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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

He’s Green She’s Green: Hot Chocolate

by John and Jennifer Burkhart

Nothing says “cozy” on a chilly winter night more than cuddling up in your Snuggie and sipping a rich cup of hot cocoa — or in our case, piling onto the sofa with a couple of cats, a dog and a toddler. If you plan on drinking hot chocolate until you turn into Willy Wonka this season, we suggest sipping quality cocoa that’s organic and fair trade. We rate the cozy-factor of five brands of organic hot chocolate.

Equal Exchange Hot Cocoa

Equal Exchange | Organic Hot Cocoa

He said:  This is just another outstanding cup of chocolate water. When will people learn that dry milk powder tastes nothing like its original form? I made the second cup with fresh milk and it was much better. The chocolate is tasty and not overly sweet. I also appreciate all the ethical ways that Equal Exchange creates this product.

He gave it: ★★★

She said:  This company shows support of small farmers to the extent of putting their farmers’ photos on the label. How cool! This cocoa was tasty and had a nice balance of vanilla and chocolate. It wasn’t too sweet or too watery when made as directed. But when I added about 1/2 tablespoon more of the mix, it was just right.

She gave it: ★★★

Green and Blacks Organic Hot Chocolate

Green & Black’s | Organic Hot Chocolate Mix

He said:  This one had a good balance of mellow chocolate that’s not too bitter and not too sweet, which is nice to see in our sugary beverage world. The last few sips were the slightest bit gritty, but that wasn’t enough to keep me from going in for a second cup.

He gave it: ★★★★

She said:  Since this was mixed with whole milk, it was definitely rich and filling. It will warm you up on a chilly night, but may bore you before you finish your mugful. Imagine dark chocolate with just a touch of sweetness… and nothing else.

She gave it: ★★

TCHO Cocoa Powder

TCHO | Organic Cocoa Powder

He said:  This is one complex cup of hot chocolate. It offers a light, almost lemony flavor as it hits the tongue and then it immediately plunges into the depths of dark chocolate. It wouldn’t be my first choice for a simple cup of cocoa, but I get the feeling that in the right recipe this could be amazing. If you’re up for a challenge, grab a TCHO.

He gave it: ★★★

She said:  There wasn’t a recipe for hot chocolate on the label, so we got to customize our cup. You don’t need much of this cocoa powder to make a very rich, delicious beverage. I think it would be easier to buy the “drinking chocolate” version and leave this powder for baking mouth-watering treats, however.

She gave it: ★★★★

Rapunzel Organic Cocoa Powder

Rapunzel | Organic Cocoa Powder

He said:  Man, I would climb up a tower to get a cup of this hot chocolate. It had an excellent balance of sweet milk and dark chocolate. This would be the perfect drink with which to unwind. Just heat up some Rapunzel hot cocoa, open a window and let your hair down.

He gave it: ★★★★

She said:  Though this isn’t an instant mix, it was simple to make, and you’ll have plenty of cocoa left to make rich holiday goodies. Following the recipe on the label, I used organic whole milk, organic raw sugar and a teeny drop of vanilla extract. It was perfectly chocolaty and reminded me of brownies. Drinkable brownies? Yes, please!

She gave it: ★★★★

365 Hot Cocoa

365 Everyday Value | Organic Hot Cocoa

He said:  This chocolate-flavored water wasn’t the worst instant hot chocolate I’ve ever had. But “just add water” hot chocolate is a little too much convenience for me. Call me a snob, but I prefer the creamy smoothness of a hot chocolate made with milk. A camping trip is the only time I could see myself going for this product.

He gave it: ★★

She said:  Just like those inexpensive foil-wrapped holiday chocolates, this one claims to be chocolate but tastes like something much different. It may have been the “natural vanilla flavor,” which was pretty strong. This should be renamed “hot vanilla-cocoa” just so no one is surprised.

She gave it: ★★


See more product reviews at greenlivingaz.com/hgsg

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