The Differences Between Hot Chocolate v Hot Cocoa

The Differences Between Hot Chocolate v Hot Cocoa

Before You Start
Make sure you have 80Noir Ultra hot chocolate ready and enjoy as you read!

We hear it all the time but do we really know what the difference is? I have to admit i thought I did but delving a little deeper, there are more differences than i thought, however they can and are often two terms which are used interchangeably. So to make it easier i have broken it down into 4 segments: Ingredients, Texture, Sweetness & Richness.


Hot cocoa is basically made from unsweetened cocoa powder (around 40g per cup), which in itself is packed with starch thickener, baking soda, dehydrated milk, sugar and other ingredients to make it thick and cocoa tasting. It doesn’t contain any cocoa solids and the interesting thing about this, is that everyone will have had this, in one version or another and think this is what a hot chocolate is and why so many people think that hot chocolates are full of sugar and nasties and in this sense they are correct but I have great news for you..

This is NOT a hot chocolate.

A hot chocolate is pure, chocolate (around 13.5-20g per cup) mixed with either hot water or milk of choice or a combination of the two. Preferably dark chocolate to increase the cocoa mass and cocoa butter percentage and improve flavour and mind and body benefits. Solid chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than cocoa powder, but in cocoa butter, is good mono-saturates which can help reduce bad cholesterol in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. It also helps provide nutrients to help developing and maintain your body’s cells.


When you make a hot chocolate (chocolate solids and hot water/milk), the drink has a much thicker, denser and smoother texture than a hot chocolate. In some cases, especially in France and Italy, hot chocolate (or chocolat chaud) can quite often be compared to a thin chocolate sauce.

Hot cocoa has a more powdered texture, slightly bitty due to the addition of ingredients to the mix. It sits on the roof of your mouth and the tip of your tongue and provides a rather grainy ‘mouth feel’.


Hot cocoa is usually a lot sweeter than its hot chocolate counterpart as hot chocolate’s focus is on the purity of chocolate and less on the sugar content.


As with many chocolates, there is a sighing scale of richness, as hot chocolate is made using actual chocolate. To achieve richness does depends on the type of chocolate you use… Ranging from 20% to 100% of chocolate solids which aids to the intensity and bitterness. Usually the higher the percentage, means the sugar is less, yet the intensity of flavour increases along with the bitterness… However as you lot know, this is not the case with 80Noir Ultra. Yes you get the intensity and high percentage of chocolate solids, but NOT the bitterness, so you only have a smooth, rich and delicious drink.

Hot cocoa is not as rich as a hot chocolate as it has a lower percentage and higher sugar content. In terms of hot cocoa, there are only two commonly used cocoa powders. Natural cocoa and dutch-processed. Natural cocoa tends to create a drink that is darker in colour, and more bitter and acidic but have a more intense chocolate profile, whereas dutch processed cocoa, which is processed with an alkali, has a slightly milder, less acidic taste and a brights reddish colour.

Which ever is your preference, it’s safe to say that there is nothing better than on a cold winters day, snuggling by the fire, or after a great exercise session when you are spent of energy. To enjoy a soothing, soulful and delicious chocolate mixed with hot cup of milk.

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