3 things about chocolate we all need to know!
There’s nothing better than a hot chocolate, these cold mornings, while going to the office, or running errands. In the winter nights, together with our loved ones by the fireplace, hot chocolate keeps us warm and cozy.
During our winter trips either abroad or through Greece, we will always be seeking for a hot beverage. Chocolate is always our first choice!
DID YOU KNOW THE AZTECS AND THE MAYANS WERE THE FIRST TO DISCOVER CHOCOLATE?
Indeed, the Aztecs and the Mayans were the first to use the cocoa seeds to make “chocolate”. They were worshiping the cocoa tree, as it was believed to be a source of strength and wealth.
Cocoa thrives exclusively in tropical places, in a zone of 15-20 degrees north and south of Ecuador, and this zone is called the ‘cocoa zone’. The countries belonging to the ‘cocoa zone’ are Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, the Caribbean Islands, Jamaica, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Cocoa is also grown in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. Harvesting the fruit of cocoa is done throughout the year. There are two main varieties of cocoa and a third that comes out of blending the first two.
– Criollo or the “Prince of Cocoa” is the most rare and expensive variety.
– Forastero is the most common variety, making up almost 80% of world production.
– Trinitario results from blending the other two by combining their best characteristics.
SWITZERLAND, ITALY, ENGLAND, BELGIUM AND OTHER COUNTRIES KNOWN ABOUT THEIR CHOCOLATES
Switzerland is on the top of the list when it comes to chocolate. The Swiss Chocolate Train, a vintage train of 1915, will take you from Montreux to Gruyeres with Broc as the final destination -from May till October-, a trip that still remains a unique experience.
Without a doubt, the chocolate capital of Italy is Turin. Turin’s famous Bicerin, a combination of espresso and hot chocolate, will admittedly give you an incredible experience for your taste buds. So will the incredibly luscious, hot drink of dark and slightly bitter chocolate, known as Cioccolada Calda. It is also worth mentioning that there is a Chocolate Festival in Italy, also known as Cioccola-To and runs every February.
One of the most famous chocolate factories can be found in England. What is more, the London Chocolate Festival, taking place every October and lasting one week, is the biggest Chocolate Festival in the UK. There are of course other festivals and events across the UK as well. The London Chocolate Festival though is excellent for all the chocolate lovers out there.
Belgium, the country that produces more than 172,000 tons of Chocolate a year and has over 2,000 chocolate stores, is certainly the chocolate paradise. The Museum of Chocolate is a must-see for the true chocolate lovers.
Lastly, France, Spain, Germany, New York, Mexico and Peru have their own chocolate history that is worth discovering.
THE COFFEE ISLAND HOT CHOCOLATES
Chocolate has been consumed for thousands of years. It is essential that the chocolate we eat is of high quality or “specialty”, if we could borrow the related term describing coffee beans of high quality.
In our coffee shop, we give consumers the choice to taste the traditional flavours, like cacao, plain chocolate and white chocolate. At the same time, we satisfy the most demanding palates, with our special flavours such as chocolate with caramel and sea salt!
Our hot Chocolate caramel-sea salt is a fantastic combination of sweet and savory flavour, that has built its loyal fanbase in the recent months!
Lastly, Coffee Island’s Espressone Praline has its own lovers and completes the range of chocolate beverages. Espressone Praline is an instant beverage for those who want to enjoy a delicious chocolate beverage with a coffee flavour.