Ah, hot chocolate—what’s there to be said that hasn’t already been said? It’s the perfect winter beverage: warm, creamy, and decadent. It turns a lousy day into a good day, and a good day into a better one.
Most people don’t put too much thought into making hot chocolate. They’d simply empty the hot chocolate mix into warm water and serve. But what if you want to make a better-tasting hot chocolate? Can you make hot chocolate in a coffee maker? And if so, how?
In this article, I’ll show you how to make hot chocolate in a coffee maker, whether it’s a drip coffee maker or an espresso coffee maker. I’ll also share some tips for making healthy hot chocolate, as well as the benefits of hot chocolate over coffee.
Let’s dive right in!
How to Make Hot Chocolate in a Drip Coffee Maker
Table of Contents
- How to Make Hot Chocolate in a Drip Coffee Maker
- How to Make Hot Chocolate in a Coffee Machine
- How to Make Hot Chocolate in a Keurig Coffee Maker
- How to Make Traditional Hot Chocolate
- What Are the Health Benefits of Hot Chocolate?
- Hot Chocolate vs Coffee: Which Is Healthier?
- Final Thoughts
Making hot chocolate with a drip coffee maker is one of the easiest ways to make hot chocolate. It’s much like making regular coffee, but instead of coffee grounds, you’ll use hot chocolate powder. Here’s how:
- Fill the drip coffee machine with two to four cups of cold water, depending on the brand and type of hot chocolate mix. Use just enough to cover the packets you’ll use. If you want to add milk, use less water.
- Turn on the machine and give the water some time to boil.
- Once the water is fully heated, add the hot chocolate powder to the coffee carafe—not the filter basket. Hot chocolate mixes are thicker than coffee grounds, so if you put the mix into the filter, it’ll clog it up.
- Stir until smooth and creamy. Mix in chocolate chips to deepen the chocolate flavor.
- Once the hot chocolate mix (and chips, if you’ve added them) is fully dissolved, pour the hot beverage into a cup.
- Garnish with marshmallows or chocolate sprinkles and enjoy!
How to Make Hot Chocolate in a Coffee Machine
Yes, it’s possible to make hot chocolate in an espresso coffee machine. If your coffee machine has a frothing attachment, follow these steps:
- Add around two to three teaspoons of chocolate powder to a cup, depending on how thick you want the hot chocolate to be.
- Place the cup under the machine’s hot water dispenser and about a teaspoon of water. You want to add just enough water to dissolve the chocolate mix.
- Heat some milk to scalding in a microwave or saucepan. Make sure the milk is at least 150°F: hot to the touch but not simmering.
- Pour the hot milk into a milk-steaming pitcher. Use 1.5 cups of milk for every two to three teaspoons of hot chocolate you use.
- Transfer the hot chocolate concentrate to the milk pitcher. Then, froth the chocolate and milk mixture with the frothing attachment. Froth for 20 to 45 seconds or until you reach the desired frothing consistency.
- Pour the hot chocolate into your favorite mug and garnish with marshmallows, cream, or sprinkles.
How to Make Hot Chocolate in a Keurig Coffee Maker
If using a Keurig to make hot chocolate, there are multiple ways to do this. You can use either a pre-filled hot chocolate k cup or a reusable K-cup with cocoa, or you just put your hot chocolate mix in a cup and use the Keurig to produce hot water.
To make it using a K-cup, just put your cup under the machine, add the K-cup to the machine, and press start. We like to add a dash of chocolate syrup in after for a better taste. You can even add some chocolate flakes to the cup beforehand so they melt as the hot liquid is added to the cup.
There are a number hot chocolate flavours availble to fit into machines like the Keurig K-Elite
How to Make Traditional Hot Chocolate
If you’ve got time and ingredients to spare, why not make hot chocolate from scratch?
Homemade hot chocolate is much more satisfying and delicious than hot chocolate made from store-bought packets. It’s incredibly easy to make, too; all you really need is a saucepan, high-quality cocoa powder, milk, and chocolate chips.
This recipe serves one to two people, so adjust as you see fit.
- 2 cups of milk (preferably whole cow’s milk or 2%, but fat-free or skimmed works as well)
- 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar, depending on your taste
- 2 tablespoons of semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Pour in the cocoa powder, milk, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Whisk for 20 seconds or until all ingredients dissolve.
- Add in the chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed into the milk. I recommend using semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate for that concentrated chocolate flavor, but you can also use regular chocolate bars if you don’t have either. Just make sure you adjust the sugar content accordingly.
- Add the vanilla extract and turn off the heat. Serve immediately with some marshmallows, cream, or chocolate sprinkles.
What Are the Health Benefits of Hot Chocolate?
When you think of hot chocolate, “healthy” isn’t what first comes to mind. But I’m here to tell you that hot chocolate has a surprising number of health benefits—from strengthening the heart to reducing the risk of diabetes.
Here are the benefits of hot chocolate:
Improves Heart Health
A study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology shows that hot cocoa can help protect against strokes and other health issues.
Chocolate—particularly dark chocolate—is rich in heart-healthy antioxidants that can reduce the risk of heart disease.
It’s high in magnesium and flavonoids like epicatechin, catechin, and procyanidins, which help regulate your cardiovascular system, lower blood pressure, and improve overall blood flow.
How can chocolate, commonly thought of as one of the primary causes of diabetes, help prevent it?
The answer is simple: the antioxidants in chocolate can help the body use its insulin more efficiently.
But there’s a catch: this only works with dark chocolate.
Commercial chocolate contains sugar, fat, and a bunch of unhealthy calories, which can lead to negative side effects like weight gain, dyslipidemia, and hypertension if eaten in excess.
Daily consumption of at least 70% dark chocolate—in either solid or liquid form—has positive effects on insulin sensitivity, which may help control blood sugar and therefore delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.
