The Difference Between Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate

Posted by Southwest Beverages on 10/30/2014

hot cocoa vs hot chocolateInterestingly, many people use the terms “hot cocoa” and “hot chocolate” interchangeably. Most people don’t know there’s a difference. While both beverages can be topped with whip cream, cinnamon sticks, peppermint sticks, sprinkles, or even orange slices, there are several differences.

The original recipe was an Aztec beverage. It was far heavier and rich than we are accustomed to. Cocoa beans grow in a pod in tropical climates, typically in Central America but also in a few other places in the world. The beans are split open, scooped out and left to ferment and dry. The fermentation is what gives the cocoa the taste we love (but don’t worry, there’s no alcohol).

Hot cocoa is prepared from raw cocoa powder, which comes from pressed chocolate. When the chocolate is pressed under tremendous pressure, the fat (also called cocoa butter) is removed, which than is used for various other products you probably use, like lotions and creams. After the cocoa is processed, the chocolate flavor remains. Sometimes sugar is added, depending on the manufacturer.

The cocoa powder is then added to hot water or milk with a bit of cream. Because there is very little fat remaining (fat coats the palate and reduces what you taste), the result is a smooth consistency with the signature chocolate taste that we love.

Hot chocolate is made from chocolate (as either a bar, chip, or morsel). This type of chocolate (also known as baker’s chocolate) is not in the typical milk chocolate state that you and I are familiar with. It’s far too bittersweet to eat by itself. Since the fat remains in the drink, the beverage is undoubtedly sweet.

The traditional French recipe for hot chocolate calls for a heavy combination of milk, cream, sugar and chocolate chips, heated slowly. The result is a meal to itself, often thick and syrupy.

What this all means is that hot cocoa is far better for your health. It has a far lower sugar, calories, and fat content and comes packed with antioxidants. Research has shown that cocoa powder can have a positive effect on the heart and blood circulation. In fact, people who consume sweets at least three times each month live nearly a year longer than people who avoid such delicacies all together.

People have their preferences, so you might find that you prefer one style of hot beverage over the other. For me, however, the choice is clear. I always choose hot cocoa, Sippity hot cocoa to be specific.

dry mix beveragesWritten by Bob Jenkins, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Beverages®

Bob has had the privilege of working for some of America’s largest and well run public and private companies, including Philip Morris, Canada Dry, Dr Pepper, Cadbury Schweppes, Snapple Beverage Corporation, Tasker Capital Corp. and The Water Club and River Cafe – two of New York’s finest fine dining restaurants. He has worked in various capacities as Finance Manager, Controller, Director of Finance, Vice President Finance & Administration, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Bob holds a Masters of Business Administration degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Arizona.

Southwest Beverages® is a manufacturer and marketer of two brands of premium quality dry mix beverages: Sippity® hot cocoa mix and Kemosabe® gourmet flavored coffee. All Southwest Beverages® products are uniquely blended flavors that contain all the ingredients necessary for you to enjoy the ultimate hot beverage experience. Simply add water and stir-then sip, savor and enjoy.

For more information, please visit www.southwestbeverages.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Southwest Beverages®? Send your topic idea to[email protected].

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