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, “need 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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