Difference Between Cocoa and Chocolate

Cocoa vs Chocolate

All over the world, hot coca and hot chocolate are two of the most commonly consumed hot drinks. Moms make a hot coca or a hot chocolate for their kids, while millions of adults also have their nutritious hot chocolate or hot coca first thing in the morning to get their daily quota of energy and recharge.


Cacao is the name of the tree from which we get cocoa beans. However, not many know the difference between cacao and cocoa and call even the tree as cocoa tree. There are many varieties of cacao trees mostly found in tropical countries such as Brazil, Ghana, and Malaysia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast etc. Surprisingly, nearly 80% of world’s coca production comes from these 6 countries alone. There are many products obtained from a cacao tree such as fruits and pods that contain cocoa beans.

Cacao trees are large (may be up to 40 feet in height) but grow under the shade of other trees. It has pinkish-purplish fruits that are up to one foot in size. Cocoa beans are found inside these fruits along with a sweet-sour pulp. The beans are dried in the sun and then roasted. When these beans are ground, the fine powder so obtained is called cocoa powder. While making powder from cacao balls, cocoa butter is also produced.

Cocoa powder was discovered by Columbus who took cacao beans from the New World he accidentally found back to Spain.


Soon after Columbus took cocoa to Spain, it was turned into chocolate by sweetening and then adding the flavors of vanilla and cinnamon. The liquid so prepared was so tasty that hot chocolate became popular in all parts of the world. During Industrial Revolution, companies started making hot chocolate into something that could be carried around easily, and was finer and smoother. Milk was used to make solid chocolate.

The major ingredients of a solid chocolate are cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sugar. Dark chocolates are made entirely of these ingredients while milk fats are added to make milk chocolates. Two countries that are famous for fine chocolates around the world are Belgium and Switzerland.


What is the difference between Cocoa and Chocolate?

• Cocoa is the powder obtained from cocoa beans that are found inside the fruit of the cacao tree that is grown in tropical areas of the world.

• Chocolate is a product that contains a minimum of 35% of cocoa products such as cocoa powder, cocoa butter and cocoa mass along with sugar.

• When cocoa contents go down below 35%, the product is labeled as chocolate fantasy and not just chocolate.

• While chocolates are sweeter and less bitter than dark chocolates and contain milk fats.

• Thus, chocolate contains both cocoa powder as well as cocoa butter, whereas cocoa powder is just a powder and no butter.