Lake Champlain Old World Drinking Chocolate ($13.50 for 9.5 oz., ) tastes “homemade,” “dark,” and “decadent,” reminding some of “the center of a molten lava cake.” Consisting of shavings of chocolate melted into hot milk, it’s no wonder this hot cocoa “tastes more like melted chocolate than hot cocoa.”
A huge hit with tasters, this coffee chain’s hot chocolate mix ($12.98 for 8 1-oz. envelopes, ) tasted “homemade,” thanks to its “rich chocolate flavor” and “creamy” consistency. One taster even compared it to the decadent hot cocoa found in Parisian cafés. Bonus: There are little mini marshmallows in each packet.
Our tasters were fans of the “buttery,” “not too intense,” “smooth” flavor of Swiss Miss Indulgent Collection Dark Chocolate Sensation ($2.29 for 8 1.25 oz. envelopes, ). This budget buy possesses a “milky” texture and makes for “easy drinking.”
“Comforting” with an “appealing color,” Archer Farms Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix ($4.49 for 8 1-oz. envelopes, ) made a good first impression on our volunteers who commented on its “smooth” texture and “balanced mix of milky flavor and dark notes” — sweet but not too sweet. A few detractors complained that it “doesn’t taste rich enough.”
Unlike the other mixes, Recchiuti Hot Chocolate ($18 for 12 oz.) consists of small chocolate disks that melt when hot water is added. This unique hot chocolate had a super thick consistency, similar to “brownie batter.” For those wanting a pudding-like consistency in their hot chocolate, Recchiuti’s “delicious, complex, layered flavors” may make it worth the splurge, but a few complained that its texture made it taste and feel a little too much “like melted chocolate.”
Many tasters commented on the balance of Land O’Lakes Cocoa Classics Chocolate Supreme ($13.48 for 14.8 oz. tin, ) — “not too sweet” with just a “touch of salt.” It lost points with a few tasters for its “slightly artificial” flavor. Interesting to note, this is the only made-strictly-with-water mix to make it through to the final round of testing.