08 Sep2005

As kids we didn’t have chocolate Starbuck’s frapuccinos with cinnamon or nutmeg sprinkled on it. aatabWe had hot chocolate. And our hot chocolate was made from fresh tablea (blocks of cocoa powder) made from cacao beans grown in the Bohol town I used to visit as a kid. Unless I put a wicked amount of sugar back then I always thought it was a bit bitter and grainy. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why for many decades I preferred milk to dark chocolate. At any rate, a steaming cup of hot chocolate made the old-fashioned way is an excellent place to dip my broas (see previous entry) in. A quick dip of the broas in the hot chocolate and they are perfect. Hmmm, this gives me an idea… I should try to make a tira misu with the broas and instead of dipping it in cappuccino I should use concentrated hot chocolate. I wonder if that would work.

To make the hot chocolate, put some tablea and aatab2water in a special chocolate pot and use a batidor (wooden utensil) to constantly mix the chocolate and water together. Add as much milk and sugar as suits your personal taste. The batidor is swirled between your palms so that it acts like a human powered mixing machine. Keep mixing as the liquid heats up. If you boil it, any milk you have added may curdle. Once it is all smooth and hot and yummy, serve with a plate full of broas. I would take this over a frapuccino and glazed donut any day.

Here is a fuzzy photo of one of my batidors…




  1. joey says:

    That’s looks really good and I actually have tablea on hand…no batidor or special chocolate pot though. I feel like I have seen the batidor being sold somewhere, but have only seen the special chocolate pot used by people selling the hot chocolate (not the pot)…do you know where I can get them?

    Also, how much water do you usually put?

    Sep 9, 2005 | 9:19 am


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  3. butch says:

    i remember this hot chocolate beverage very well as my grandmother and my mom used to make it for us! in some areas particularly in central and northern luzon, carabao’s milk iss used, add some ground peanuts and we’re in serious business.

    in response to joey’s question, wouldn’t a stainless steel whisk be a good substitute for the batidor or batidol?

    Sep 9, 2005 | 9:26 am

  4. mojitodrinker says:

    hot chocolate made from tablea rocks! there is absolutely no contest when you compare it to the stuff they call hot chocolate from any of the chains (not even max brenner).

    Sep 9, 2005 | 10:07 am

  5. Michael says:

    You can usually get the batidor at your local palenque in the same shops selling palayoks, palu palo, and chopping boards. They’re also sold in the fruit stands lining the Los Baños – Calamba highway. Surely some shop in Divisoria carries them as well. I have used a small stainless balloon whisk with a rounded handle so I can roll it between my palms and it works just as well. As for the chocolatera, the brass pots can be found in most antique shops in Ermita and usually cost around 1.000-2.000PHP. A cheaper alternative would be the maranao brass “kendi” from the Muslim market in Arlegui in Quiapo.

    Sep 9, 2005 | 10:08 am

  6. Carlo says:

    MM, I was wondering if you knew how to make hot chocolate thick the way it’s done in Spain. Is it the type of chocolate that is used that makes it thick or is there something that has to be added to it?

    Sep 9, 2005 | 12:33 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    My batidors come from the market in tagbilaran. They should be available in the local markets here. Or a whisk should work fine. You can use any heavy bottomed pan such as a Le creuset. I once saw a fancy version of the chocolate pots at a Williams Sonoma but it was over $100! Proportions wise, try a cup of water for a large round of tablea, adjust to taste. Add milk only towards serving and do not boil. Carlo, I have not tried the chocolate you describe but I suspect it has to do with a higher cream content than just water as we use here. Lack of fresh milk in the early part of the Spanish reign here means we made do with water and cacao… Part of the attraction of tablea is the nearness to the original source plant/pod… the bits in the drink give it character and authenticity that disappears in a chain drink.

    Sep 9, 2005 | 1:39 pm

  8. Mila says:

    I was told once that the thick spanish chocolate at Dulcinea is made using egg yolks added to the milk/cream mix. I don’t know if that’s true or how that would work, but if anyone’s willing to give it a try, please post what the flavor was like.
    We saw a chocolatera at the flea markets in Bangkal and also in the Marikina Shoe expo in Cubao. Depending on the size, you can get a decently battered one for less than P1000.
    I think you can get a good consistent hot chocolate-eh using a whisk and double boiler. Add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to accentuate the flavor or some really good vanilla extract if you want something fancy. Yum.

    Sep 9, 2005 | 4:33 pm

  9. Vicky says:

    Tsokolateras in different sizes, meaning small/medium/large are
    still being manufactured in Bohol. I saw so many of them in the
    public market in Tagbilaran. They are made of cast aluminum,
    cost less than P150 for the medium size. In the Tagbilaran public market, I noticed that only upon order that chocolate is cooked (in the tsokolatera), a great breakfast fare along with suman moron.

