Ghirardelli Chocolate & Cocoa Beverage Mix
If you like hot chocolate but don’t always have the time to run to the local coffee shop or make an authentic one on your own, you maybe looking the filled your kitchen up with the best hot chocolate mix. Hot chocolate is a very popular drink that is made of shaved or melted chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, water, whip cream, and sugar. Technically speaking, hot cocoa is purely made with cocoa powder which is a product of making chocolate. Hot chocolate is made of actual ground chocolate and shouldn’t be confused with hot cocoa. However, many people use the term interchangeably and they are often one and the same in many shops.
Either way, hot chocolate or hot cocoa is supposed to taste like melted chocolate, although the texture and consistency will likely not be so dense. There will be lots of milk or water added to make the hot chocolate fluid and drinkable. There may even be additional sugar or whipped cream added to give it more flavor. You should know that even the best hot chocolate mixes are not really the real thing because it doesn’t require you to melt a chocolate bar. Hot chocolate mixes are designed to be a simple way to replicate a nostalgic drink. You simply add water or milk to a chocolate powder, stir and your hot chocolate drink is ready. Hot chocolate mixes will definitely differ in tastes, as there are many grades to mixes. Generally, you have the cheap to mid-grade mixes and the high end mixes. They will be different in terms of sweetness level, creaminess, thickness, chocolate flavor, and ease of dissolving.
Best Hot Chocolate Mix
- Ghirardelli Chocolate & Cocoa Beverage Mix (Top Pick)
- Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix, Rich Chocolate, 50 Count
- Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa, 30 Ounce
- Grove Square Hot Cocoa, Milk Chocolate, 50 Single Serve Cups
Ghirardelli Chocolate & Cocoa Beverage Mix
Ghirardelli makes the best hot chocolate mix for those who want a premium brand and a premium cup of hot chocolate. This hot chocolate mix is made with real chocolate, ditched cocoa, and vanilla. You can make about 75 cups of hot chocolate using this can. Ghiradelli is a brand that has a premium reputation and this hot chocolate definitely has a premium taste.
First and foremost, you taste real chocolate and the mix definitely doesn’t have that fake diluted taste. It has a deep flavor and is very smooth and rich. The Ghiradelli Sweet Ground Chocolate definitely has a lot more flavor than your standard packets of hot chocolate you can find in a convenient store. While it has a lot of sugar added, the sugar doesn’t not overpower the natural flavor of the chocolate. We definitely recommend adding milk instead of water as it will give it a very rich and creamy texture.
Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix, Rich Chocolate, 50 Count, 0.71 Ounce Packets
The Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix is the best hot chocolate mix if you are looking for the best of the cheap stuff. This box comes in a 50 individual packets of hot chocolate mix, so everything is pre-measured already. The mix itself is surprisingly not that sweet, or at least not as sweet as we expected. For the price, we really enjoyed the flavor profile of the hot chocolate.
While we don’t the Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix has any real chocolate, it also doesn’t really have a crazy bad artificial taste like many of these cheap packets. We would say it definitely gets the job done and is great for making a quick cup of hot chocolate without the need to measure out anything. With hot water added, the mix tends to run a bit diluted so we recommend added milk to make it denser and to give it more flavor. Overall, we recommend these packets to those who are lazy, on a budget, and don’t mind a decent cup of hot chocolate.
Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa, 30 Ounce
Starbucks is a name brand that has survived for many years and is associated with quality production. Their classic hot cocoa mix is not exception as it is pretty much what they use in their shops as well. One tin of this makes 30 cups of hot chocolate and it sure does have a strong cocoa taste. This is probably due to the fact that it is 40% cocoa, which is quite high compared to the rest of the competition.
And for those of you who care, Starbucks sources its cocoa from high quality ethical places that don’t employ child labor, etc. We would say the taste of this is very similar to the Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Mix, except it is not as sweet. You can definitely taste the premium quality, as it is rich, creamy, and full of real chocolate. The ingredients are all well balanced and no one ingredient overpowers the other. All in all, we would highly recommend the Starbucks Hot Chocolate mix to those who are willing to pay a bit more to get some quality chocolate.
Grove Square Hot Cocoa, Milk Chocolate, 50 Single Serve Cups
Grove Square makes the best hot chocolate mix if you are interested in k cup servings and a diet hot chocolate. These single serve cups will fit into most k cup coffee makers. If you have one of these brilliant machines, you can make your life much easier with the Grove Square Single Serve Cups. They also have nonfat dry milk included in the mix. We are not going to lie, the flavor of this hot chocolate mix is not exactly that rich and great.
The selling point of the Grove Square is that they are convenient and low calorie. In terms of convenience, you simply just pop in a single serve cup, press a few buttons, and you will have a nice cup of hot chocolate waiting. It is also low calorie because it uses artificial sweetener. Yes, we know, we know, how dare they! We wanted to recommend something for those who want a “diet” hot chocolate that still tastes decent. Out of all of the low calorie hot chocolates, we think Grove Square has the best job and really hits the spot.
Choosing the Best Hot Chocolate Mix
There are so many brands of hot chocolate on the market that it becomes very difficult the best hot chocolate mix. In general, hot chocolate mixes come in two grades: commercial and premium. Commercial grade hot chocolate mixes are relatively cheap per pack and often have sweeteners and cream already included inside. The more premium hot chocolate mixes are made of real chocolate powder and are often unsweetened, which requires you to add your own milk, sugar, and cream.
Many of the premium Swiss chocolate companies also make their own hot chocolate mixes. The cheaper commercial mixes will often come from large multinational companies like Nestle. We have compiled a list of factors that we think are good to judge the overall quality of a chocolate mix. Of course, in the end, the best chocolate mix comes down to personal preferences and tastes. These are simply guidelines you can choose to follow. Please see below for more details.
Chocolate Factor: A big part of the taste of a hot chocolate mix comes down to how well it replicates having a chocolate bar melted into a cup. Generally, you should opt for mixes that taste like actual chocolate. However, the problem here is that many people don’t actually know what real unsweetened chocolate tastes like. Basically, if the mix tastes too artificial or if the sugar overpowers everything in the drink, there is something wrong and you should probably look for a better hot chocolate mix. Otherwise you are just drink hot water with sugar. The taste of raw chocolate is quite bitter and very distinct.
Sweetness: Some people like sweeter drinks than others. When evaluating a hot chocolate mix, always be looking at the sugar content per serving found at the nutritional facts. Sugar is used to mask the true flavor of chocolate, which is very bitter. If you don’t know what your preference level is yet for sugar, you should start with something with little sugar and you can always add sugar into your drink later if needed.
Creaminess: Some hot chocolate drinks will be extra creamy and some will not be creamy at all. This all kind of depends on the level of artificial creamer added to the hot chocolate mix. If you like your hot chocolate raw, be sure to look for mixes that don’t have any kind of creamer mix added. You can always just get a mix with no cream and then add creamer or milk later.
Thickness: The thickness of the hot chocolate mix actually depends on the amount of water or milk you pour into your mix. Obviously, the less liquid you have per serving of hot chocolate mix, the thicker the drink. You can always start thick and add more water or milk later to make it more diluted.
Price: Price is the final factor you should consider in finding the best chocolate mix. It really depends on how often you drink hot chocolate and what your preferences are. If you like the taste of raw chocolate from a fancy Swiss company, you will probably be paying up per pack. If you just want something that resembles hot chocolate, you maybe better of just using a cheaper mix. Keep in mind that you can always make hot chocolate by melting a candy bar or just buying raw cocoa powder. The mixes are just organized in a way that premixes the cream, sugar, and cocoa/chocolate together in a nice little package.