Wednesday, January 16, 2013

At Home: Trader Joe's Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Cup of cocoa and The Complete Sherlock Holmes. 
DEAR READERS (IF I HAVE ANY), I've made the mistake of telling my mother about my cocoa blog. She keeps bringing me various hot chocolate mixes to sample. During our last excursion to Trader Joe's, she convinced me to try this particular mix, Trader Joe's Peppermint Hot Chocolate for $4.99.

According to the blurb on the tin, this particular cocoa is a combination of "luxuriant bittersweet chocolate with a hint of peppermint... [and] chocolate shavings." Along with directions for a regular cup of cocoa, there's also directions for a Blended Peppermint Chocolate Drink on the back. For the first time, I stuck to making hot cocoa, but maybe I'll get around to trying their blended drink.

But before I review the taste, a word about the packaging: When I first brought this mix home, I thought the tin was adorable - stylish, even - but that was before I tried opening it. Good grief, it must have taken me at least 15 minutes to get the damn thing open! The lid wouldn't twist off, but had to be pried with a butter knife. I almost didn't dare put the lid back on after I was done for fear I would never get it off again. Trader Joe's wants their customers to work for their hot chocolate.

Obligatory artistic shot of the tin.
Following the simple directions, I mixed the hot chocolate with a 3/4 cup of hot milk.* Unlike other peppermint hot chocolates, Trader Joe's actually has a strong peppermint taste. It wasn't obnoxiously pepperminty, though. There was a good balance between the peppermint and the chocolate, which I found quite pleasing.

Some of the chocolate shavings didn't melt, which gave the cocoa some texture. Personally I think the chocolate shavings gave the mix a nice touch, but overall it could have had a richer flavor. Even though I used hot milk instead of water, it didn't taste rich as I expected.

Overall, I'd recommend this one . Yes, the tin is a pain in the ass to open and the mix could be richer, but it is much better than a lot of other hot chocolate mixes. The price is decent for what you get and packaging (while frustrating) can be reused after the mix is finished. But most importantly, the pepperminty flavor is neither overstated nor understated. This already makes it better than 85%** of peppermint hot chocolate mixes out there.

I enjoyed my cup of Trader Joe's Peppermint Hot Chocolate and I'd be willing to buy this mix again. Now excuse me, I'm off to read more Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Until next time, dear readers!

Yummy taste: 


* I use hot milk instead of hot water, because I prefer my hot cocoa creamier.
** Did you know that 73.6% of statistics are made up?

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