The Good: Good taste and aroma, Nothing truly bad in it!
The Bad: Very expensive in this form, Environmental impact of packaging
The Basics: For my first experience with Gourmet Village, I find their Crème Brulee Hot Chocolate mix delightful.
Winter is upon us! That means my wife keeps surprising me with new (to me) hot chocolates for enjoyment and review. Near where we live now, there is a pretty awesome chocolatier and there the only thing they seem to sell that they do not make themselves is the Gourmet Village hot chocolate packets. On our last trip out there, my wife picked up several for me as a gift and today, I am trying the Gourmet Village Creme Brulee Hot Chocolate mix.
And what a pleasant drink it is!
The Creme Brulee hot cocoa mix is part of the Gourmet Village premium hot cocoa line. The mix comes in a 1.2 oz. sealed paper package and is a pretty delicious mix. Each 1.2 oz. packet is a single serving and these bear a relatively high price tag virtually everywhere I have found them. Locally, we have only found them for $1.50/ea! For a single mug of cocoa, this is expensive when compared to other make-at-home products. The quality of the beverage almost makes it worth it, though!
Ease Of Preparation
The Creme Brulee hot cocoa mix is ridiculously simple to make. The cocoa is rather enduring and the new packet I just received did not even have an expiration date. Because it is sealed and has some artificial preservatives in is, this is likely to last virtually forever unopened. A single serving is the packet and six oz. of water. There is no measuring of the product involved!
As a result, preparation is ridiculously simple. The top of the envelope has a perforated edge and one need simply tear open the top, which is quite easy, and pour the contents of the packet into a mug that is at least eight ounces large. Then, simply pour boiling water over the powder and stir. Stir the powder until there are no blobs of cocoa powder visible in the water or giving resistance from the bottom. The beverage will have a light brown color to it and will be uniformly smooth and creamy.
Gourmet Village Creme Brulee hot cocoa is an excellent idea and this is one that is executed very well. First, when the beverage is properly prepared and hot, the steam smelly like light chocolate with a hint of caramel in its bouquet. The scent is warming and inviting.
On the tongue, the Crème Brulee is more chocolatey than even the scent foreshadows. The strong, dry cocoa flavor washes over the tongue, but the beverage is sweet enough to be inviting and to encourage one to take more sips! As important, the caramel flavoring is strong as the fluid moves to the back of the tongue and there is the hint of a dry aftertaste characteristic of caramel. The flavors blend with a hint of cinnamon to embody well the taste of crème brulee!
Despite the slightly dry caramel flavoring to this cocoa, it does not have an intensely dry aftertaste and the sweetness makes it finish well. Ultimately, it is a very satisfying all-around flavor that leaves the consumer warmed from the inside out!
Gourmet Village is a hot cocoa mix and therefore not the most nutritious things ever, though the Creme Brulee flavor could be far less nutritious than it is. While I am used to reviewing things like all natural teas where the ingredients are all easily pronounceable and recognizable, the Creme Brulee hot cocoa has a few ingredients that cannot be easily identified. The primary ingredients are sugar, modified milk ingredients and cocoa. It is not vegan compliant as a result. Ironically, there is nothing even resembling caramel or caramel flavoring in the ingredient list.
What is not a mystery is how high this product is in sugars. In each cup of Creme Brulee Cocoa Classics, there are 140 calories, twenty-five of which are from fat. There are three grams of saturated fat, so while one might be tempted to curl up and enjoy this while resting, they are likely to pay for it later on! There is a negligible amount of cholesterol (3 mg), a consumer gets 7% of their recommended daily allowance of sodium out of a single packet of this beverage! There is a little protein, but not enough to live off this. In other words, this product is not a nutritious food product. But it is good!
This product contains milk and because there are no notations on it, one must assume it is not Kosher or gluten-free.
So long as one leaves the Creme Brulee powder in its packet, it ought to stay usable. One assumes it will last quite a while and dissolve appropriately when one attempts to use it. The packets, for those of us who consider the environmental impact of such things, are terribly wasteful and expensive. The foil/plastic wrappers are not recyclable anywhere I've been.
Cleanup is very easy. If the product spills while dumping it into the mug, simply wipe it up or brush it up with a dry or damp cloth. If it has already been reconstituted with water into hot cocoa, simply wipe it up. Light fabrics are likely to stain if this gets on them, in which case consult your fabric care guide to clean it up.
The Gourmet Village Creme Brulee is delicious, but it is stifling in its price by the single packet. This is best as an occasional treat as opposed to a regular cocoa beverage.
For other hot cocoa reviews, please check out:
Land O’ Lakes Double Fudge & Chocolate Cocoa
Maud Borup Peppermint Drinking Chocolate
Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate With Marshmallows
For other beverage reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.