I know this may sound unAmerican but I hate coffee. I do love tea but the hands down I’ll take off a finger if you touch it winner is hot cocoa, also known as, hot chocolate.
And, now that I think about it, Chocolate is American.
Those poor unfortunates on other continents dreamt of sugar plums, not chocolate before the Americans were discovered by Europeans. The origins of the plant are murky because Early Americans knew a good thing when they tasted it and so it (is theorized) to have spread from the Andes all along the Americas. There actually is a white chocolate bean, but it is very rare and I’m sure tastes a billion times better than that white stuff evil-doers try to pass as Chocolate.
And chocolate was even used as currency before the Spanish arrived. I’m kinda thankful for the change as it would give new meaning to eating away our retirement. Naturally, there would be those who couldn’t save a reddish-brown bean to save their souls. With their chocolate-stained fingers, they would be easy to spot though.
I haven’t been able to find when the brilliant person turned the noble bean into a drink (let alone flavored it with vanilla) but it was the royal beverage of choice when the Spanish arrived and exported the drink to the rest of Europe. The rich enjoyed it first, even including it in their daughter’s dowries. Then some bright person separated it and mixed the powdered cocoa with milk.
Although there are a few folks who say hot chocolate is made with bar chocolate and hot cocoa is made with the powder, I use them both interchangeably. And prefer the powdered type when I’m in a hurry to get to work. Which made my find of 1/2 off hot chocolate (powdered) mixes at my local Bed, Bath and Beyond a wonderful and unexpected present.
Now I just have to hide them from my son:-)