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Difference Between Cocoa and Chocolate

Cocoa vs Chocolate

Cocoa and chocolate are two by-products of the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, and its beans. Cacao beans are fermented, roasted, shelled, and ground and turned into a paste before it can be made into either cocoa or chocolate. Both names are also associated with popular drinks that are made from these substances.

Cocoa is the name associated with a powdered substance after the cacao beans are processed. Natural cocoa is dark and bitter to the taste with little or no cocoa butter. The Dutched cocoa is lighter and less bitter but still has no cocoa butter. The cocoa butter is removed during the processing stage.

Due to the absence of the cocoa butter, cocoa is considered as a healthy product or drink since it has fewer calories, fat, and sugar but is full of antioxidants. As a drink, cocoa is mixed with either milk or hot water with the addition of a sweetener. Cocoa is also known and used as a descriptive name for a color that exists between moderate and reddish brown.

The word “cocoa” is a metathesis of Spanish cacao.

On the other hand, chocolate is also a product of cacao beans and has undergone almost the same process as cocoa. However, in chocolate, the cocoa butter is not removed. The cocoa butter contributes to the smoother and richer consistency of the chocolate. In addition, the high fat and sugar content of the chocolate is higher.

Chocolate also has many variations; raw, unsweetened, dark, sweet, semi-sweet, milk, white, and compound chocolate. The forms of chocolate also have a lot of variety. Chocolate can come in small beads, bars, liquid, or powdered

Hot chocolate is almost the same as hot cocoa except for the base ingredient. Instead of cocoa, chocolate is used. Chocolate is also a term to describe a color that characterizes medium brown to a dark brown color.

“Chocolate” comes from the Spanish adaptation of the Nahuatl/Aztec word “xocolati.” Xocolati literally means “bitter water.” It was the ceremonial drink that the Aztecs considered as the food of the gods. The drink is a diluted cacao paste with spices and peppers.


1.Cocoa and chocolate are two products from the cacao beans after the beans are processed. Cacao beans are fermented, roasted, shelled, and ground.
2.The main difference between cocoa and chocolate is the absence or existence of cocoa butter. In cocoa, cocoa butter is little or non-existent. In contrast, chocolate has cocoa butter.
3.Cocoa butter also affects the nutritional value of both cocoa and chocolate. Since there is little or no cocoa butter in cocoa, cocoa is considered as a healthy drink because it has less sugar and fat. Cocoa is also full of antioxidants. 4.Meanwhile, chocolate, which has cocoa butter, has a higher fat and sugar content. Although it has antioxidants, it has less compared to cocoa.
5.Cocoa is often seen and used in powder form. It is often dark and bitter to taste which leads to its classification either as Dutched (a process which makes the powder lighter and less bitter) or natural. On the other hand, chocolate has many forms; powder, liquid, small balls, or in bars. In addition, chocolates have many classifications; unsweetened, dark, white, milk, sweet, semi-sweet, compound, and raw.
6.Both terms are also associated with colors. Cocoa is described as a color between moderate to reddish brown while chocolate is a color between medium brown to a dark brown color.
7.Both words are Spanish derivatives from the Nahuatl or Aztec words. “Cocoa” is a metathesis from the Spanish “cacao” (which further originates from the Nahuatl word “cacahuatl”). In contrast, chocolate is a direct Spanish adaptation of the Nahuatl word “xocolati” (literally meaning “bitter drink”).

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