Where to Buy Mexican Hot Chocolate Discs Online
Mexican-style hot chocolate is one of the oldest forms of hot chocolate in the world and made with solid chocolate discs.
The concept of drinking chocolate actually originated in what is now modern-day Mexico, so it’s no wonder that there is still a rich tradition of chocolate drinks in the country to this day. In Mexico, hot chocolate is typically flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. Sometimes, additional spices and flavorings are added, which can include a bit of chile, flowers or nuts, like almonds. Mexican hot chocolate is almost always made with a type of solid chocolate intended specifically for making hot chocolate. Cocoa powder, which is commonly used to make hot chocolate in the U.S., isn’t as common in Mexico unless someone is wanting to make American-style hot cocoa.
This special type of Mexican chocolate is often sold as discs. Mexican drinking chocolate has come in the form of discs since the colonial era, and many modern manufacturers have continued this tradition. In fact, its shape is one of its most distinguishing features. Many of the chocolate discs also come pre-seasoned with spices, flavorings and even sweeteners. There are many types of hot chocolate discs available in Mexico – from big name brands to independent artisanal producers. Many Mexicans may even source their chocolate discs from famous small manufacturers on the other side of the country who have been in business for hundreds of years.
In the United States, we have a much smaller selection of Mexican-style hot chocolate discs available compared to Mexico. But some of the big Mexican brands are available in most U.S. grocers. There is even a U.S.-based chocolate manufacturer that is solely dedicated to making Mexican-style drinking chocolate the old-fashioned way. Thanks to the internet, you are able to get some amazing Mexican drinking chocolate delivered right to your door no matter where you are. Below are some of our favorite Mexican hot chocolate discs you can buy online.
This is one of the most famous brands of hot chocolate from Mexico. While it is now owned by the Swiss multinational corporation, Nestlé, this brand was founded over 80 years ago by two brothers under Fabrica de Chocolates La Azteca in Mexico. Abuelita chocolate comes pre-seasoned with cinnamon, vanilla flavors and sugar. This disc also contains emulsifiers, making for a smooth cup of Mexican hot chocolate without the grittiness that characterizes traditional, old-fashioned Mexican drinking chocolate. Because it’s owned by Nestlé, Abuelita has a greater international presence than many other Mexican hot chocolate brands, and as such, it’s available online or in many grocery stores in the U.S.
Popular, Mexican-owned Ibarra was founded in 1925 and has been produced in the state of Jalisco since the 1950s. Unlike Abuelita, Ibarra drinking chocolate has a grittier texture and makes for a more traditional cup of chocolate. Many tasters agree that Ibarra also has a richer, deeper chocolate flavor, which makes this brand ideal for people who love dark chocolate. These discs also include cinnamon and sugar.
Massachusetts-based TAZA has become one of the leading Mexican hot chocolate brands in the United States. Just a few years ago, TAZA was only available in the greater Boston area and a few gourmet stores in the Northeast. However, in the past five years, TAZA’s reach has grown to cover much of the country, and while you may not find it in every grocery store, many big grocery store chains, like Whole Foods and Fresh Market carry the brand. TAZA prides itself on sourcing organic, fair-trade cacao from growers in the Caribbean and producing artisanal-style bars of chocolate in the traditional stone-ground method. You can even visit the TAZA factory to see the entire process yourself, and it’s actually one of the top tourist attractions in the Boston area. Unlike some of the big brands from Mexico, TAZA hot chocolate discs are made with entirely natural ingredients and their simplest disc contains only chocolate and sugar. The chocolate is coarsely ground, so it makes for a grittier cup of chocolate than even Ibarra, which is how traditional connoisseurs like it. TAZA makes a wide variety of flavors, and the best way of discovering your favorite is to try a sample pack.
Kekua is a more artisanal brand of hot chocolate discs. Kekua prides itself on its product being entirely handmade in Mexico with the metate method. A metate is an ancient grinding stone that has been around in Mexico since before the arrival of Europeans. It’s most famously used to grind nixtamalized corn to make tortillas, but it’s also used to make sauces, pastes and traditional Mexican hot chocolate discs. The chocolate is imported directly from Mexico and the discs are made with only four ingredients: sugar, cacao, cinnamon and soy lecithin. Naturally found in soybeans, soy lecithin acts as an emulsifier, helping to make a smooth cup of chocolate.