    Sep 9, 2005 | 7:09 pm

  10. Dia says:

    this post reminds of my grandmother. whenever we (me, my sister, and cousins) stayed in her house during summer when we were still pre-teen, she always woke us up with hot chocolate made exactly as you have described.

    Sep 9, 2005 | 7:10 pm

  11. Michael says:

    Found on the net:
    “I have a tsokolate shop called Nana Meng’s Kitchen. We have a special tsokolate paste called Nana Meng’s Original Tsokolate (it has peanuts) and the classic Spanish hot chocolate. We also sell pastries AND accessories for making hot chocolate. If you are interested, we have the batirol (we call it batidor in Bulacan) at the Salcedo Market (7 am to 2 pm on Saturdays in Salcedo Village, at the parking lot near Makati Sports Club). It’s just P100, made of acacia and I had my grandmother’s original batidor copied.”
    Nana Meng’s Kitchen is located at 9667 Pililia St., Makati City, tel. no. 890-9562

    Sep 10, 2005 | 4:40 am

  12. Ivan M. says:

    I once plopped a pure tablea in my mouth thinking it would taste like M & M’s chocolate candy cause I found the smell so promising…OOPS, major culinary bluner!

    It was as bitter as being left dumped by your girlfriend…!

    Sep 11, 2005 | 9:23 pm

  13. aleth says:

    seeing you batirol, i was reminded of my lola’s old batirol, tit was a rounded one but it’s gone gone – can’t find it last time i went home.. anyways, my lola’s version is adding up peanut butter to the mixture and swirling the mixture with the batirol in the small pot-like container till foams comes up and then poured onto cups and serve with hot pandesal with dari creme or puto with dari creme. . yummy !! give it a try . .

    Sep 14, 2005 | 8:09 pm

  14. Charlene says:

    About the organic market in Eastwood: it’s really, really tiny, maybe 15 stalls arranged in a small courtyard. There are a few fruit vendors, a couple native snack and rice cake vendors, and a few stalls selling organic cookies and whole grain bread — in short, nothing that you can’t find elsewhere presented with greater variety and abundance.

    Sep 16, 2005 | 5:20 pm

  15. Rina says:

    re: chocolate pot & batirol set – i saw one a few years back made by Claude Tayag (i think) in one of the art shops in Glorietta IV, really beautiful, the batirol was designed with a couple of wooden balls in the centre (to increase aeration and make it more foamy i guess),i still pinch myself for not getting it then – it would make a good heirloom piece, something I can pass down a few generations forward : )… hmmm wonder if Claude Tayag still makes those….

    tablea source – i regularly get my tablea from La Resurrecion in Binondo (a few stores away from Eng Bee Tin’s main store on Ongpin)for their chocolate, you need a really good batirol as the chocolate bits will settle in clumps at the bottom of your cup (hey, I wonder if chocolate bits can be read too the same way they read fortunes using tea leaves…just kidding!)

    Sep 21, 2005 | 2:19 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    They have basic batirols for less than PHP100 at the Antonio Pueo Chocolate stands at weekend bazaars like the one at Fort Bonifacio once a month. La resurrecion is the place I talk about on my binondo tour…photo in that post…

    Sep 21, 2005 | 4:38 pm

  17. lojet says:

    You did not mention the special sikwate ( cebu) pot that is tall and has an hour glass sort of appearance. My mother called it batirol but she meant the set, pot and stirrer.

    My mother was a chocolate aficionado, she grinds her own tableya because the store bought ones were adulterated and her pot was made of cast iron. Fortunately, I did not inherit that addiction.

    Oct 19, 2005 | 9:48 pm

  18. Hulsey says:

    Hi guys ,

    I know that we are all chocolate lovers here especially the ones that was prepared by our grandmother, the hot choco drink and champorado especially when its raining. Then the tinapa and rice, I really miss those times thats why I would like to introduce our new addition to our product line, Dutche Chocolate Powder/ Tablets. This all natural chocolate tablet is made from pure alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa powder. Its various uses make it very saleable especially among hotels, bars/cafes, restaurants, bakeries and households.

    We also have it in Sweetened Dutche Chocolate Tablet(Tablea) so that our consumers doesn’t have to add sugar and thus saves time especially for those who are always on the go.

    Dutche Chocolate Powder also comes in handy as fondue, churros dip, choco drink, pastries, cakes, brownies, champorado, icing , etc.
    Please feel free to contact me at 6569060/09228106217 for your orders/sample requisition. You can also email me at hulseye@gmail.com or hulseye@yahoo.com for faster transaction.

