Tsokolate de Batirol: The Filipino Hot Chocolate

Tsokolate de Batirol - Traditional Filipino Hot Chocolate - The Coffee Mom

Amidst the lush landscapes and vibrant culture of the Philippines, a heartwarming tradition thrives – Tsokolate de Batirol. This beloved hot chocolate drink, steeped in history and cherished by generations, embodies the essence of Filipino warmth and hospitality.

Join us on a journey through the captivating story of Tsokolate de Batirol as we delve into its traditional roots, the cherished art of batirol, and the delightful experience of savoring this velvety elixir that continues to bring comfort and joy to Filipinos and beyond

What is Tsokolate de Batirol?

What is Tsokolate de Batirol? - The Coffee Mom

Tsokolate de Batirol is a traditional Filipino hot chocolate drink made from cacao tablets or "tablea," water, and sometimes milk. It is a popular beverage in the Philippines, especially during the cooler months or as a comforting treat on rainy days.

The name "Tsokolate de Batirol" comes from the traditional way of preparing this hot chocolate using a batirol, a wooden whisk-like tool used to mix and froth the drink. It is placed in the mixture, and the chocolatier stirs it by rubbing the handles between their palms to create a creamy and frothy texture.

Tsokolate de Batirol holds cultural significance in the Philippines and is a beloved part of Filipino food and culinary heritage. It continues to be one of the locals' and visitors' favorites, showcasing the country's love for chocolate and unique traditional preparation methods.

History of Tsokolate de Batirol

History of Tsokolate de Batirol

The history of Tsokolate de Batirol traces its roots back to the pre-colonial era of the Philippines when cacao was already an integral part of the local culture. The term "tsokolate" or "chocolate" is derived from the Nahuatl word "xocolātl," which was introduced to the Philippines through trade with neighboring regions and maritime contacts with the Malay and Chinese civilizations.

Pre-Colonial Era

Cacao cultivation and consumption in the Philippines can be traced back to the 17th century. The indigenous people, such as the Aeta and Igorot tribes, were known to cultivate cacao trees and harvest cacao beans, which they used to make a bitter and spicy drink similar to the modern-day Tsokolate de Batirol.

Cacao was consumed during religious ceremonies, social gatherings and as a symbol of hospitality.

Spanish Colonial Influence

When the Spanish arrived in the Philippines in the 16th century, they observed the local custom of preparing cacao drinks. The Spanish colonizers introduced the term "chocolate" to the beverage and brought innovations in its preparation and presentation.

The Spaniards also established cacao plantations and further promoted cacao cultivation for export.

The Batirol

The traditional method of making Tsokolate de Batirol involves using a batirol, a wooden whisk-like tool. The batirol has a wide base with a handle on both sides.

Cacao tablets or "tablea" are dissolved in hot water or milk to prepare the drink. The batirol is then placed in the mixture, and the chocolatier stirs it by rubbing the handles between their palms to create a frothy and velvety texture.

Cultural Significance

Tsokolate de Batirol holds cultural importance in the Philippines and is associated with warm hospitality, family gatherings, and celebrations. It is often served during Christmas, weddings, and other traditional festivals.

Modern Times

Despite Western-style hot chocolate and coffee influence, Tsokolate de Batirol has endured as a cherished Filipino tradition. Many Filipinos still appreciate this authentic hot chocolate preparation's unique taste and cultural heritage.

In recent years, there has been a revival of interest in traditional Filipino cuisine and cultural practices, leading to a resurgence in the popularity of Tsokolate de Batirol. Artisanal chocolatiers and specialty cafes have embraced the conventional preparation, preserving and promoting this historical drink for generations.

Today, enjoying a cup of Tsokolate de Batirol remains a heartwarming experience, connecting Filipinos to their roots and showcasing the country's enduring love affair with cocoa and cherished traditions.

Where Can I Find Tsokolate de Batirol?

Where Can I Find Tsokolate de Batirol? - The Coffee Mom

You can find Tsokolate de Batirol in various locations in the Philippines, particularly in regions with a strong cultural presence. Here are some common places where you may enjoy a hot cup of Tsokolate de Batirol:

Coffee Shops and Cafes

Some coffee shops, like The Coffee Mom in Tarlac City, and cafes in tourist destinations offer Tsokolate de Batirol on their menus, especially those promoting Filipino heritage and traditional cuisine.

