Hot chocolate supermarket-bought brands ranked out of 10

We learned one thing: You can’t drink hot chocolate the same way you would wine. The sip becomes a gulp. Another sip follows. Hot chocolate cannot be spit out.

In just a few short hours, the Team consumed about 1.5L of brown liquid. Your correspondent will probably be taking a long break from it.

The products are sold in supermarkets, not as samples. They were prepared according to the instructions using the same type and brand of milk.

Here are the wines in order, along with some surprises.

Coles Hot Chocolate:

Sugar is the key. This is way too sweet for me. It was cheap, and at $0.75 for 100g, it was also the lowest-priced. The highest price per 100g is around $7 for Grounded Pleasures’ Noir. You, indeed, get what you pay for.

Jarrah Hot Choc:

A salty taste that is off-putting gives me a shock. This is not the way to treat a scratchy throat. Negative connotations.

After tasting, a look at the label reveals that not only salt is included in the ingredients but also mineral Salts 341,340,451,452.

These are commonly used as anti-caking, emulsifiers, and preservatives in processed food.

It’s hard to say if they add saltiness, but I’m curious about what else is in your hot cocoa.

Vittoria Original Chocochino

The smell is different from the other ones I’ve tried. Knowing what I’m going to order but not the order, I choose it as Vittoria.

The powder clumps floating in the air are what you want to sprinkle over the drink. The aroma is backed up by a taste that’s not as good.


The initial impression was that it had a good maltiness with a nice hint of marshmallow. It also had a medium level of sweetness.

My notes said, “smells like childhood chocolate bars.”

As the Aero was being prepared, bubbles appeared. The brand is very well represented.

Lindt Hot Chocolate Flakes:

This conversation went something like this: “It smells like mashed potatoes, but it’s not warm milk. Nope, mashed potatoes.”

After a second attempt, we suspected a sensory problem, and it tasted less like mashed potato.

It has a creamy texture that reminds me of a very light white chocolate or milk chocolate. This is not powdered like the other brands.

I wonder if they are repurposed scraps or seconds. It’s better to eat them straight from the tin.

Cadbury Drinking Chocolate

It’s noticeable that this is sweeter but not as over-the-top as #2. This reinforces the idea that hot chocolate and chocolate products generally require a fine balance of sugar.

Sugar may be what we think of when it comes to chocolate, but there are so many other elements that make a great experience. There’s acidity, bitterness, aroma, texture and sweetness.

Nesquik Chocolate:

The appearance of milky tea with the thinnest taste so far. It may be because you are five cups into the tea, but this thinness is pleasing.

I would have said that hot chocolate should be thick, but I wonder if there are different kinds of hot chocolate for other times and occasions. This one is high because it’s more milky and sweeter and has less chocolate.

When I find out later that it is Nesquik, I am genuinely surprised.

It was also almost instant: no clumping, very little stirring. A tick extra for ease?

Pana Organic:

My first note says “premium”.

Pana is made up of only panela sugar or rapadura (a whole cane sugar that has not been refined) and organic cacao. Less is better.

It is rich and has an obvious cacao taste. The mouthfeel is velvety.


Unmistakeable. Malty with a hint of sweetness and cocoa. This is most likely a malt beverage, but it’s also in the arena.

Milo is a comfort that you can’t ignore. It’s almost like I want it to stop here, to sit and enjoy the fire, but we must continue.

Noir: Grounded Pleasures

It’s instantly pleasing. There are varying levels of milky, salty, and sweet. Harmonious. Harmonious.

No mashed potatoes or salt! The joint-winner quality is again dominant.

Cadbury Bournville Cocoa:

It’s Dutch-processed cocoa, not natural (that discussion is for another day), and it’s not drinking chocolate.

This is the way I make my hot chocolate. You can build it however you like, with the amount of sugar and type you prefer. A pinch of salt is also a good idea, but no mashed potato vibes.

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