The Good: Affordable, Environmental impact of canister, Good flavor, Nothing truly bad in it!
The Bad: Not the darkest chocolate flavor
The Basics: Stephen’s Gourmet Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate might be the ideal baseline cocoa, but it is not the archetype of dark chocolate flavor.
When it comes to hot cocoas, I find myself very eager to try different brands and flavors. I've never found one cocoa that makes me want to keep drinking only that brand and flavor the rest of my life. Until today, I had only tried one of Stephen's Gourmet hot cocoas, their Peppermint Candycane Hot Cocoa (reviewed here!). Today, though, I went with Stephen’s Gourmet Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate . . . and it is very good.
Stephen’s Gourmet Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate is flavorful and good, but it is more dark chocolate by lack of sweet and milky flavors than it is by having a powerful dark chocolate flavor of its own.
The Dark Chocolate hot cocoa mix is part of the Stephen’s Gourmet premium hot cocoa line. The mix comes in a one-pound canister and is a tasty mix. For each mug of cocoa, this not oppressively expensive, but it is pricier than most major brands of hot chocolate.
Ease Of Preparation
The Dark Chocolate hot cocoa mix is fairly easy to make. The cocoa is rather enduring and the new canister I bought last week had an expiration date of December 1, 2017! Because it is resealable and has some preservatives in is, this is likely to last virtually forever unopened. A single serving is three rounded Tablespoons and ¾ cup of hot water. One needs to measure out the cocoa to reconstitute it.
As a result, preparation is not difficult, but requires some measuring that packets do not. The canister must be opened, the powder measured out into a mug that is at least eight ounces large. Then, simply pour hot (near-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 dark brown color to it and will be uniformly fluid.
Stephen’s Gourmet Dark Chocolate hot cocoa smells strongly of chocolate. The aroma is one that is instantly recognizable to anyone who loveds chocolate. The scent is inviting and distinctive.
The Stephen’s Gourmet Dark Chocolate Cocoa has a strong chocolate flavor. The chocolate flavor is not muted by any milky or overly sweet taste. Instead, the Dark Chocolate cocoa is like a concentrated hot chocolate, without the typical dryness of a dark chocolate or ridiculous sweetness of a Milk Chocolate hot cocoa. The Stephen's Gourmet Dark Chocolate Cocoa is chocolatey and flavorful, without diminishing or tasting at all diluted. In many ways, this is an ideal hot chocolate.
The Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate has a slight sweet aftertaste which dissipates fairly quickly.
Stephen’s Gourmet is a hot cocoa mix and therefore not the most nutritious things ever, though the Dark Chocolate 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 Dark Chocolate hot cocoa has very few ingredients that cannot be easily identified. The primary ingredients are sugar, sweet whey, and maltodextrin. It is not vegan compliant as a result of the whey and dry milk in the mix. It is also not gluten-free.
What is not a mystery is how high this product is in sugars. In each cup of Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate, there are 150 calories, twenty-five of which are from fat. There are two 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 no cholesterol, but a whopping 11% of one's recommended daily allowance of sodium out of a single serving of this beverage! There is a little protein, 2 grams, but not enough to live off this. In other words, this product is not a nutritious food product. But it is flavorful!
So long as one leaves the Dark Chocolate powder in its canister, it ought to stay usable. One assumes it will last quite a while and dissolve appropriately when one attempts to use it. The canister, for those of us who consider the environmental impact of such things, are much more environmentally friendly and affordable than packets would be.
Cleanup is very easy. If the product spills while dispensing the powder 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.
Stephen’s Gourmet Dark Chocolate hot cocoa is a good hot cocoa and while it might not be the richest dark chocolate hot cocoa, it is more than satisfying for anyone who wants a genuine chocolate flavor for their hot cocoa!
For other hot cocoa reviews, please check out:
Swiss Miss Mint Premium Cocoa
Land O’ Lakes S'mores Hot Cocoa
Pernigotti Hot Chocolate
For other beverage reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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