free shipping on orders over $99.95
EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING for Arizona. Free shipping not available for safe delivery of chocolates

What's the Difference Between Hot Chocolate, Sipping Chocolate, & Hot Cocoa?

What's the Difference Between Hot Chocolate, Sipping Chocolate, & Hot Cocoa?

What's the Difference Between Hot Chocolate, Sipping Chocolate, & Hot Cocoa? 

- guest post by Ashley Schuering -

While 'hot chocolate,' 'hot cocoa,' and 'sipping chocolate' may sound alike, they are each uniquely luscious in their own right. At Chuao Chocolatier, our passion lies in celebrating the nuances of chocolate. Allow us to illuminate the distinctions between these delectable drinks, ensuring your choice perfectly matches your craving!

What is hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate, often known in some cultures as "sipping chocolate" or "drinking chocolate," is made using melted chocolate bars or chocolate pieces mixed with water, milk, or cream. The key here is the use of actual chocolate solids. 

Unlike its cousin, hot cocoa (which is made using cocoa powder), hot chocolate offers a thicker, creamier texture because of the cocoa butter present in the solid chocolate. Think of it as sipping a melted chocolate bar that wraps you in a warm, delectable hug.

The origins of hot chocolate can be traced back to ancient Mesoamerican cultures, where it was enjoyed as a bitter, frothy drink. Fast forward to today, and hot chocolate has evolved into a sweet treat beloved around the globe. 

Our Deluxious Dark Drinking Chocolate is a superlative choice when it comes to packaged hot chocolate mixes. Made with chunks of premium dark chocolate and creamy milk, this French hot chocolate is, simply put, luxury in a cup. Better yet, since the mix already has everything you need to indulge, you can make our hot chocolate with water.

Feeling a bit adventurous? Drinking chocolate is also versatile! You can jazz it up with a dash of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or even a sprinkle of chili for a little kick like we do in our Spicy Maya Drinking Chocolate, add a splash of your favorite spirit, make it frozen, or go nuts with your favorite hot chocolate toppings. The possibilities are nearly endless!

What is hot cocoa?

If hot chocolate is the rich and indulgent relative, then hot cocoa is its lighter, yet equally charming sibling! 

Hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder, which is essentially chocolate pressed free of all its richness, i.e., the fat of cocoa butter. When mixed with hot milk, this powder transforms into a smooth, light, and slightly bittersweet beverage. It’s often sweetened with sugar and can be spiced up with a dash of vanilla or a topping of airy marshmallows

Unlike our European hot chocolate, which boasts a creamy, rich texture from melted chocolate, hot cocoa has a lighter, less indulgent taste and consistency. The cocoa powder, derived from roasted and ground cacao beans, gives the drink its characteristic chocolaty flavor without the richer fats found in chocolate bars.

What’s the biggest difference between Chuao’s drinking chocolate vs hot cocoa?


Navigating the world of chocolaty drinks can sometimes feel like distinguishing fine wine from grape juice. And in this case, Chuao's drinking chocolate is that fine, aged wine that promises an unparalleled experience.

The hot cocoa many of us know from childhood is often found in convenient, instant packets. While it's quick and easy, it rarely offers the rich and immersive experience of true chocolate indulgence. Many commercially available hot cocoa mixes come with a list of less-than-appetizing ingredients, such as hydrogenated fats, corn syrup, and synthetic additives like "mono and diglycerides."

Now, let's talk about Chuao's drinking chocolate. It's in a class of its own, meticulously crafted in the style of luxurious Parisian hot chocolate, boasting a thick consistency akin to sumptuous melted chocolate. 

But it's not just about the indulgent texture. Our drinking chocolate is a symphony of ethical and quality ingredients that you can actually pronounce. It is free from artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, contains no trans fats, and is lovingly made with Fair Trade Certified chocolate. Each sip is a testament to our commitment to quality and a celebration of chocolate in its purest form.

So, if you're seeking a moment of genuine self-care and indulgence, look no further. While hot cocoa might offer a fleeting comfort, Chuao's Drinking Chocolate invites you into an experience—a lusciously rich, velvety embrace that is both ethical and extraordinary. Trust us, there's nothing quite like it. 

chuao's drinking chocolates sitting on a marble surface

5 fun facts about drinking chocolate

Is hot cocoa the same as cocoa powder?

Not quite! While they are closely related, hot cocoa and cocoa powder are indeed different. Cocoa powder is the dry, ground cacao beans from which the fat has been removed. It's a pure, concentrated form of chocolate flavor and is often used in baking or cooking.

Hot cocoa, on the other hand, is a delightful beverage made by combining cocoa powder with sugar, milk, and other flavorings. Think of cocoa powder as the talented artist, and hot cocoa as the masterpiece it creates! So, in short, while cocoa powder plays a starring role in making hot cocoa, they are distinct in their own chocolaty ways. 

What’s the difference between sipping chocolate and hot chocolate and What’s the difference between hot chocolate and drinking chocolate?

The terms 'hot chocolate' and 'drinking chocolate' are often used interchangeably, but depending on the brand you use, they may be quite different. In most contexts, 'drinking chocolate' is a term reserved for “fancy” hot chocolate (like Chuao's!) that are crafted with superior chocolate and have a richer, more intense flavor profile. 

How long is sipping chocolate good for? Does hot chocolate expire?

While hot chocolate is a timeless treat for our tastebuds, its quality isn't immune to the passage of time. Chocolate's rich flavors and qualities can deteriorate as the months roll on. For the most delectable experience, we recommend indulging in your drinking chocolate within a year of purchasing it. 

Is hot chocolate good for sleep?

Ever curled up with a mug of hot chocolate before tucking in for the night? There's something super cozy about it, right? That warm hug in a mug can be just the thing to help you relax and unwind. Plus, the milk in hot chocolate has a hefty dose of tryptophan, which helps your body produce serotonin and melatonin to get you all snoozy and relaxed.

But here's the catch: chocolate has a bit of caffeine and theobromine, which can give some folks a mini energy boost. It's nowhere near your morning coffee, but it may cause you to feel a bit more wide-eyed than sleepy-eyed. In fact, some people love drinking cocoa before their workouts!

So, if you're thinking of making hot chocolate your bedtime buddy, just see how your body reacts. Here's to cozy sips and dreamy nights! 

Is hot chocolate gluten-free?

While we can’t speak for ALL hot chocolate mixes out there, you can rest assured that Chuao’s drinking chocolate mixes are indeed gluten-free.

previous post next post