(Colombian Supremo / Guatemalan Antigua / Costa Rican Tarrazu)
Let the richness of bittersweet dark chocolate and warm toasted hazelnuts wash over you and your taste buds, transporting your senses into another dimension.
Roast: Dark Medium
12 oz. Handcrafted Flavored Organic Coffee
Hazelnuts have a distinctive sweet flavor different from any other nut, and it’s a flavor that goes especially well with coffee.
Today, most hazelnuts grow near the Black Sea in Turkey, the world’s leading producer of hazelnuts. Some food historians claim that’s where they originated, while others cite Asia as their origin. Wherever they started out, hazelnuts seem to have grown in various parts of the world for a long, long time. Enormous numbers of burnt hazelnut shells — hundreds of thousands of them — have been found in rubbish piles dating back thousands of years in what is now Scotland!
What were these ancient people doing with all those hazelnuts in pre-historic Scotland? Enjoying them, we suspect.
Cacao: our second-favorite bean
The word “chocolate” comes from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, who used cacao beans to brew a drink they called xocoatl. They prized the beans so highly, they used them as money. But the Maya were drinking chocolate long before the Aztecs. And there’s evidence chocolate may have been consumed even earlier, as far back as 4,000 years ago.
Back then, chocolate wasn’t sweetened. In fact, the drink enjoyed by the Maya and Aztec people was described as bitter by Spanish explorers. Sugar wasn’t added to chocolate until it was brought to Europe in the 16th century. And it wasn’t until the late 18th century that ordinary people ate chocolate; before that it was only for the wealthy. With the invention of the steam engine, chocolate could be mass-produced, which made it affordable for more people. Then the candy bar was invented in 1847. Today, chocolate is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the U.S. Some statistics suggest the average American eats half a pound of chocolate a month!
At ootgCoffee, we’re grateful to the ingenuity of the Maya and their forebears for figuring out how to unlock the flavor of cacao, the creativity of the Europeans who thought of sweetening it, and everybody since then who has continued to develop and refine it.