Who Invented Hot Chocolate & The Chocolate Bar?

Who invented chocolate? If you could ask an ancient Mesoamerican, the answer would be the gods. The origins of chocolate go back to the Mesoamericans. Mayan hot chocolate and Aztec hot chocolate were part of sacred ceremonies and rites for the elite.

Modern hot chocolate and its heir, the chocolate bar, are a little less obscure.

Who invented hot chocolate?

Who invented hot chocolate?

For a long time, chocolate was available only as a powder or liquid. Monks allegedly enjoyed some of the earliest non-Mesoamerican chocolate drinks in the New World. Chocolate fueled debates as to whether the liquid counted towards a fast (since it is not a solid food) filled monastic discussion. who invented hot chocolateRooms called chocolaterías were dedicated to preparing and drinking chocolate. Catholic monasteries frequently located chocolaterías above the cloister. (Some still have them.) Chocolate was a basic part of most monastic kitchens in the Western Hemisphere by 1534.

The first publicly published recipe for a chocolate drink included exotic Mesoamerican spices and peppers. It also included some European ingredients, such as anise. The recipe was published in A Curious Treatise of the Nature and Quality of Chocolate, written by Antonio Colmenero in 1644.

Recipe for Hot Chocolate – 1644

100 cocoa beans

2 chilis (or black pepper)

A handful of anise

Earflower (Cymbopetalum penduliflorum)

1 vanilla pod

2oz cinnamon

12 almonds or hazelnuts

1lb sugar

Annatto seeds (achiote) to taste


Over the years, amounts of spicy peppers in hot chocolate were reduced significantly. Take a quicker trip through history and enjoy a cup of European Dark Cocoa in minutes. Or, spice it up with the Cocoa Loco chipotle hot cocoa. Who invented hot cocoa?

Who invented the chocolate bar?

The first edible chocolate was invented by Joseph Fry & Sons in 1830. The small pieces of chocolate confections sold by weight (like many modern truffles and bonbons). The Fry chocolate factory revolutionized chocolate by introducing a Watt’s steam engine to grind the beans. In 1847, Fry debuted the molded chocolate bar. Other “bars” likely existed, but the molded chocolate bar allowed factory production and larger scale distribution. (They also made the first chocolate Easter egg in 1873.)

Almost 30 years later, in 1876, Henri Nestle invented powdered milk—and the milk chocolate bar was born.

Who invented the chocolate bar