As we enter into the second semester after a long, hopefully, refreshing break, I am sure we will encounter stressful study nights and long school days, all while dealing with the chilly wind, snow, and gray skies.
While transitioning back into school mode, we must remember to take time for ourselves, whether that’s journaling, reading, or watching a movie while drinking a nice warm cup of cocoa.
Hot chocolate is one of those delicious drinks that can brighten up even the most gloomy winter days, especially if you top it off with a hefty amount of whipped cream.
However, not all hot chocolate is created equal. Below you will find my ranking of the five most common brands of hot cocoa.
(Tip: add a sprinkle of cinnamon to the top of your cup! I will admit I got this idea from the television show “Once Upon A Time,” which was my absolute favorite show during middle school. Don’t judge me, okay, the first three seasons were pretty solid.)
Without further ado… Here are the best hot chocolate mixes to save you time and money, so you are able to sit and enjoy a nice warm beverage after a long day.
Also a reminder: make sure to make these drinks with milk instead of water, if you can.–
#5- Any type of peppermint hot chocolate
Now, this may not be a popular opinion, but flavored hot chocolates are not good. While I am a fan of mixing mint and chocolate, there is no place for that in a warm cup of cocoa. There is no reason for someone to be having some weird aftertaste in their mouth after drinking a hot chocolate. Have you ever heard the phrase: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you MUST order this drink, then try the one at Starbucks, or don’t, if you want to be good to yourself.
#4- Chocolate syrup and hot milk
This is the poor man’s version of hot chocolate, but it gets the job done. Just pour yourself a cup of milk, squirt some chocolate syrup, and heat it up in the microwave. It’ll be done in minutes and you will be able to use the chocolate syrup for ice cream toppings or even just to eat by itself (would highly recommend).
Where to buy: any grocery/convenience store
#3- 365 Organic Hot Cocoa
This is not extremely college-student friendly, especially because I am not aware of where the nearest Whole Foods is, but I had to include it because it is very solid. Out of all of these, this option is my personal favorite, but I do only drink the #1 choice at college because it just is the most convenient. This mixture has a very good chocolate flavoring, and the fact that it is organic is a plus if you are trying to be more health-conscious. It is available in a jar and packets.
Where to buy: Whole Foods
Price: $3.99 for a box of 10 packets
#2- Starbucks classic hot cocoa
The tins this comes in really sold me on how snazzy the hot chocolate is. If made with love, it tastes very similar to the one they have at an actual Starbucks (shocking). It is a very solid hot chocolate and will appeal to even the most “eh” hot chocolate drinkers.
Where to buy: Most grocery stores
Price: $5 tin at Walmart
#1- Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate
This is a tried-and-true brand, and while many people slander it for being “basic,” it still holds up. It is the most consistent brand, and the convenient packets make for easy pouring into your mug… no measuring is required. The brand also sells many different types of hot chocolate too. The one with the mini marshmallows is pretty cute. Oh, and the price is perfect.
Where to buy: Most grocery stores
Price: $4.98 for a pack of 30 PACKETS (is that a deal or what?!)