They ground cacao seeds into a paste that, when mixed with water, made a frothy, rather bitter beverage. Drinking chocolate was an important part of life for the Classic Period Maya and the Aztecs.
The majority of the Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl (/ʃo.ko.laːtɬ/), a Nahuatl word meaning “bitter water”. The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor.
Many anthropologists consider the ancient Maya to be the first people to have made chocolate. The first evidence of chocolae in glyphs and actual remains in ancient vessels come from the height of Mayan civilization, the Classic Period (250-900 C.E. [A.D.]).