Local Markets and Vendors

In regions where cacao is grown and processed, you may find Tsokolate de Batirol being sold by local vendors or in markets, particularly in more rural areas.

Cultural Centers and Heritage Sites

In places that celebrate Filipino culture and heritage, such as cultural centers, heritage villages, or museums, you may have the chance to taste Tsokolate de Batirol as part of the experience.

Resorts and Tourist Spots

Some resorts and tourist spots in the Philippines, especially those focusing on local traditions and culture, may serve Tsokolate de Batirol to guests.

Traditional Restaurants and Eateries

Some traditional Filipino restaurants, especially those that emphasize regional cuisine, may include Tsokolate de Batirol in their beverage offerings.

The availability of Tsokolate de Batirol can vary depending on the region and the cultural significance of the drink in that area. To try this traditional Filipino hot chocolate, inquire locally or research places highlighting Filipino heritage and culinary traditions.

How to Make a Traditional Tsokolate de Batirol at Home

How to Make a Traditional Tsokolate de Batirol at Home - The Coffee Mom

You can make traditional Tsokolate de Batirol at home with simple ingredients. Here's a basic recipe to help you enjoy this delightful Filipino hot chocolate:


  • 4 to 6 pieces of cacao tablets or "tablea" (available in specialty stores or online)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk (you can also use coconut milk or regular milk, depending on your preference)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar (adjust to your desired sweetness)
  • Less than a pinch of salt (optional, enhances the flavor)


  • Batirol (traditional wooden whisk-like tool), or you can use a regular whisk or handheld frother
  • Saucepan or pot


  1. Start by breaking the cacao tablets into smaller pieces. Break the pieces as small as possible to make them easier to dissolve.
  2. Heat the water over medium heat in a saucepan or pot until it simmers.
  3. Add the cacao tablets to the simmering water. Stir continuously until the cacao has completely dissolved. This might take a few minutes, so be patient and ensure the mixture is smooth.
  4. Once the cacao is fully dissolved, add the milk to the saucepan and continue stirring. If you prefer a creamier taste, add more milk or adjust the ratio of water to milk.
  5. Next, add the sugar to the mixture. You may adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste preferences. Some people prefer their Tsokolate de Batirol to be sweeter, while others enjoy a more bitter taste.
  6. If you like, you can also add a bit of salt, about less than a pinch, to enhance the flavor of the chocolate.
  7. Keep stirring over low to medium heat until the mixture is well combined and heated. Be careful not to let it boil.
  8. Once the Tsokolate de Batirol is ready, you can use a batirol to froth the hot chocolate, just like the traditional method. Alternatively, you can use a regular whisk or a handheld frother to achieve a frothy texture.
  9. Serve the Tsokolate de Batirol in cups or mugs while it's hot. Enjoy it alone or pair it with traditional Filipino snacks like bibingka or puto.

Remember that Tsokolate de Batirol is a comforting and indulgent treat, so feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Enjoy this rich and velvety hot chocolate with family and friends, and savor the flavors of Filipino tradition in the comfort of your home.

The Timeless Legacy of Tsokolate de Batirol

Tsokolate de Batirol is a testament to Filipino culture's enduring legacy and culinary traditions. Its journey from pre-colonial times to modern-day cafés showcases the timeless appeal of this heartwarming beverage.

Embracing the art of batirol and the rich history behind Tsokolate de Batirol allows us to savor a velvety and indulgent hot chocolate and a profound connection to the past. As we continue to appreciate and share this beloved drink with family and friends, we carry forward the warmth and hospitality woven into its very essence.

So, let us raise our cups to Tsokolate de Batirol, celebrating its place as a cherished symbol of Filipino heritage, comfort, and joy. Cheers to the tradition that continues to nourish both body and soul, inviting us to delight in the timeless taste of culture in every sip.

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Posted by The Coffee Mom on Monday, 17 July 2023