My favorite winter activity is to sit in front of the fire with a book and a cup of hot chocolate. Which hot chocolate I choose depends a bit on my mood. However, several weeks ago I decided I should taste all the hot chocolate I had in the house and take notes about which I liked best. Calvin enthusiastically signed up to this idea and Julian seemed uncertain but intrigued. Jaeger clearly couldn’t figure out the big fuss but started the tasting with us.
I printed up little cards where everyone could take notes about how many stars they gave each hot chocolate and any comments. We ended up with eight different kinds of hot chocolate which, in retrospect, was too many. Each tasting was about 1/4 cup. Jaeger gave up after four but the rest of us persevered through the full eight.
Our results (out of 5 stars)1:
|Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix||4.00||4.75||5.00||4.58|
|Hershey’s Hot Chocolate Recipe||4.50||4.50||2.50||3.83|
|Nestle Chocolatey Memories Hot Cocoa Mix||4.00||3.25||3.50||3.48|
|Abuelta Authentic Mexican Chocolate Drink Mix||4.00||3.75||2.00||3.25|
|Evil Recipe Hot Chocolate||4.50||5.00||0.00||3.17|
|Starbucks Hot Cocoa Double Chocolate||4.50||4.00||0.00||2.83|
|LaMonarca Bakery Chocolate Mexicano||3.50||2.50||1.50||2.50|
|Guittard Grand Cacao Sweet Ground Chocolate||5.00||3.50||-1.00||2.50|
Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix
This is a very safe hot chocolate that everyone enjoyed. Up until our tasting, I thought it was my favorite. However, I usually drink it with a cinnamon stick and for the tasting I had it plain. When it’s completely plain I found it a little boring.
Hershey’s Recipe Hot Chocolate
This is a recipe in the 1984 Hershey’s Chocolate Treasury cookbook. It’s made with 1 oz of unsweetened chocolate, 2 tbs hot water, 1/4 cup sugar, dash of salt, 2 cups warm milk, and 1/4 tsp vanilla.
Nestle Chocolatey Memories Hot Cocoa Mix
These are individual hot chocolate packets that I got for camping several years ago. I was a bit surprised how well it ended up rated. It’s probably the cheapest hot chocolate on the list.
Abuelta Authentic Mexican Chocolate Drink Mix
This is the hot chocolate I usually serve for breakfast. Many years ago my high school Spanish teacher brought in hot chocolate as a special treat. The teacher was bemused by how much our class loved it. This hot chocolate kind of reminds me of that, though it’s not quite as good as my memories. (I’m pretty sure my teacher made hers from scratch.)
Evil Recipe Hot Chocolate
This is Calvin’s favorite hot chocolate. To make it, you take a liquid measuring cup and pour in chocolate chips to the 1/4-1/3 cup marker. Then, add milk to the 1 cup line. Microwave for about 1:30 and then stir till it’s all mixed together. It’s extremely rich.
Starbucks Hot Cocoa Double Chocolate
This one also comes in individual packets. However, it doesn’t work as well for camping as it really requires milk to make it taste good. That said, with milk, it’s a decent, fairly dark, hot chocolate.
La Monarca Bakery Chocolate Mexicano
I bought this hot chocolate when I was looking for an upscale version of the Abuelta brand. We all agreed the flavor was great. However, it was very gritty. My hypothesis is it has a great flavor because of the cinnamon, which perhaps is not as finely ground as we prefer.
Guittard Grand Cacao Sweet Ground Chocolate
When by itself, this was my favorite hot chocolate. However, Julian’s -1 rating pulled this all the way down to the bottom of our list. It looks like I can safely hoard it for myself without anyone else complaining.
Sample comment cards:
- Jaeger left comments but no ratings. ↩