hot chocolate and hot cocoa

The Difference Between Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa

Wait… Is there a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa?

Ahhh it is cold out and all you want in the world is a hot beverage to keep you warm. You go into the pantry and fridge, whip some ingredients together, and viola you have a steaming cup of hot chocolate to sip on. But wait, is that cup of yummy chocolaty goodness actually hot chocolate…or is it hot cocoa? Though often used interchangeably, it may surprise you (it definitely surprised me) that there is actually a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. But what exactly is the difference?

Hot Chocolate

What is hot chocolate? Also known as drinking or melting chocolate, hot chocolate is made using good-quality milk, dark, or white chocolate. Chocolate must be chopped finely to melt properly when mixed into milk or cream. Hot chocolate tends to be less sweet because there is no added sugar. All of the sugar is in the chocolate! Hot chocolate is decadently thick and smooth to drink. On the other hand, I personally believe hot cocoa’s texture is very gritty (guess which I prefer). People often include vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, marshmallows, or other chili peppers to add an extra punch of flavor.

Hot Cocoa

What is hot cocoa? Hot cocoa consists of a mixture made of cocoa powder, sugar, and preferred spices. The powdered mixture is poured into hot milk or water. Then you just stir to combine! Typically, hot cocoa is lighter and less creamy than hot chocolate. It also tends to be sweeter as a result of the added sugar. Many people choose to add flavors like vanilla or cinnamon. All of the pre-made mixes you have had as a child are definitely 100% hot cocoa.

Personally I prefer hot chocolate. One of my favorite versions is our White Hot Chocolate. On the other hand, Elizabeth loves an easy-to-mix-in cocoa powder. She is team hot cocoa all the way!

Which do you prefer between hot chocolate and hot cocoa? Let us know in the comment section below!

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