Hot Chocolate vs. Hot Cocoa

Call it hot chocolate, hot cocoa, cocoa, drinking chocolate, or hot brown cow moo juice (ok, I totally made that one up, can you tell?), it's all the same right?


According to these articles, there is a difference. Hot chocolate, or drinking chocolate, is made with chocolate. Hot cocoa, sometimes just called cocoa, is made with cocoa powder. Personally, I think hot chocolate is better (and sounds a lot less snooty than hot cocoa). It's traditionally made with hot milk, so its creamier and richer. Hot cocoas are healthier though, since they're mostly made with fat-free milk powder and can be made with water.

This is hot cocoa...

and this is hot chocolate. See the difference? Me neither.

I've tried lots of different hot cocoa and hot chocolate mixes, my favorite so far is Trader Joe's drinking chocolate mix. Super decadent and smooth, it's the closest I can get to the short-lived but much loved Chantico.

Starbucks now has "specialty" hot chocolates (or is it cocoas?) in salted caramel and hazelnut. The hazelnut is bomb-diggety. Thick and nutty, just the way I like it ;). The salted caramel is pretty good, I like the salt but find it too tame for my tastes. My mom worships Border's hot chocolate, but I think it's too milky. I guess hot chocolate (cocoa, drinking chocolate) is different for different people. Sweet, milky, mild, thick, cinnamon, nutmeg, white, dark, and milk chocolate, it's all good right?

But don't get me started on the marshmallow vs. whipped cream issue....

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