    Nov 23, 2005 | 10:47 am

  19. Boyet Blas says:

    To Michael,

    Grabe ang sarap-sarap ng tsokolate ni nana Meng! Sa inyo ba iyon!! Ang dami ko nang nabiling tsokolate balls iyung bang nasa bote containing at least 15 balls!! Naka 7 na akong bili!!


    Dec 9, 2005 | 7:33 pm

  20. chocoholic says:

    Salamat at nakita ko itong website na ito! I was searching for a recipe to make Antonio Pueo chocolate. My husband and I are craving for it. Before we left, our “Lola Lily” taught us how to make it using the batirol, Antonio Pueo, Lily peanut butter, evaporated milk and a dash of Hershey’s chocolate powder. But, we lost the recipe and we’ve been experimenting without success. Maybe on my next trip back to Manila I’ll check out the Fort and also Hulsey’s products. I miss Manila and the food there!

    Jan 18, 2006 | 5:56 am

  21. Mike says:

    Hi, I’m an American just returned from vacation in Phil and brought back lots of tableya to U.S. Now, I’m stuck I can’t seem to make the hot coco right – it keeps coming out too with too much bits and pieces… how long am I supposed to boil this in water before it dissolves? Does anyone know how much chocolate to add per water? My tableya is round and looks like thick coins. I have other that look like big hershey kisses.
    Thanks for the help!!!

    Jan 26, 2006 | 7:28 am

  22. Marketman says:

    Mike, you need a batidor, the strange looking wood implement in the photo above. As the water is heating up, you need to swirl the batidor constantly to smush the chocolate into the water and/or milk. Essentially, you are emusifying the oils and solids in the tablea into the liquid. There should be few “bits and pieces…” in the final product.

    Jan 26, 2006 | 6:31 pm

  23. Migs Oliveros says:

    Hi, MarketManila. I have been around people, relatives and kin who have had choco-late de batirol for many generations. I am a bit perturbed as to why you keep referring to the “batirol” as the wooden mixing implement when in fact it is the pitcher or vessel (most are made of brass). The wooden mixing utensil is really called a “molinillo” (moleneeyo) which was made in the 1700’s and brought by the Spanish Conquistadores to the Philippines. The vessel is known as Batidor, chocolatera, batilol and in Kapampangan it is called the batirol. Even internet search engines wil show that the batirol or batidor is a pitcher or vessel for the chocolate. The molinillo’s come in many shapes, designs and sizes and can be found in Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, Italy, and even France. A quaint place in John Hay called Choco-late de Batirol serves up an original blend of choco-late, and this is where the owner will give you a complete history of batirol and chocolate in the Philippines while enjoying a helping of their delicious bibingka and turon. Thank you, Market Manila…I regularly visit your website and it warms my heart to see people love our traditions. Keep it up.

    Apr 15, 2006 | 11:20 am

  24. Fez says:

    My dad’s actually part-Spanish, and the way his mum taught my mum to make it is to add beaten eggs to the concoction (like someone said earlier). So pretty much all my life I had been having this particular version of hot chocolate — it is thicker than what is usually made when tableas are dissolved, and has a fuller taste.

    Of course, I have no idea how it actually fits in to the dissolving process; in fact, I don’t even know how to properly make hot chocolate from tableas.

    Anyone wanna give me a hand?

    (I need my mum here down under…)

    Jun 28, 2006 | 11:35 am

  25. Erwin says:

    We have three (3) medium Batidor (Pot made of Brass)weighing 1/2 kilo each and one (1)Big about a kilo when weighed. We also make pure tablea. We have about a sack of Cacao seeds. When I say pure, it has no sugar added, no peanuts or peanut butter added. Some people pour in “gata ng niyog” or coconut milk to make a delicious tasting chocolate that is truly Filipino. It is best when coupled with Suman Tininta. soul_in_transit@yahoo.com

    Aug 20, 2006 | 7:52 pm

  26. Erwin says:

    By the way, it’s me again, don’t over indulge in drinking chokolate as it can raise your blood pressure. It is oily when being cooked. The natural oil of the seeds oozed out. My Lola suffered a stroke for drinking chokolate everyday.

    Aug 20, 2006 | 8:36 pm

  27. ana says:

    Watch out for the Opening of Choco-late de Batirol @ The Piazza at Serendra this coming November!!! We’ll bring you the original Choco-late de Batirol from Camp John Hay…thick choco-late drink cooked the traditional way…

    Oct 19, 2006 | 10:13 am

  28. Pawee Ventura says:

    This is the worst chocolate i have ever tasted. So crude! Yucky!

