A nice, hot cup of mint hot chocolate really hits the spot around this time of year. I’ve talked about the Candy Cane Hot Chocolate at Tim Hortons before, but I find it way too sweet for regular consumption. This Chocolate Mint Hot Chocolate mix from Second Cup, on the other hand, allows me to tailor the sweetness and chocolate levels to my own tastes. But is it any good?
The Pitch: “Rich and decadent Second Cup Chocolate Mint Hot Chocolate. The choice for hot chocolate aficionados.”
The Look: Nice, tall cardboard/metal tin with a Second Cup logo and a bowl-mug of hot chocolate topped with a dash of chocolate shavings. Looks much more premium than a standard tin of Carnation hot chocolate.
The Directions: Like with the Carnation brand, the directions say you can use either hot milk or hot water (227 mL, 8 oz) per 2 heaping tablespoons (35 grams) of mix. But we both know which one is going to taste better, am I right?
The Taste (made with 2% milk): Pleasantly milk-chocolaty with plenty of cooling peppermint. Rich, thick and sweet. Not bad at all. The recommended milk-to-mix ratio is bang on. Just make sure you stir it every so often, or you’ll be left with a pool of gritty sludge at the bottom.
The Taste (made with water): The mix itself contains milk ingredients, so I wanted to see if using water was a realistic option, or just a half-hearted “yeah, you *could* do it like that if you’re looking to cheap out, I guess,” suggestion from the manufacturer. Short answer? Yes, you can use water, but you’ll get a thin, weak hot chocolate. (Yuck, yuck, yuck.) If you’re buying premium café-brand hot chocolate mix, it seems silly to waste it by using water.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $8.95 for a 350-gram tin at Second Cup in Calgary.
Value for cash money: Not great. Compared to buying the drink at Second Cup, you’re saving money. But compared to other tinned hot chocolate mixes, it’s a tad pricey.
Availability: Second Cup coffee shops. I think it’s a seasonal thing, so if you want some, you might want to pick up a tin before they vanish for the season.
Nutrition?: Per 2 tablespoons (35 grams): Dry mix, 140 calories; prepared with 1 cup of 1% milk, 250 calories. Other stats for dry mix: 3.5 grams of fat, 60 mg of sodium, 2 grams of fibre, 1 gram of protein. Also, 10% daily value each of calcium and iron.
The verdict: Made with milk? Yummy. Made with water? Not even remotely worth it.