the 28th of October.

10 Facts about the sweet, chocolaty drink…

1. The 31st of January is National Hot Chocolate Day

2. Made from ground up cocoa seeds mixed with water, cornmeal, and chili peppers, the Mayans were drinking chocolate as early as 500 BC. They would pour the drink back and forth from a cup to a pot until a thick foam developed. The drink was then enjoyed cold.

3. The explorer Cortez brought cocoa beans to Europe in the early 1500s. Although served cold, it gained popularity and was adopted by the court of King Charles V.

4. When introduced to Spain, chili peppers were removed from the drink and it was served hot and sweetened. The Spanish were protective over this new hot drink - it took over a hundred years for the hot beverage to spread across Europe.

5. Hot Chocolate was valued as a medicine between the 16th and 19th centuries. Early explorers noted that chocolate drinks could help treat fevers, liver disease, and stomach disorders.

6. The terms “hot chocolate” and “hot cocoa” are used interchangeably, which obscures the considerable difference between the two. Hot Cocoa is made by extracting the cocoa butter from the ground cacao beans. On the other hand, Hot Chocolate is made directly from a bar of chocolate, which already contains cocoa, sugar and cocoa butter.

7. On the 6th of January 2018, the largest cup of hot chocolate (4,816.6 litres) was made by the Municipio de Uruapan in Mexico. Made to celebrate Three King’s Day, more than 600 kilograms of locally grown semisweet chocolate was used!

8. There are many hot chocolate traditions across the world. On Christmas Day in Peru, hot chocolate is part of an ancient tradition served with Panettone at breakfast. The tradition started in one of the world’s best quality cocoa-producing regions, Cuzco.

9. “Chocolate houses” were popular in 17th-century England. Establishments like White’s (established as a chocolate house in 1693) served hot chocolate in pitchers made out of gold, silver and porcelain.

10. To keep soldiers energised during the WW1, more than 25,000 YMCA volunteers set up comfort stations all along the battlefront. The stations were stocked with magazines, cigarettes and snacks, along with piping-hot pots of cocoa.

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