The difference between hot cocoa and drinking chocolate isn’t only in price, but also in quality and concentration of ingredients. The two products have a basic ingredient in common — cacao — but are processed and blended differently. Hot cocoa is often flat and sweet, while drinking chocolate is rich and complex in flavor, and can be sweetened or unsweetened.
Hot cocoa is both a beverage and a drink mix, which dates back to the 19th century. Before then, hot chocolate was the beverage of the nobility, made from roughly-ground cacao beans and sugar. In the early 1800’s, a Dutch chemist invented the first cocoa butter press, a machine which extracted about half the fat of cacao beans. This left behind cakes of low-fat cacao, which could be pulverized into a chocolaty powder. Soon cocoa butter found a market with cosmetics companies, rendering the cocoa powder less valuable but in high supply.
Cacao processors blended the cocoa powder with sugar and sold it as a medicinal drink. But consumers found that while sugar still dissolved well in liquids, the new powdered chocolate largely sank.
Soon those same Dutch chemists invented a process for alkalizing cocoa powder, making it easier to dissolve in water. This process is now called “dutching,” and is standard for large hot cocoa manufacturers.
Dutching also standardizes the flavor of cocoa powder, and neutralizes many of cacao’s nutrients and antioxidants, making the product less healthy. Cheap hot cocoa mixes are often made with low quality cacao, which isn’t good for cocoa farmers or consumers.
Cheap hot cocoa also often includes powdered milk and artificial flavors, to standardize the flavor and lower manufacturing costs.
In response, some bean to bar chocolate makers have begun making their own hot cocoa mixes with the high-fat cocoa left over from pressing single origin cocoa butter.
These craft hot cocoa mixes are usually sold with just cocoa powder and a small amount of sugar, so consumers with dietary restrictions can also enjoy hot cocoa.
Drinking chocolate is different from hot cocoa in that it’s made with full-fat chocolate; none of the cocoa butter is removed.
More often than not, drinking chocolate is a cup of pure chocolate, thinned out with hot milk or water, while hot cocoa mix is added in order to flavor the liquid.
Before the invention of modern chocolate, most chocolate beverages were gritty, as there was no equipment to refine the chocolate down into today’s smooth product. In that sense, hot cocoa is older than modern drinking chocolate, but the latter is a more indulgent and healthy beverage.
Drinking chocolate is made in both dark and milk chocolate varieties, making it easier to buy a healthy option.
Drinking Chocolate is a richer drink than hot cocoa, but is more satisfying, fulfilling and is also better for you!
Bar & Cocoa is the premier purveyor of exceptional craft chocolates from over 70 award winning chocolate makers. We hand pick exceptional makers to feature.
Ethics is a key ingredient to the world’s best chocolate. Our selection supports a supply chain that is more transparent than fair trade and big-brand chocolate — and tastier!
The chocolate we offer is crafted from fine quality cacao, making cocoa — not sugar or filler — the star ingredient. You can taste the uniqueness and complexity of different cacao origins with nuanced flavors, unlike mass-produced chocolate.
If you are looking to impress someone with exotic, delicious chocolate you have come to the right place. Besides, Pashmina is a passionate business owner and smart woman.
I had ordered a beautiful Amedei chocolate Easter egg and few days after I order it, without me even complaining, I received an email from the seller, Bar & Cocoa, advising me that because the order was late with regular UPS, they were rushing another one out with FedEx which I received today and my children are really happy
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Bar & Cocoa always have a great variety of chocolates. Great customer service and shipping in plenty of time for Christmas. They are always are go to in purchasing good chocolate.
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They took care of a mistake I did during the process, the bars arrived in perfect condition. The selection is amazing. If you love chocolate, this is the place
Ordered a few bars as part of a birthday present. Great selection to pick from and the chocolate was great.