Trader Joe’s Organic Hot Cocoa Mix

trader joes organic hot cocoa mixI love books.  I love music.  I absolutely adore beer.  And when the cool breezes start to blow, I need hot chocolate.  It’s a requirement around here. So when I got some “TJ’s” cocoa in the mail, I rushed to my kitchen to brew up a pot of hot water.  I really liked what happened next.

For my fellow chocolate junkies, this instant cocoa delivers.  There’s a RUSH of chocolate here, from the delicious smell as I ripped open the packet, to the final sip. This is serious cocoa, y’all.

And mixing it up is easy-peasy. The packets dissolve in hot water like a dream. No unsightly clumps, lumps, or dust round the edges.  I didn’t even need my regular mini-whisk to makes sure it all blended.  Just my usual iced tea spoon did the trick. (I use a very big mug.  I have cocoa needs.)  You’ll want to give it a stir each time you take a sip though; there’s such a wallop of chocolate here that the chocolaty stuff will inevitably start to sink to the bottom as it sits.  A good one-two with your spoon sets things right again.

How about mixing things up?  Have done, and you should too. That lovely chocolate taste hangs strong even when blended into a mocha.  And if you’ve a mind, a splash of Kahlua and/or Bailey’s wouldn’t be amiss.

Do I detect a wisp of peppermint? I do. And I love it. It’s very slight, but it’s there. Could be the flavor punch of a good cocoa, but either way I’m digging it.  Add peppermint schnapps to the list of add-ins, should you be so inclined.

Top things off with whipped cream, or a seasonal-themed marshmallow.  Just be aware that this mix has 20 grams of sugar; a heaping tablespoon’s worth.  I typically need to add a light splash of salted caramel syrup to my mochas (well, “have to” is relative) in order to get the right touch of sweetness.  But I didn’t have to add anything to a mocha made with this mix.  And you definitely won’t need added sugar or syrup if you’re going straight-up cocoa.  A drop of extract would do nicely, if you’d like to experiment.

Speaking of experimenting, spice-lovers should try a dash of cinnamon and cayenne with this cocoa.  The mix itself has a strong enough backbone to hold up to what I like to think of as a cheater’s Mexican hot chocolate.  It’s not the real thing, but if you don’t tell, neither will I.

Denise Kitashima Dutton

Denise Kitashima Dutton has been a reviewer since 2003, and hopes to get the hang of things any moment now. She believes that bluegrass is *not* hell in music form, and that beer is better when it's a nitro pour. Besides GMR, you can find her at Atomic Fangirl,, or at that end seat at the bar, multi-tasking with her Kindle.

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