    Nov 4, 2006 | 3:47 pm

  29. asr says:

    Hi Pawee!
    The crude Hot chocolate you were saying was featured in Jose Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere. The friar who was talking about it in the story said he would instruct his servants to prepare “chocolate eh” (the thick, rich chocolate) for his more affluent guests, and “chocolate ah” (thin, watered-down chocolate) for the poorer ones. Maybe you should try “chocolate ah” =)

    Dec 3, 2006 | 11:44 pm

  30. katrina_pareja says:

    i just came from a vacation with my family in san jose negros oriental and my husband’s aunt gave us tableas to try at home. i made hot chocolate from it and it’s so yummy!!!! it so rich, dark and perfect with budbod!!!!! i love it!!!

    May 19, 2007 | 3:30 pm

  31. richard says:

    There’s a store at Divisoria along Elcano street that manufacture and sell Tasty Brand Breakfast Chocolate. Different varieties of freshly roasted coffee beans are also available there.

    May 27, 2007 | 10:26 pm

  32. Josie Schenkel says:

    I love chocolate it is one of my favorite, Can someone tell me why it is call tablea? I know it came from Cacao tree.

    Aug 19, 2007 | 4:34 am

  33. Marketman says:

    Josie, could it be because they are formed like large tablets? I am not sure, really.

    Aug 19, 2007 | 7:54 am

  34. eiram says:

    MM, where do i buy tableas here in Manila? any suggestions? i don’t have relatives sa Bohol eh. thanks.

    Oct 2, 2007 | 11:53 pm

  35. zirtaeb says:

    hi.. i heard about the tableya from a friend but haven’t tried it yet… is the taste of a tableya similar to our filipino chocolate candy? where can i buy a tableya? i’d like to make some as a gift for xmas.

    Oct 3, 2007 | 11:21 pm

  36. margaux says:

    Marketmanila is just amazing. I just did a search on ‘tsokolate’ and found this post from 2005 and look! Readers are still posting inquiries. Amazing. =) First of all, great post, Marketman. It brought back memories of growing up with tsokolate. I grew up with tsokolate too (as you might know, with Nana Meng around) in Bulacan. Ours was the nutty kind, not the ‘pure’ kind, as Erwin points out. I’ve learned that this nutty kind of tsokolate is more prevalent in Pampanga and Bulacan.

    Contrary to what Migs says, my readings have led me to understand that the wooden whisk is called, depending on where you’re from, a batidor/batirol/moronillo/molonillo while the chocolate pitcher is called a tsokolatera/chocolatera.

    Eiram and Zirtaeb, tableas are available everywhere. The grocery stores (Rustan’s, Robinson’s, SM) have the Antonio Pueo brand as well as a few other brands. In Divisoria, they are all over the place, especially near the DV Mall.

    Of course I’m partial to Nana Meng Tsokolate (she’s my grand aunt) and was so happy to read Boyet Blas’ comment. Nana Meng also has chocolate balls (we don’t call them tableya because they’re in ball form, not flattened out, and weigh around twice the ordinary tablea) as well as the nutty kind of tsokolate that comes in paste form. There’s also a special cashew flavor for those who want that taste. Nana Meng suggested that mix when she recalled how they would mix in kasuy for very special occasions back in the day. (Nana Meng Tsokolate has stalls in Glorietta IV 3rd Level and in Market Market Ground Level).

    If you just want a taste though, there are chocolate shops all over the place now. Aside from Nana Meng, I particularly like what they offer at Xocolat and Marygrace in Serendra.

    It may be tricky cooking it at home, though, as Mike up there experienced. The key is to make the tableya dissolve first in a pot of boiling water. Once it has become like syrup, THEN you add in the milk and the sugar. I had an experience with an idiot once who boiled water, transferred the boiling water into a cup then put the chocolate ball in to melt. Like, hello, it’s not Milo! Cracked me up =)

    If you do not have a batidor, you’ll just have to wait a little longer til the tablea melts then you can use a regular whisk to help further break the cacao while it’s in the pot then later you can use a blender to bring the tsokolate to a froth if that’s what you fancy, although I think for the tsokolate pictured above, no frothing is necessary as it’s the thicker kind, meant to enjoy without bubbles. Tsokolate Espeso (chocolate espresso) for the aristocracy. I believe the Marketman wouldn’t settle for anything less! =)

    Oct 17, 2007 | 1:45 am

  37. Marketman says:

    Hi Margaux, I had subsequent posts on batidor, batirol etc. here and agree with you on names of implements. Hot chocolate is a big deal in Bohol (together with my favorite broas) but it is the watery-ier version… Eiram and Zirthaeb, tablea is available in groceries and bazaars…

    Oct 17, 2007 | 7:03 am

  38. Emily says:

    I’m planning to give chocolate tablea (the real stuff) for giveaways this Christmas. Can anyone post the name of the shop and their contact numbers? I’ve been looking for the number of La Resurrection but I can’t find it in any directory.

