December 10, 2015
According to our tasting panel, Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa is all about the chocolate. They described it as dark and dense, with a bitter cocoa or dark chocolate flavor that appealed to most, but noted it might not be acceptable to kids.
Our tasting panel and online reviewers agree that Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa (starting at 42 cents/serving; available on Amazon) boasts a rich, deep chocolate flavor with no bitter aftertaste, and the moderate sweetness appeals to grownup taste buds. If you follow the directions on a canister of this powdered mix, you'll use quite a bit -- 4 tablespoons per 8 ounces of milk. Some reviews on Amazon, however, say half the recommended amount is really all you need.
At the hands-on tasting we conducted, panelists described the texture as "dense" and commented on the "dark chocolate smell" and taste. And while the milk makes the brew creamy, some panel members found it less so than another brand we tried. Consumers who have posted Ghirardelli hot chocolate reviews on retail sites such as Coffee AM reel off less specific but consistently positive feedback.
The ingredients in Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa set it apart from other inexpensive hot cocoa mixes, which contain more sugars than cocoa. For one consumer reviewing the K-cup version at Coffee for Less, the absence of artificial sweeteners and other additives is a large part of the product's appeal. The Ghirardelli mix is sweetened with sugar and includes chocolate. Ghirardelli also produces chocolate hazelnut, chocolate mocha, and white mocha flavors, and the mixes now come in pouches.
This hot cocoa mix teeters at the top of our price niche, but as reviewers note, a little goes a long way.
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