Classic Cuppa Cocoa
Arthur A. Noyes moved to California—and Caltech—in 1919 to build the Institute’s chemistry division, housed in what was then the Gates Laboratory of Chemistry (now the Parsons-Gates Hall of Administration). In addition to shaping the policies that would help create a world-renowned hub of science and engineering, Noyes introduced at least one early Caltech tradition: hot cocoa.
Research meetings, held weekly in Gates, featured cocoa prepared according to this precise recipe, created by Noyes and posted to a bulletin board in the kitchen.
• Whipping cream seems to have been stored in the organic lab’s ice chest.
• Cocoa was accompanied by cakes or cookies purchased at what had been a Safeway store on Lake Avenue.
• No pre-ground cocoa here—grad students carefully weighed and boiled cocoa beans.