    By the way, I was reading at all the comments posted here. I agree that tablea can’t compare with anything from those bald chocolate bars… Tablea rocks and definitely only for chocolate purists… Anyone who’s had this for christmas eve noche buena would agree…

    Nov 10, 2007 | 2:48 pm

  39. Eric says:

    wow…i love hot cocoa or hot chocolate or whatever you call them.. :)

    anyway, for those who are looking for tableas (chips) as well as the powder form – we are a distributor of carefully selected, best tasting and absolutely PURE CACAO from all-over the Philippines. and for those who are planning to give them as giveaways this xmas season, our package are almost ready…just put the ribbon and card on it.

    it depends on the location, i can also deliver them for free. you may email me at eric.tipon@gmail.com or call/text 09205945850.

    Nov 26, 2007 | 12:08 pm

  40. dal says:

    hello everyone!!!

    i really love tableya..im from tagbilaran bohol..im very proud to say that we are one of the suppliers of tableya here in many supermarkets in bohol..it is really pure cacao..we have many orders came from different places all over the phil..

    if u have some questions about this product,u may email me: dalux_04@yahoo.com.

    visit bohol and u will see our products..


    Dec 19, 2007 | 6:20 pm

  41. rex says:

    funny how good internet is to find persons with common interests, I have been a fan of tsokolate since 30 some years ago. my lola in pototan, iloilo was the one who made me love this tsokolate. whenever we visited her during the holidays I would wake up every morning first with the sound of her wedding ring hitting the batidor which she rolls between her two palms then the aroma of the hot tsokolate follows. She would serve them in tiny tsokolate cups from a tsokolate pitcher. I just arrived from iloilo for the holidays and tasting the family tsokolate recipe has made me decide to share it to those who wish to, watch out for the marketing of KANAMIT! Tsokolate ni Lola Ayoy, a family recipe. For orders, just text or call me at 09209114069. Our tableas are homemade and well chosen from cacao trees cultivate by us, our tableas are already mixed with sugar so that you could actually lick it without suffering the bitterness of pure tsokolate. Happy new year to all.

    Jan 6, 2008 | 1:08 am

  42. aimee says:


    just like you guys, i also love chocolate in any form :)

    with hot cocoa, i have tried antonio pueo and the one from cebu in green package where you get from the grocery. i thought then they were good, BUT nothing compares to the one we’re having now which is roasted, locally grown, and 100% pure cacao. it’s the BEST so far… the price is 250 pesos per pack (1/2 kilo).

    for orders, you may call/text me at 0917-5308942. or email: aimsqsun@gmail.com

    Apr 22, 2008 | 7:05 pm

  43. tere says:

    i just made brownies with a marshmallow and chocolate topping. instead of the imported chocolate chips, i coarsely chopped around 10 tablea disks (each disk as large as a polvoron) for the chocolate topping. (i also added barako to the brownie mix for a pinoy brownie.)

    the tablea chips didn’t taste bitter at all – but definitely not sweet – just chocolatey. the tablea provided just the right crunch to balance the ooziness of the melted marshmallow.

    Sep 25, 2008 | 3:04 pm

  44. Chris says:

    Does anyone know where to buy a good quality cast-iron tsokolatera/chocolatera with a good wooden batirol? My mom inherited her family’s cast-iron tsokolatera and batirol from her Pampanga house which we use now to cook up a traditional holiday serving of a thick nutty-choco ground chocolate paste we source from Pampanga. I’ve always wanted to have that tsokolatera someday but my older sister is trying to own it already!—so I want to see if I could just buy my own and whip up my own hot chocolate with out haveing to argue as to who will inherit the traditional batirol and tsokolatera!

    Dec 12, 2008 | 3:18 pm

  45. Wagne says:

    I remember when i used to spend my summers with my lola and cousins. We do the grinding once she completed roasting the cocoa beans. I pretty much know the process of creating tablea but the best thing is having to do it with them — my lola and cousins…

    Live on, Lola…

    Sep 2, 2009 | 4:11 pm

  46. miren says:

    i searched for “tablea” and this blog came out. im thinking of giving it as souvenirs for our wedding together w a small batirol.

    whats the best tablea?

    so far all i see in the supermarket is antonio pueo.

    Sep 18, 2009 | 11:24 pm


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