CAPSULE REPORT: Part 1 of this article discussed the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate, the differences in quality, health benefits and preparation techniques. Here, we present the sixty-plus with a few “author’s favorites” singled out. But, you are encouraged to find your own perfect cup—and if you’ve already found it and it isn’t on this list, tell us what you think is the best hot chocolate. This is Page 1 of 10 pages that comprise the Part 2 review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages. (Editor’s Note: The original review contained 65 different products; we keep adding to the review as we find additional noteworthy brands.)
Because there are no standards for nomenclature, I’ve referred to drinks as hot chocolates or hot cocoas according to their labels, even though some so-called “hot chocolate” is obviously hot cocoa (because it’s made of cocoa powder), and that labeled hot cocoa is actually hot chocolate (because it‘s made of shaved chocolate).
Within each category, brands are listed alphabetically. Unless noted, all prepared beverages were of thin (milk/water) consistency. Websites listed after each brand represent either the means by which product was obtained or are places where more product information may be available. Aroma and color were judged solely for completed beverages, not for dry mixes. Shorter ingredient lists without too many (or any) extraneous ingredients are listed in their entirety; longer ingredient lists with fillers, anti-caking agents, etc., have only partial ingredient listings.
Please note that this is by no means a complete list of chocolate beverages available to the consumer; there are many others out there as well. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Read our article on Gourmet Cocoas From Fine Chocolatiers, our review of Larry Burdick’s Hot Chocolate (the editor’s favorite, a super-thick, super-rich brew), and Vosge’s White Hot Chocolate, which are not reviewed here.
Also note that prices shown are those at the time of the review. While we update our prices from time to time, given the challenge of updating more than 65 prices at a time, we won’t be doing this on an annual basis. So, please view the prices on a comparative basis. Another thing to note about price: Good chocolate is expensive. A $20 box that provides four or five 6-ounce portions (that fill an 8-ounce cup) costs you four or five dollars a serving, plus milk. So, it may not be your everyday cocoa of choice. But it sure is a special-occasion treat! And hot chocolate that good needs no whipped cream or other garnish—it is a pleasure to savor alone.
Continue To Page 2: Best Cocoa & Hot Chocolate Brands
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