What Was Used to Make Hot Chocolate in Ancient Maya Times?

Hot chocolate is a beloved drink that has been enjoyed by people for centuries. While we may enjoy it in many forms today, have you ever wondered what the ancient Maya used to make their hot chocolate? Let’s take a closer look at what ingredients were used and how they prepared this delicious beverage.

The Origins of Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate has been around for thousands of years, with its origins traced back to the ancient Maya civilization in Mesoamerica. The Maya people had a deep appreciation for cacao, which they believed had divine properties.

The Ingredients

To make hot chocolate, the Maya used a combination of ground cacao beans, water, and other flavorful ingredients such as chili peppers and honey. Unlike the sweetened hot chocolate we know today, the Maya version was bitter and spicy.

The Preparation

To prepare their hot chocolate, the Maya would first roast cacao beans to bring out their rich flavor. The roasted beans were then ground into a paste using a stone metate (a type of grinding stone). This paste was mixed with water and heated over a fire until it reached a frothy consistency.

The Presentation

The Maya would serve their hot chocolate in special vessels known as jícaras. These were made from dried gourds and had intricate designs carved into them. The frothy hot chocolate was poured from one vessel to another from a height to create bubbles on top.


It’s fascinating to learn about the origins of hot chocolate and how it evolved over time. While we may enjoy our modern-day version with added sugar and milk, it’s important to remember the rich history behind this beloved drink. Next time you sip on your favorite cup of hot cocoa, take a moment to appreciate its ancient roots!