Hot chocolate contains caffeine and tryptophan, which act as natural antidepressants. It also boosts the production of serotonin and other feel-good endorphins, bringing about feelings of euphoria.
So whenever you feel down, make yourself a cup of hot cocoa. It might be just the thing you need to pull yourself out of a depressive slump!
Relief for Menstrual Pains
The high magnesium content in dark chocolate helps ease menstrual cramps by lowering the production of prostaglandins, one of the primary triggers of uterine contractions.
Chocolate is also rich in polyphenols, which are naturally occurring chemical compounds that minimize the inflammatory thermometer of the body.
Beyond that, chocolate increases the brain’s “feel-good” dopamine levels, which can help with low mood during your period.
Supports Weight Loss
Believe it or not, hot cocoa has the potential to promote weight loss.
Cocoa can reduce appetite, regulate the use of energy, and increase fat oxidation, tricking the stomach into feeling full.
If you’re trying to lose weight, buy chocolate with the highest cocoa percentage. The higher the cocoa, the better. And of course, you should minimize the beverage’s sugar content.
Boosts Cognitive Function
Drinking flavanol-rich cocoa can acutely improve cognitive function and concentration, according to a study published by the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. The same is said with milk, as it’s a great vitamin D, calcium, and potassium—nutrients that are necessary for optimal brain heart.
Hot Chocolate vs Coffee: Which Is Healthier?
Hot chocolate is generally believed to be healthier than coffee. Here’s why:
Hot Chocolate Has Less Caffeine than Coffee
In excess, caffeine can cause restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, increased heart rate, tremors, and other undesirable side effects. Therefore, the general consensus is less is more.
A single-serve packet of pre-prepared hot chocolate mix contains between 5 to 70mg of caffeine, whereas a regular home-brewed cup of coffee contains 95 to 200mg of caffeine, depending on the beans and brew type.
If you drink multiple cups of coffee a day, this will put you at a disadvantage. Regular use of more than 600mg of caffeine (i.e., five to seven cups of coffee a day) can cause high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (hardening of blood vessels), anxiety, chronic insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, and depression.
Hot Chocolate Helps Relieve Stress
We all know of the effects of coffee: it stimulates the central nervous system, sharpening your concentration and giving you a boost of energy. Hot chocolate offers the complete opposite effect: it reduces stress and makes you feel calmer.
Cocoa contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, which are believed to counteract physiological changes in anxiety and depression. It also triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can help you feel calm and happy.
The milk in hot chocolate also has a calming effect. Milk contains tryptophan, a key ingredient in making serotonin. Likewise, milk is packed with B vitamins that reduce anxiety and improve mood.
So if you want to relax after a stressful day at work, put away those coffee beans and instead make yourself a warm cup of hot chocolate.
Hot Chocolate is Pregnancy-Friendly
Excessive consumption of coffee during pregnancy is linked to low birth weight, increased risk of miscarriage, disrupted fetal stress hormones, and other pregnancy issues.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) instructs pregnant women to limit their caffeine consumption to less than 200mg a day (one to two cups) to prevent these issues.
That said, some experts believe that even moderate amounts of caffeine can introduce unwanted side effects. It can increase a pregnant woman’s heart rate, blood pressure, and the amount of urine her body makes. It can also cause heartburn, indigestion, and trouble sleeping.
Dark chocolate, on the other hand, has several proven benefits for pregnancy. Some of these benefits include reduced blood pressure, improved blood flow of both the mother and the baby, and lowered risk of miscarriage.
There’s also the fact that hot chocolate can lower stress levels. Pregnancy is a stressful affair, so pregnant women need all the stress relievers they can get to cope with the anxiety that comes with it.
Hot Chocolate Boosts Your Energy Without Drawbacks
Hot chocolate contains two mood-boosting ingredients: caffeine and sugar.
As discussed earlier, the caffeine in hot chocolate isn’t comparable to the caffeine in coffee. Therefore, it doesn’t fill you with an energy quite as fast as coffee. Instead, the effect is gradual and longer-lasting.
The sugar in hot chocolate can also raise your energy levels. Just make sure not to overindulge as overconsumption of sugar can cause fatigue.
Tips for Making Healthy Hot Chocolate
Want to add hot chocolate to your daily diet? Follow these tips:
- Use natural, high-quality cocoa powder with at least 70% cocoa rather than the Dutch-processed kind. Natural cocoa powder is high in antioxidants, which not only promote heart health but also help with cognitive function.
- If you don’t have cocoa powder, use unsweetened or semi-sweet dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, and sweet German chocolate are high in sugar, fat, and calories, which increases the risk of diabetes.
- Don’t add too much sugar. While it’s true that hot chocolate tastes best with lots of sugar, adding too much may lead to health issues such as diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, and obesity. Therefore, minimize your use of sugar. Use a teaspoon of natural sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup or honey for that extra dose of antioxidants.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with spices. Ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon all pair well with the chocolate flavor of hot cocoa, plus they deliver a myriad of antioxidants and health benefits.
- Choose the right kind of milk. Whole cow milk delivers the creamiest taste but has the highest calories. It’s also not beneficial for lactose-intolerant people and those with gallbladder issues. Low-fat or reduced-fat milk is fewer in calories, while unsweetened almond milk (and other vegan alternatives) are suitable for those with dietary issues.
Making hot chocolate in a coffee maker is as easy as making coffee—if not easier!
If you’re using a drip coffee maker, heat up the water and pour the hot chocolate mix into the carafe. Mix well and serve with your favorite garnish.
If you’re making hot chocolate in an espresso machine, dissolve the hot chocolate mix in a bit of water and steam some milk using a milk frother. Pour the steamed milk into the chocolate mix, stir, and enjoy!