The Good: Tastes great, Comparatively inexpensive
The Bad: Environmentally irresponsible packaging
The Basics: Delicious, though a little more expensive than most Swiss Miss products, Dark Chocolate Sensation is worth the extra price for fans of rich chocolate drinks!
Last year, I was woefully unprepared for the holidays in many ways. I didn't have any big meal plans; my wife and I spent our first Christmas and New Year's together celebrating with understated meals which we both enjoyed, but were far less memorable than the company we were keeping. As a result, it was entirely no surprise when my mother got us each several boxes of hot cocoa for the holidays. This was a great gift for my wife and I. For my wife, there was a large box of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate With Marshmallow and for me there were a few boxes of Swiss Miss Indulgent Collection Dark Chocolate Sensation.
The Indulgent Collection of Swiss Miss hot chocolates seems to be Swiss Miss's excuse to charge more for hot cocoa as the boxes tend to contain two to four fewer packages of cocoa for the same price or about fifty cents more. In the case of Dark Chocolate Sensation, that is almost worth it, though I would prefer a more environmentally responsible package.
Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation mix is a hot chocolate mix put out by Swiss Miss as part of their premium Indulgent Collection line. The box of hot cocoa packets is a pretty standard ten oz. box, containing eight one and one-quarter-ounce packets of hot chocolate. Trading on the flavor of dark chocolate, as opposed to the usual milk chocolate, Swiss Miss created a richer flavored hot chocolate drink. When hot water or milk is combined with the powder, it makes a pretty wonderful hot chocolate beverage.
Ease of Preparation
Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation mix is very easy to prepare, as most hot chocolate products are. Because each packet in the box is a single serving, one need only have a mug large enough to accommodate the powdered mix and some water with a little room for mixing it around. Because the powder has some mass to it before it is dissolved, I recommend using an 8 oz. mug.
Preparation is simple; empty the contents of a single packet from the box of eight into an eight ounce mug. Bring a pot of water to a near-boil - the Dark Chocolate Sensation does not require boiling water, just very hot water. Boiling the water does not cook the powder, so if one does boil the water, there is no adverse consequence to the beverage. Once the water is hot, simply pour six fluid ounces of water over the powder and stir it up. It is simple to transform the powder into a delicious beverage.
Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation has an exceptional aroma to it, instantly preparing the consumer for a beverage that tastes like chocolate and a richer chocolate than the standard hot cocoa. The scent is strong cocoa flavor and this has an aroma that is on par with the scent of cocoa products from places like Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Caribou Coffee. This is the type of chocolate scent that is so concentrated that it almost smells like the chocolate scented candles and the like.
This dark chocolate cocoa is adequately named . . . to a point. The taste is smooth and strong, tasting like chocolate and milk, even when one makes it with water. This cocoa is rich and chocolatey like it is supposed to be and one would hope it would be coming in. The greatest difference between the flavor of this hot cocoa and every other regular chocolate cocoa I've bought that comes from a powder is that the Dark Chocolate Sensation does not have even a hint of watery flavor to it. Instead, it is powerfully chocolate right off the bat and it stays there. As it washes over all parts of the tongue, it is sweet and chocolate without any hint of watery weakness anywhere.
But for fans of dark chocolate, Dark Chocolate Sensation is a little underwhelming. Dark Chocolate Sensation is not bitter at all and the strength of the cocoa is that is it consistently rich and delicious more than ever tasting diluted.
As the beverage cools, the chocolate flavor comes out even more, but the beverage never takes on either the bitterness of dark chocolate or the watery quality most hot cocoas possess when they begin to cool.
Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation is a chocolately drink, so any expectation that this is a beverage that is going to meet a lot of one's daily needs is fairly unrealistic. Still, there are worse beverages out on the market. One serving - a single packet - has 150 calories, thirty of which are from fat. With three and a half grams of fat, this drink is not a great beverage choice for dieters, but it could be worse. This Dark Chocolate hot cocoa has no cholesterol or any vitamin or mineral nutrients, outside calcium (which it has an impressive 30% of the RDA!), but it does have 170 mg of sodium. This is not a food to try to live off of.
It is hardly a surprise that Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation is not a nutritious food product considering that the primary ingredients are sugar, corn syrup, and cocoa. For those with allergies, it is noted on the package that the powder contains milk and there is no notation that this is gluten-free or kosher.
Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation mix is ridiculously easy to store and clean up. Because the packets are individual servings and self-contained, as long as one does not store the packets in a wet environment, they will last. My box of cocoa, purchased in late December 2009, has an expiration date in October 2011, but it is hard to imagine this would not last past the expiration date so long as the packets inside are kept cool and dry.
Cleaning up Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation mix is easy, as it is a powder which may be easily brushed up. If one spills it after it is mixed with water, it is highly likely to stain lighter fabrics and one ought to consult one's fabric guide for cleaning if that happens. Mugs, though, clean right out with hot water as this fluid does not stain ceramics.
Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation is a pretty wonderful chocolate-flavored beverage which is delicious, though a little more expensive than other Swiss Miss products. Even so, it is the best choice I've yet found for those who like dark chocolate flavor and hot cocoa at a reasonable price.
For other beverage reviews, please check out my reviews of:
Duff Energy Drink
Bigelow White Chocolate Kisses tea
Celestial Seasonings Sapphara Mango Ginger Green tea
For other food reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.