Saturday, December 29, 2012

Underwhelming Mint: Gourmet Village Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Is Not Minty Enough!

The Good: Good taste, Nothing truly bad in it!
The Bad: Very expensive in this form, Environmental impact of packaging, Not particularly minty.
The Basics: An enjoyable, but not overly minty cocoa, Candy Cane Hot Chocolate mix from Gourmet Village is unimpressive.

Following on the heels of my review of the Gourmet Village Crème Brulee Hot Chocolate (reviewed here!), my wife stuffed my stocking with more delightful cocoas. Tonight, I find myself sipping one she was sure I would be biased toward; Candy Cane Hot Chocolate from Gourmet Village. This was a good guess on her part and it turned out to be one I enjoyed, until I actually contemplated it.

This is, by no means, the most minty cocoa on the market. And for the price, I would expect more.


The Candy Cane 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 tasty 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.

Ease Of Preparation

The Candy Cane 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 Candy Cane hot cocoa smells more subtly minty in its aroma than one might expect. In fact, the fact that the scent of this cocoa is more chocolate than mint made me instantly lower my expectations for the beverage.

On the tongue, the Candy Cane Hot Cocoa is chocolate flavor with a cool, mint aftertaste. The mint is definitely subjugated to the flavor of the chocolate and real mint lovers might find this sweet, chocolate beverage just a little less impressive than they anticipated. It is good, but the peppermint is definitely far more subtle than one might think when buying a hot cocoa called “Candy Cane.”

The Candy Cane Hot Chocolate does not have an aftertaste.


Gourmet Villag is a hot cocoa mix and therefore not the most nutritious things ever, though the Candy Cane 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 Candy Cane 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 no actual mint in the ingredient list.

What is not a mystery is how high this product is in sugars. In each cup of Candy Cane Hot Chocolate, 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 (2 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 Candy Cane 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 Candy Cane is not unflavorful, but it is exceptional in no ways and for the price and the tease of being mint, I wanted it to be.

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.
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