The Difference Between Hot Chocolate & Hot Cocoa MIx

Posted by Southwest Beverages on 8/29/2016

Interestingly, may people use the terms “hot cocoa” and “hot chocolate” interchangeably and most people don’t think there is a difference. While both beverages can be topped with whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, peppermint sticks, sprinkles, or even orange slices, there are differences between hot cocoa mix and hot chocolate.

The original recipe for hot cocoa came from the Aztec. The beverage they drink was far heavier and much richer than we are accustomed to. Cocoa beans grow in a pod in tropical climates, typically in Central America as well as a few other places in the world. The process of making hot cocoa mix begins by scoping them out of their pods, splitting the beans open and letting them ferment and dry. The fermentation is what gives the cocoa the taste we love. The fermented beans are then press under tremendous pressure so that the fat (also called cocoa butter) is removed (the cocoa butter is then used for lotions and creams). The cocoa power is then processed, which creates a rich chocolate taste. Manufacturers then add additional ingredients to provide us with a hot cocoa mix that is smooth and consistent and one that we have come to enjoy.

On the other hand, hot chocolate is made from chocolate using either a bar, chips or morsels. This type of chocolate, also known as “Bakers Chocolate”, contains very little fat and is not the typical milk chocolate you and I are familiar with. This chocolate is far too bittersweet to eat by itself since the fat remains in the chocolate and would create undoubtedly a very sweet drink. The traditional hot chocolate as we have come to know it comes from the French who mixed a heavy combination of milk, cream, sugar and chocolate chips together and slowly heated it. The result, needless to say, is a meal unto itself, often thick and syrupy.

What this all means is that hot cocoa mix is far better for your health. It contains far lower sugar, calories and fat content and comes packed with antioxidants, which research has shown 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.

While people have their preference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa mix, to me the choice is clear. I love hot cocoa mix, Sippity hot cocoa mix 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

Sippity, Sippity Lite, Kemosabe, Kemosabe Lite, Southwest Beverages, It's A DRY Mix and Comfort In A Cup are each registered trademarks of Southwest Beverages.

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